Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden Confessions and Radishes

I have a confession to make.

I grow radishes every year....but I don't like them. I eat a few sliced on a salad every year and then that's it. Usually they'll just sit in my fridge till they shrivel up...then I throw em' out.

I grow them because they are the first thing I can harvest from the garden. They make me feel like a good gardener because I can't mess em' up. They grow too fast to mess up!

Besides, they are so pretty! It's exciting to see this bright red caps pushing up through the soil. When the radishes come up it's a signal of a busy gardening summer to come! So radishes are kind of symbolic.

There you go. I grow radishes, lots of em'. But I don't like to eat em'!

Marker Monday - BEWARE!!! Haircuts!

When I started this blog I tried to designate Mondays' posts as a time to share some sort of an activity that other people could do with their kids or grandkids. I've posted art and science projects and games. Fun stuff.

I am not advocating that you should let your kid proceed with the following activity. Without your permission of course!! This is not for everyone but it works for us.

Yap has been asking for WEEKS if he could cut his hair. Not if I could cut his hair. He wanted to do it himself. So early one morning when I knew we wouldn't be going anywhere Yip and Yap went at it in the front yard.

Tentative at first. A little snip here.

A small snip there.

But pretty soon there was a full fledged barbershop in the front yard.

They took turns drawing blood from one another cutting each other's hair.

Look at the intensity. Wow! I don't think I'd let my sibling do that to me.

Kinda looks like they were attacked by lawnmowers doesn't it?

Ah well, it's just hair after'll grow back. Besides it's probably better that I let them on a day I could fix it rather than find this mess some Sunday morning before church or something!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Devotions for Kids - Mealtime Prayers

How do you pray at mealtime? I grew up with this prayer;

God is good,
God is great,
And we thank Him for our food.

My boys have learned a couple from preschool this year.
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

Come Lord Jesus be our guest
And to us these gifts be blessed.

Do you ever forget to pray at mealtimes? I know we do! Usually we forget at breakfast in the morning when we are still too sleepy to remember. But it's important to pray and give thanks for everything! We are blessed with so much food that we sometimes take for granted that it is a gift from God. 

God blessed the farmers with a bountiful harvest. God blessed your Mom and Dad with a job that provided the money to buy your groceries. Even a meal as simple as your breakfast cereal is a blessing. Let's try to remember to thank God for every meal! 

Dear God, Thanks for reminding us that every meal is a gift. Thank you for blessing all the people it took to bring to our table today. Amen.

What is your favorite mealtime prayer?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Yip and Yap, why are you two smiling like a couple of Chesire cats?

What are Chesire cats Mommy?

Never mind....what are you two smiling about?
And what's behind your back?

Hee hee!!
We brought you a present Mommy....Toady!!!
Isn't he neat?

Gorgeous honey!
He's the prettiest thing I've seen all day.
Check out those colors and textures!

Know what Mommy? If you put Toady in your pants, he tickles your legs! Wanna try it?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Foody Friday - Baked Potatoes, a bit different.

I found this recipe for Garlic Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes on the Tasty Kitchen blog and they looked like too much fun not to try.

Start off by slicing your potatoes thin but not all the way through.

Next, drizzle olive oil all over the spuds and between the slices. Sprinkle on the spices. I mixed all mine together; salt, pepper and rosemary. I left out the garlic though. Didn't figure the short ones in the house would approve. The rosemary was already pushing it!

Looking good! Throw it in a 425 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until brown and cooked all the way through.

They are a lot like fried potatoes but without all the grease. I'd love to try it with garlic someday. I bet it would be great!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Garden Deja Vu

As I was working in my little garden today hoeing and pulling weeds I had a sudden onset of deja vu. Not the kind of deja vu where I remember doing the same gardening tasks as last year and the year before.
 No, I was hearing the echo of voices generations past.

As I sat in the dirt pulling weeds I heard myself say to the boys, "Did you plant these weeds in my peas?" Wait...I remember my Grandma L asking me the very same question. I was as puzzled as the boys were by such in inquiry.

And once when I had to holler at Yap to stop walking on my carrots the image of my mom yelling at me for the very same offense popped into my vision.

Wow, I never imagined while weeding radishes I would see my dad in my mind's eye eating the spicy red veggies with bread and butter.

