Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Girls

Since 99% of holidays for us are spent in our home or a relative's home eating, laying around, playing outside, napping, spitting up, sometimes even camping etc. I prefer to dress my girls for comfort. However, my mother in law loves buying them dress-up holiday clothes (which Eve LOVES!). So our compromise is for her to buy the girls clothes, I take their pictures and then back to play clothes. 

Here are my Thanksgiving Girls!

 Not bad for 2 squirmies & 1 sickie




Playing Patty Cake with the babies' feet

Noomi & Eve

Army Wives

I've been watching (addicted to!) the Lifetime show Army Wives. I was excited for the new reality show Married to the Military to start and after watching 2 episodes I was pleasantly surprised to see the shows are pretty similar.

Most of the wives on Married to the Military talk about representing their husbands well and how their roll of Army wife and mom is so important because their husbands are fighting for our country. They're passionate about it! They watch the things they do and say as to not disrespect or dishonor their husbands.

Unfortunately, I've seen firsthand how this line of thinking isn't continuous among all military wives and I know not all civilian wives live lives disrespectful of their husbands.

I asked myself, "Why isn't this line of thinking more common among all wives?" I completely understand the special calling of putting your life on the line to protect and defend your country. But even though my husband isn't risking his life on the front lines, why should my devotion to representing him well be any different? Why is it OK for me to act unbecomingly and say things that would embarrass or disgrace my husband just because he totes a wrench or a pencil and not a grenade or an M-9? Doesn't that mean that our level of respect for our husbands and our positions as their wives is contingent on what they do for a living or their "service"?

What do you think? Do servicemembers and people who put themselves in harms way for others deserve more from their spouses? Should more respect, more honor, more understanding, more tolerance and more patience be expected of them?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Big Girl

Eve had a trophy day at gymnastics today. The kids got a trophy and then they got to take their friends and family around the gym and show them their "tricks." 

Eve was so excited to have Big Sissy there to see her! Even though she didn't have a clue what a trophy was or why she got one, Eve was thrilled to be the center of attention. 

She is the youngest kid in the gym. At 2 1/5, she has a 3 and 4 year old in her class and keeps up with them step for step. Her Coach has been teaching her things that he usually saves for the 4 and 5 year olds. I couldn't be more proud of her! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mail & Coupons

Go through my mail with me. Today I got 3 magazines. 
1. - "Oh yeah, I AM a nurse!"
2. JcPenney Catalog - "Humph, when do I ever shop?"
3. Parents - "I'm too busy actually being a parent to stop and read this!"

So I've been wanting to start couponing. Even though I watch the shows, I have no desire to compulsively stock pile mouth wash and tampons in my garage. I just want to save money on the stuff I'm already buying. I mean REALLY save money, not just like $.39 every week on OJ. My goal would be to cut my grocery budget in half - at least!

I'm probably over thinking the whole process and making it more complicated than it really is but any tips would be very appreciated!


Before you go home tonight and turn on Fox News or CNN or MSNBC or whatever your news station of choice is, listen to this podcast.

I don't mean for this post to be political. I mean for it to be religious. Not really. :o) 

I've held the belief for a while that the church should be taking care of people and not the government. In a world where this is completely counter cultural, I know this idea will probably be poo-pooed on by believers and non-believers alike. I believe the church should be the entity that clothes and feeds and cares. 

My thoughts on this lately:
This theory has a huge hole in it considering so many people's bad perceptions of the church. (A whole other  post!)

People these days have been ingrained with the mindset that it's okay not to work and let the government take care of you. It's okay to be lazy and not take care of your family. It's okay to not ask for help. It's okay to take handouts.

How do we come back from that? In that podcast he talks about helping the poor. What does that mean exactly? Help someone who "gets fired from their job" find another job when what they really want to do is collect unemployment? Provide someone food when they, again, don't want to work and just want government assistance? 

I believe people are, for whatever reason, reluctant to receive help from the church (or anyone) but more than willing it from the government. Why? I don't believe that's the government's job. The Lord told the church to care for the poor ... not to mention each other. Is it the government's job to pay for you to not work when you hit 55 or 60 because you've "earned it?" When did the responsibility for our own lives get put on the government? If I want to quit working when I hit a certain age then I need to be financially responsible so that I am able to do that. Allow me to point out, however, that back in the day people worked until they were physically unable to work anymore. 

