Saturday, November 5, 2016

I love these boys.

Alex knocked on Will's door.
Will came to the door and said sternly, "Whatever you're selling me, I don't need it or I already have it."


And some pics from this fall. They are rocking 2nd grade. First time in separate classes and they've adjusted well. They also both qualified for the gifted and talented program, so now they are together one day a week after all! It's a nice balance.

 My big boys on their first day of second grade (each wearing their favorite colors):


And some of our recent adventures. 2bluedad (a pastor) was on sabbatical for three months so we managed more family outings than usual.


One great thing about 7-year-olds: They're old enough to be helpful! After our orchard trip, Alex and Will learned how to peel apples for the first time.


And a few more adventures:




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

End of summer highlights

We just got back from a two-week journey to Texas. We spent some great time with family, some close friends, and really enjoyed some church and ministry visits. On the way back, we drove through flooded Louisiana (pray for them!! It was bad). 

A few photo highlights. And yes, since it was Texas in August, they spent a lot of time in the water:











Today's Anecdotes
Alex: Mom, can I play on your tablet for my reward?
Me: Sure. I'm going to be catching up on you boys' calendar, writing down what we've done recently so we can remember later.
Alex: Oh! Can I watch you do that for my reward instead?
Me: Are you serious?? Tom, did you hear that?
Tom: Sure. What's wrong with that?
Me: I'm just fascinated that he considers it a reward.
Alex: Well, I'm fascinated that you *don't* consider it a reward!
***
Me: OK, Will, after I cut your nails I want you to go wash your hands. And what did I ask you to do after that?
Will: Mom, do you suffer from short-term memory loss?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Baseball and rainbows

Will's baseball season is coming to an end. This has been his best sport so far in terms of taking to it well and thoroughly enjoying it.

Tonight was his last practice. We spent 10 minutes getting everything unloaded, pulling it in the wagon way across the field, setting up the chairs and sun shade. Practice started, and about 3 minutes later it got cancelled due to lightning right behind us.

Since my husband had gone in the Y to work out during practice, I packed everything up and loaded it back in the car as fast as I could, hurried the boys on the long walk into the Y, and took them to the indoor track to burn some energy and kill time so my husband could still get his workout in.

I was a little irritated, but as we dashed through the rain and got into the car to leave, I heard, "Look!" I turned, and we were rewarded with this beautiful rainbow.



Will's comment: "Hey, it has all the colors in the right order like a real rainbow!"
My husband: "Maybe it could be a real rainbow." 

Spiritual Carrots

Will (talking about what he chose for his lunch today): "And I had carrots, because I know they're good for my eyes ... You know, I like spiritual carrots."
Me: "Spiritual carrots? What are those?"
Will: "They help you see the good. And the good choices. I have a lot of spiritual carrots in my life."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Christian Songs

Alex: "I think maybe you only need to like one Christian song for God to love you. You don't have to like all of them."
Me: "Actually, you don't have to do anything for God to love you; He already loves you. He made you."
(a few minutes later)
Alex (to Will): Did you know you don't have to like *any* Christian songs for God to love you?
Will: Well, that makes me love Him *more*!

I love these people.

Make Over Your Evenings

I've enjoyed Crystal Paine's blog www.MoneySavingMom.com ever since my sister told me about it when my twins were 4 months old. On one modest salary and with one more baby than we'd bargained for, I was trying to figure out the world of couponing; MoneySavingMom made that easy!

Over time, she's come out with a variety of resources and she shares a passion of mine: to help people move past survival mode, thrive and really make a difference in the world!

I was definitely in survival mode in those first months with twins. And some aspects of that survival mode clung to me throughout several years of being a SAHM. To some degree, I lost my passion, energy and sense of purpose. They weren't completely gone, but they were dim reflections of what they used to be. In the past two or three years, God's been working in my life to help me graaadually work through some things and get those back, and to rediscover my purpose and priorities in a new season of life as a mom to school-age kids.

I recently did the course Make Over Your Mornings (also very good!) and today I finished Make Over Your Evenings. They're both 14-day courses that only take about 10-15 minutes each day. You watch a short video and then do workbook projects. Both courses help you clarify your priorities, identify time-sucks, learn how to say no without feeling guilty, and set up routines that help you move toward thriving and living your days with purpose and intention. I love that!!



I did the courses pretty much back to back, so I'm still refining and tweaking my routines and working on forming new habits. (I don't necessarily recommend doing them this close together. However, since I did them during the summer when there's less structure and our schedule is so different from week to week, I felt like I needed to go ahead and jump into MOYE!)

My reason for doing Make Over Your Evenings was to stop feeling behind, scattered and guilty. As much as I want to live my life with purpose and intention, I tend to feel pulled in a lot of directions. I don't always stop to intentionally address and think through the expectations I have for myself, or that others have of me, and consciously choose which to accept and which to reject. This course is helping me move more in that direction. I definitely want to live my life with purpose and intention, and to thrive. It's so easy to slip into the hamster wheel, or complacency (especially when I'm struggling with health issues and fatigue!) and survival mode. The routines and habits I'm developing through these two courses are helping me live the life I want to live, and am called to live.

If you're interested in checking them out, here's my affiliate link:
https://gr161.isrefer.com/go/MOYE/macchiatto/

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fractious

My husband, bless him, has read the entire Anne of Green Gables series. I love that he's a man of such widely varied tastes and interests. 

I recently borrowed the Anne of Green Gables DVDs from the library. My husband and I have been watching them together. I hadn't seen them in years (long before having twins) and some things jumped out at me this time around, especially this line, which is my new favorite quote:


My twins have been mighty fractious lately,
and I'm terrible worn out.

I love my boys. Love. Them. But goodness, this is the story of my life. Especially on summer vacation. Especially now that they are at the age of bickering and nit-picking so many tiny, inconsequential details. And they are always right. ;) 

Once I stopped to think about it, I realized this has been true for eight years now, since the days when I was hosting internal wrestling matches, and ultrasounds revealed them kicking each other or sitting on each other's heads. 

So many  people have said to me since pregnancy, "Oh, I always wanted twins!" "Twins must be so fun!" "Twins are so cute!" "They must just be the best of friends."

And you know, there are certainly adorable sides to it, e.g. tiny Alex and Will:



But I also like to keep things real, right here in 2BlueLand. So today it's time to acknowledge the fractious side of having twins. And the fact that each set of multiples has its own dynamic and relationship, some closer and more harmonious than others. As one young adult identical twin shared with me, "My least favorite part of being a twin is that everyone assumes we're best friends and honestly, we're just not. We're very different." 

Alex and Will are very different, too. They've gone through phases of getting along better and phases of increased fighting. Like most sibling relationships, it's a love-hate relationship, but with multiples I think sometimes both the love and the hate can be more intense, what with all that togetherness and sometimes a strong sense of competition.

People often speak of twins as either super hard (as Anne does!) or super special (double blessing! what a bond!) and really, for me, the experience has been somewhere in the middle. Raising these two together has been harder--at times, seemingly impossible--and also more remarkable and heart-enlarging than I ever could have imagined.

After spilling my random thoughts, I leave you with some photos just from the first 18 months that pretty much sum up the breadth of my experience:
















And really, that is life. One up, one down. Both up, both down. Learning, growing, exploring the world; sometimes together, sometimes at odds with each other.
Same faces and same dynamics; just bigger now and with more words.
So many words.
 Making us laugh, making us crazy, making us rely on God for moment-by-moment sustaining grace.
Making us fall in love with them all over again, one day at a time.