And my surprise potatoes, once I missed digging up last year, caused me to remember a wonderful potato dish my cousin taught me.

Green beans!! Ha, I'll never forget all the summers snapping green beans with Mom and Grandma and getting reprimanded for throwing the ends in the wrong bowl.

Wow...the memories a simple garden can bring. I hope my kids will have such wonderful garden memories when they are my age.

Photo Thursday - Maple Helicopters

Maple Tree Helicopters. I'm sure these have a much more sophisticated name but that's what I always called them growing up. Have you ever looked at them up close? Aren't they just gorgeous? The texture, the shape, the intricacies, the delicateness! Here, I'll help you take a close look.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Preschool Graduation

My baby boys graduated preschool yesterday!
What a great program!
First the class came out and re-enacted the Christmas story.

Yip and Yap were sheep...the tall ones!

Then the whole class filed out in their graduation caps and sang songs and recited prayers and poems they had learned this year.

The Pledge of Allegiance. There's Yip and Yap again...the tall ones! They are the oldest in their preschool class and with a dad who is 6'2" what do you expect?

When I asked what their favorite part of the program was they answered, "Eating the cookies with Daddy!"

Graduating preschool is hard work! Good thing we have all summer to rest before kindergarten! Wow! Kindergarten is less than three months away. Where did the time go?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Raising twins....

When people find out I have twin five year old boys (almost six) and a 15 month old daughter, there are two things they ALWAYS say.

"Wow! They must keep you busy!"

Yes, having three children keeps any mom busy whether she is raising twins or not. Boys and brothers in general, I believe, will keep anyone busy (and crazy)! It always bugs me when someone says I must be a busy mom...duh!! Please! All moms are busy. It's part of the job description. But why would you presume that just because I have twins that I am busier than moms with boys ages, let's say, 5 and 7? In fact, I would probably say having twins keeps me less busy than if I had two sons of different ages.

First of all, Yip and Yap play together wonderfully and better than the boy/girl twins we know of the same age or brothers we know of similar ages. They wrestle and climb trees together. They play so well together there are times I have to go looking for them because they are so quietly engrossed in their play. Oh they aren't perfect of course. They fight and bicker and want their private time like all brothers but for the most part they kind of take care of each other so I don't have to. Does that make sense?

When I was pregnant with the twins, and very nervous, my great grandmother told me how wonderful it would be to have twins because I'll always be doing the same thing with them at the same time. I found that very comforting and, almost six years later, very true. They go to preschool together and to play dates together. They wear and share the same size clothes. They are reading, writing and learning math at the same skill level. It saves a lot of time when I am teaching a new skill to two children versus teaching two separate skills to two different age children. I have found dealing with Yahoo, who is 15 months and one of the boys at the same time is more difficult than having to deal with the two boys together, whatever the situation. I know someday Yip and Yap won't be interested in doing the same things. Their personalities and interests will diverge and they will go their separate ways but I do think they'll be closer as adults because of growing up with a twin brother.

And I always hear...

"How did you do it? How did you take care of twin babies by yourself?"

And yes I was by myself. DR works in the agriculture business which means working long hours and weekends. I don't blame him at all for not being able to help more, it's just the way it was. We were living in Delaware for the first five months of the boys lives away from our family in Indiana. I was stuck in a house all day with two babies without the possibility of meeting people. When we moved back to Indiana, we were thirty minutes from my sister who had two small boys of her own and two hours from any other relatives. Yes, I was on my own. No family to babysit while I took a nap or to babysit so I could have time to myself. (It always pissed me off to read that in any twin book! Not everyone had the luxury of family close by to help.)

 I will admit that when Yip and Yap were babies it was definitely NOT a time saver to have twins. The first year was tough. I cried and slept and ate. I'm pretty sure that's the only way I survived the first year of twins. (But after the first year things were much easier.)

 I stayed home a lot. Sometimes it was just too hard to get two babies out the door and going somewhere just wasn't worth the effort. Caring for two babies is not twice as hard, it's four times as hard. Two hands are just never enough. I remember when the boys changed from their baby car seats, the ones you carry around with a handle, to the bigger car seat. They were just a year old and not quite walking well yet. I drove over half an hour, in late fall, to buy a pair of dress shoes only to get to the store and realize I couldn't go in! The shoe store didn't have shopping carts waiting in the parking lot and my boys weren't able to walk across the parking lot themselves and I didn't have those handy car seats anymore to carry them in. There was no possible way for me to get the boys inside easily and buy a pair of shoes while keeping them corralled. I turned around and went home without shoes. There was a lot of sacrifices when the boys were small. I just couldn't do everything.