I don't really have answers ... yet. But this has been heavy on my heart for weeks and I'm confident I'll hear from the Lord on it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Where Honor Is Due

I love Veterans Day! I actually think every day should be VD.
I spent 4 years in the Air Force. Even though my tour was life-changing, I believe my impact on my country was minimal. I was in public affairs and never deployed to a combat zone.
I offered 4 years of my life to my country ... which I would recommend for just about anyone. But I know people who have sacrificed much more and truly deserve the gratitude and honor that comes with today's holiday.
During my psych rotation in nursing school I had the privilege of working with a young vet who came back from Iraq with PTSD and was an inpatient at the VA for substance abuse - a very common scene. He was younger than I was and had suffered so much. I spent over an hour talking to him about his issues and transition. Before I left he gave me his Iraqi War Veteran cap. I wear it on VD in his honor and other days to remind me of his sacrifice.
I don't know where or how he is now but I know that the number of vets coming back from combat zones with PTSD is huge and the number of inpatient rehabs is minuscule with long waiting lists. I also know that older vets still suffer from experiences in combat. I don't care what your views on war is but the facts are that people are losing their body parts, their families, their minds and their lives for you.
Today ... and every day ... thank a vet and pray for them.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yesterday and today, I had a fudge adventure! Every Christmas, as our gift to Justin's side of the family, I bake. I decided this year that I wanted to bake something that would be special to Christmas and I'd only make it at Christmastime. 

After a HUGE fail at pumpkin spice cake balls, I decided fudge was the way to go. I've been making fudge with my mom since I was a little girl so I figured I could turn out some decent gift fudge. Since I view recipes as mere suggestions, I wanted to do a trial run so I decided to make a few batches for a ladies' retreat I'm going on this weekend. 

My flavors, you ask! Eggnog, peppermint mocha and chocolate peanut butter. 

I found this recipe when I Googled "Eggnog fudge recipes" and it worked great!! The eggnog fudge is amazing! 

I decided that since it turned out so good, I would just substitute some of the ingredients to make my other 2 flavors. For the peppermint mocha, I used 3/4 c peppermint mocha coffee creamer instead of the eggnog and a bag of milk chocolate chocolate chips instead of the white chocolate. It turned out yummy! The only thing I might do different next time is add some peppermint extract.

Our friend Becky makes the best peanut butter fudge on the planet! I make alot of things that Justin labels "The Best Ever!" but nothing has beaten Becky's peanut butter fudge. I was trying to come close but dang WalMart screwed me up!! All they had was a peanut butter/chocolate chip mix. So I got that and used it instead of the white chocolate in the recipe and instead of the 1/2c butter I used 1/2c peanut butter. It turned out really good, but it's definitely a chocolate/peanut butter fudge. I'm going to have to try again for the straight peanut butter version.

Some of My Secrets

In my free time (HAHA!), I like to cook/bake. Some of you may be thinking "Um excuse me? Don't you have 3 kids under 2 1/2? How does that even happen!?"

My answer is, Yup I do! And here are some of my secrets to being able to do something like cooking/baking when you have little ones:

**Move in with your amazing parents who are as dedicated to your kids as you are and support your parenting flawlessly.**

Okay, so I realize that's not a reality for everyone. But I was able to get stuff done even when I just had Eve and we lived by ourselves. Here are some of my REAL secrets:

1. Learn to do things fast! (Setting a timer for yourself helps with this. See how much you can get done in 1 minute) I naturally do everything fast but I had to learn to be precise and accurate with my speed. If you can do your tasks fast you can do what you're trying to accomplish, tend quickly to your babe and go back and forth. See #2!

2. Multitask! It's something I highly recommend for all moms. But know how and when to turn it off and on. If you're not a natural multitasker, there are some great books out there. Or chances are you have a friend who is ... call her!

3. Get used to letting your kids fuss. They WILL BE OKAY if they cry for a minute while you finish something up. Especially if they are clean and fed and all they want is your attention.

4. Your high chairs aren't just for mealtime anymore. I discovered this trick with Eve. A lot of the time she just wanted to be a part of what was going on, so I'd put her in her high chair, give her something to play with (if you're in the kitchen, plastic dishes work great!) and set her within site of the action. This way I could interact with her as well without worrying about her getting into what I was doing. Also, get your high chair out of the kitchen! This is a great trick for any room in the house.

