Tuesday, February 28, 2012


or lack thereof. Today we were supposed to get a really big snow storm. Last week the forecast called for up to 12 inches of snow. Today, we're getting about 1 inch. Seriously. Ironically, we had a writing cohort meeting last week and the writing prompt given to the group was about snow. It came from the book Driftless (now on my "to read" list) and was about an in-depth description about the snow as it fell on the farm. Our job after that was to write for 5 minutes, being inspired by what we heard. Here is what I wrote:

     When you have little ones, even the littlest amount of snow makes a huge difference. Half an inch of snow to 1 foot of snow-it doesn't really matter. Snowmen are immediately asked for. Sometimes delivered, sometimes not-you know, it depends on the stickiness of it. Snowmen families end up in our front yard. A makes sure there are hats for all. Scarves too. We take food from the fridge and the candy jar to make the face as best as we can. And then, it melts. Almost as quickly as we've created it, it seems, the snow melts away, leaving hats lying on the ground. Leaving treats and snacks for the squirrels. Leaving the kids wondering what happened to their family. But all the while knowing they'll be back again some other winter day.

Writing prompts are funny things. Not funny ha-ha, but funny, ironic. I don't always have something to write about but the days I do, I'm off and going. On this day I could have gone a different way with my writing-about how much I dislike snow. Somehow dislikes are always seen differently when there are kids around!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Can you sign me up?

If you've been around reading things lately, you know I'm a bit taken with my kids. Each in their own way. My son gets me with the things he says and the squeezes he gives me. He gets me with how he says goodnight to me and those big brown eyes he looks at me with. He got me again tonight with his sweetness.

I was in the kitchen and he walked up to me and said, "Mommy? Can you sign me up for a Francesco camp?"
"A what?"
"A Francesco camp. Or a Lightning McQueen camp?"
"Oh, buddy, I don't think they have a camp like that."
"You know, like when A got to go to a princess camp?"
"Well, I'll have to check on that."
"Ok, Mommy!"

So sweet that he thought about asking about something like that. In his head, he's thinking, "Well, my sister got to go to a camp where they talked all about princesses. So, why wouldn't there be something for me that is all about cars...which I love?!" I'll have to look into it, but I'm not sure where there would be something like that.

In the meantime, on an upcoming trip, C will have a chance to go on a real racetrack. The DAYTONA racetrack. The kids don't know we're going yet, but I can hardly wait to see the look on his face when we go to the speedway and he can see where the real race cars race!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Funny Valentine

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I know. I know. It's a "Hallmark" holiday. But I still like it! J and I have always done something for each other on Valentine's Day. Flowers, a picture, dinner, dessert (cake from Wuollet's!)...you know, the normal things. This year was no different!
Well, maybe a little different with kids. No, J and I did not get each other a furry monkey for Valentine's Day. Those would be for the kiddos. I loved them immediately because they reminded me of the monkeys I had as a kid-the one with velcro on the hands. A & C loved them too.
Valentine's Day was also crazy hair day at school. Smart! The kids are wound up anyway-why not have crazy hair, too?! We celebrated this day by taking the kids to the mall to go on some rides. J and I knew we wouldn't get out, just the two of us, for dinner, so we embraced the day with the kids and had fun!
 The log ride is a favorite for all of us. Luckily, even with switching positions, no one got too wet.
Being that it was a Tuesday-Toddler Tuesday-kids eat free at many places in the mall. We ended up with a very nice dinner at Tucci Bennuch!
To most, this day is just another day. It is, really, but opening valentines with the kids at home and hearing them read the cards from their friends is so much fun! They get excited and love seeing what their friends pick out for them. Truthfully...I like seeing what they get too! It really is just another day, but another day of saying, "I love you," and spending time with the ones you love isn't a bad thing at all!

Friday, February 24, 2012


If you know me, you know I like to organize. Sort of. Before kids I used to be much more organized. Now I'm  organized with them and their things, but our things have kind of taken a back seat. Yes, I know where my important things are. Yes, I know when we're supposed to be where. Yes, my house is still picked up. But not like I would like it to be. I'm currently in the middle of an organizing project "in back" by the laundry area. That's a week in progress with not much new progress being made. But, look at this progress:

C's room
A's room
the basement
Yes, we're getting a bit more organized around here and it's only February. That's what happens when it feels like spring. We get that "spring cleaning bug" a little earlier. Last year I'm pretty sure it was May. But I'm not complaining. We like that it feels like spring around here. I like feeling settled. It's that whole act of purging things and getting them out of the house/garage. I just wish it wasn't an ongoing process. You know? Don't you wish you could just be "done" organizing? I've come to the conclusion that just won't happen. Oh well, though, right? Organizing can be fun...or at least that's something I keep telling myself. All I know is that I'm sure J wishes I would stop because usually organizing means buying something new to keep the things contained. Like this new bench for our living room:

Now, what to use to organize our bedroom...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Basketball for all!