How did I do it? I did what I had to do, when I had to do it. Because I had to. That's it. I didn't know any better! How was I to know having two babies was so difficult? They were my first and I had nothing to base my experiences on. There is a four year age difference between the twins and Yahoo. If I had known one baby was so much easier, I would have gotten pregnant again lots sooner.

I love having twins! Let me say it again...I LOVE BEING THE MOTHER OF TWINS!!! Twins are fun and easy and hard and frustrating and unique. I wouldn't trade it for the world. So far their first year was the hardest but the hard stuff doesn't stop there. I'm finding that every developmental age offers unique challenges with twins. Losing a tooth for example. Yip lost his first tooth and Yap was filled with jealousy. It was hard time for him and an issue I was never expecting to deal with. As they get older I'm coming to realize they rely on one another more so than siblings of the same gender do. As a parent of twins there is the constant balancing act of treating your twins "the same" while treating them as individuals too.

I'm learning a lot about twins and know there's more to challenges to come. But I love being their mom, no matter how difficult it gets or how often I'm on my own wrangling them all. Twins are awesome! I would recommend them to anyone!

Kids Books Giveaway Winner!

And the Winner is....

Abby! Congrats!
 I hope your day care kids enjoy them!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marker Monday - Anatomy

Along with our other homeschooling activities (math, writing, and reading), a couple weeks ago, I thought we'd throw in a little science as well. Where to start? With ourselves of course, and we began a two week long study of our body and anatomy.

I have the set of 1986 Childcraft Books I grew up with that we used to learn about the nervous, digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. We looked at diagrams and talked about the purpose of each system and how it worked. I found this web site where we printed off organs to color. (These is a neat website I'll definitely come back to for educational resources.) Then the boys glued them to a large outline of themselves we had taped to their closet doors. Everyday we added a new system.

Here the boys started with their heart and are drawing red arteries and blue veins in their bodies. I did this way out of order. We should have done the brain first, digestive, then lungs and heart last because we ended up pulling the heart off to tuck the lungs underneath. Oh well, live and learn.

Here they are posing with their bodies. Yap is holding his eyes open so he won't blink for the picture. :)

At this point I thought we were done. It took a week, a good amount of time,  but oh no...Yip wanted bones. Bones?? Uh, okay. I couldn't find a good place on the Internet to print off bones that could be put on their paper bodies. So we spent the next week drawing, cutting out and gluing on bones.

Here is the finally finished product! The boys love them and get really grumpy if Yahoo even gets close to them! I'm surprised how much information about anatomy they have remembered and bring up later.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Devotions - "And if God cares..."

from the book Bible Devotions for Bedtime by Daniel Partner

"And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?" Matthew 6:30

Think about the rain. It comes down on everything - on roses, poppies, lilies, dandelions, moss, weeds, everything! Why? Because God cares about all these things.

But there are so many things to care about in the universe. Why would God be concerned with flowers? The answer is found in Genesis. It says that when God made the light, "It was good." Then God made the dry land and the seas. "And God saw that it was good." He grew all kinds of plants on the earth. "And God saw that it was good." Next, God made the sun, moon, and stars. What did God think of this? "And God saw that it was good." Then God made fish and birds. "And God saw that it was good." Then all kinds of animals were made. And God saw that is was good."

Six times in Genesis, God saw that it was good. This means that God enjoyed His Creation. It is delightful to Him. This is why the rain falls on all things. God cares for it all. Since God sends rain on each and every flower, you know that He cares for you, too!

Dear God, Thank You for caring about me!! Amen.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dirt; Part 2 - featuring the talents of Yahoo.

For Dirt Part 1; click here


Dirt, dirt everywhere,
It's on my face and in my hair.

On my fingers and between my toes,
Hey! There is dirt up my nose!

Sitting or standing; rolling or eating,
Dirt, I love you! You keep me beaming!

But now it's bathtime and you have to go,
Oh, how I will miss you so! 

So, until the next time Mom sets me free,
Dirt, please oh please will you wait for me?
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