5. When at all possible, involve them in what you're doing. Okay, this might go against #1 and definitely won't work with everything. I involve Eve (not so much the babies yet) in almost everything I'm doing. If I'm baking or cooking in the kitchen, I give her a bowl and spoon and let her do her own thing (usually it's make muffins or birthday soup). Or I sit her up on the counter and let her stir, pour, or supervise whatever I'm doing. This works best when you're not on a time crunch and you don't mind a bigger mess. This can also be applied to anything! I have her help me "fold" clothes, dust, do my makeup, sweep ... you can find a 2 year old version of just about anything!

This is probably the hardest one ...
6. Encourage and teach your kids to play independently and be patient. I understand this comes more naturally to some kids than others. I do think it's something that can be instilled in every child. With Eve, it's hit or miss. Sometimes she'll do one activity by herself for 30 minutes to an hour ... play in her room, draw, color, play outside. When she's "in the zone" I try to leave her alone :) or poke my head in and say "You're doing a wonderful job playing!!" I've also started to play a "game" with her where I set my timer for 15 seconds and we have to be really still and quiet. From the time Eve was old enough to start asking/demanding things, I started using the word "patience" with her. I know a patience song, too, that I would sing to her. Oddly enough, she would stop and listen. When she was started talking, "patience" became part of her vocabulary. Now she says "I'm doing a good job being patient." :)

Do you have any secrets?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

And This Will Be All I Have to Say About This

When I was pregnant with my twins I thought I might be crazy because I wasn't scared or even worried about the future: delivering or taking care of 2 infants. It just was what it was. I knew there would be challenges but I was up for it!
I've decided that is the way I should be looking at the outcome of the recent presidental election. I didn't vote to reelect the President so I wasn't too thrilled with the outcome. So many die hard conservatives I know believe the next 4 years will be gloom and doom. I'm not convinced.  Times may get harder. They may stay the same. They may get easier. The bottom line is we just don't know.
But I have 3 beautiful daughters who deserve a beautiful world and a beautiful life. They look to me for life ques right now. I want them to respect our President and government. I want them to be able to see beauty in hardship and learn to work hard even when times are easy. I will not teach or model fear or hate or disrespect.
My God is in control of all. HE is my provider and my shield and my safe place.
This isn't a blog about political issues so this will probably be the first and last thing I'll say about it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Pretender

Eve has started pretending she's something or someone else. At some point every day I'll call her name, "Come here,Eve." To which I'll get the response "I'm not Eve. I'm ..." Usually it's Minnie Mouse. Sometimes she's Goofy, or just Goof. Once she was What (the cat). The other day she was an alien. It can last an hour or ALL DAY. She makes everyone call her by whoever she's pretending to be and corrects people if they call her Eve. I love it!!

My baby babies, more specifically Temperance, have discovered their favorite noise to make. A high pitch, high decibel shriek. Sometimes they do it for an hour! They're happy but sometimes we have to yell over them to have a conversation. My sweeties!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Catch-You-Up (gesundheit!)

Once again, I'm attempting to revive my blog. I plan on using it to keep friends and family in the know about my growing girls but also to convey messages of hope and strength and inspiration. 

I'm sure most who read this are already updated on the Fam but just in case, here's the quick catch-you-up:

CHINA - I left off with a possible trip to China almost exactly a year ago. Well we went, we saw, we returned. It was a very challenging trip for both me and the Mister. We were there almost 90 days and he worked 12-15 hour days for 88 of them. About a week after Eve and I arrived, I got pregnant. I was so sick 24/7 for almost the entire trip. 

PREGNANCY - Our MADE IN CHINA babies were born on our 3 year wedding anniversary. Identical twin girls, Noomi and Temperance. No, twins don't run in our families. Yes, we were very shocked. No, we're not going to keep trying for a boy. Having 2 infants and a toddler has been another challenge, but one that is much more rewarding. Our girls are the light of my life!

THE MOVE - When we found out we were having twins, we decided to rent out our house and move in with my parents. One of the best decisions we could have made as far as our kids are concerned. JoJo and Granddaddy have been instrumental in giving Eve a smooth transition from only child to big sister and ing helping take care of the babies. Instead of having 1 completely exhausted, non-functioning, nervous breakdown mom, we've had 4 kinda tired, sometimes slightly impatient, functioning at about 90% capacity parents and grandparents.  

To sum up: The last year has been very challenging, rewarding, fulfilling, tiring and sweet.