Sometimes it's hard to decide what activities to put your kids in. Sometimes it's a little tricky when you have twins. Sometimes you think, "Well, one is in it, might as well put the other one in it." Such is the case with basketball this year. C tried it out last year and loved every minute of it. Sometimes it took a while to get the hang of sharing the ball with others but this year is a different story.
There's a confidence about him. He is making baskets granny-style like a regular basketball player would. He's learning to pass the ball and look around. It's still a bit tough, though, because they can't steal the ball or block shots. C will definitely be ready for the next level next year!
A is having a great time, too. Of course her favorite is the snack at the end of the game. Whenever she's not by her brother she really tries her best. She likes the girls on her team, too. Sophie wears sparkle shoes while she plays. She also wears eye shadow, blush and lip gloss. A was sure to point that out to me after this first game.
The Bulldogs love playing. I love the ease for which they play. Nothing is high-stakes. That's how it should be now. I know that all-to-soon the stakes will be higher and the pressure will come. It's so different from how it was when we played. I just hope they remember the biggest, most important rule...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


What does that number mean, you ask? Why it's the number of meals 500 people packed at our church tonight for Feed My Starving Children. Yes! Tonight we saved kids' lives. Together as a family. The kids were old enough this year to participate in the big event. We've "done" this event for the past 3 years. We've always packed meals with our Dinner Club but now it's not just an adult event anymore. Kids too!
That number above feeds 282 kids for a year. We showed the kids a few videos on the computer before we left for church so they knew a bit of what to expect. They saw pictures of kids who had eaten the meals after a few months. They saw how healthy they were and the difference it made.
They also saw how to pack the meals. Neither of them said much about what job they wished to have or how many meals they thought they would pack.
Their friend Connor was there too. It was his first time as well. He was a bit skeptical coming into the night because his little brother got to be with grandma and grandpa. It didn't take long for the smiles to appear on his face saying, "Hey, Mom! This is actually fun! Funner than I thought it was going to be!"
Little A made it about an hour before she flitted and flutted around from place to place like the butterfly she is. Attention and focus was a bit gone and legs got tired. Then I told her it would help her legs if she danced. So we danced a little to the WOW! Kids Band that was playing in the background. She was all smiles and loved every bit-no matter if she was dancing or weighing bags of food.
Her favorite job was dumping the chicken powder or the veggies into the funnel. She'll be able to reach a bit better with every year we do this, as they get bigger.
C took the position of the bagger in the beginning. We used a bit of teamwork to get the bags on the funnel-it's a bit tricky! He and A switched positions between holding bags and weighing. C was really good at weighing, being very careful with the extra rice playing a little bit with the extra rice, being very precise and also being across from his buddy, Connor.
The kids got to do a variety of different jobs throughout the night: chicken powder, veggies, bagger, weigher and bag sealer. C said his favorite job was sealing the bags. Not sure why, but he did pretty well at it. All of the kids tried that job. I think they liked it because that "finished" the bags off. Then they were ready to be packed in the boxes!
8 boxes of 36 meals...288 meals! That's what our area did together. Wow!
As we were on our way home tonight we talked about what the kids thought about the experience. They liked what they did. They loved being together with us and some friends. We also talked about saving lives. I can't expect them to understand what this means. Think about it. We live in our first-ring suburb bubble we've created for ourselves. They have everything they need and much, much more. But at least we can talk about it. We can talk about what it would be like to go a day without food. We can talk about what it would be like to eat rice for every meal. We can talk about it at their level and hope it begins to make a difference in their lives. We can talk about how what we did tonight saved lives of kids just like them. And we can ALL feel good about what we accomplished together!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dance! Dance! Dance!

"Mom, is the Valentine Dance in the afternoon?"
"Well, no, not really. You'll come home first."
"Oh good. Then I can change into my Valentine clothes."
A girl after my own heart.
If you know much about me you'll know that I love doing things with my kids. Especially things related to holidays. Friday the kids had a dance at school. Not just a dance but a Valentine Dance. Excitement was all about our house that afternoon as the kids got ready in their Valentine clothes.
There's something about being with your kids and their friends. Especially when they're only 5 years old. Kids are always so apprehensive at first. They're not too sure about coming into a situation where they're just a bit uncomfortable. It didn't take long though. After filling our bellies with some wonderful hot dogs (ahem), Cheetos and a cookie we were ready for some dancing.
And dance we they did!
With friends from last year.
And friends from this year.
They are so lucky at age 5 to have a school that supports kids the way they do in the academic ways but just as importantly, in the FUN ways too!