Thursday, November 29

playing around...

I got a new camera a few days ago and have been having fun playing around with it and trying out all the new and fun features that it has...too bad I don't really have time to do much with that the twins are a year old you'd think I'd have tons more time on my hands, but I don't...someday :) 
good thing my kiddos are so cute it doesn't matter what kind of camera I use- they just look adorable :) (even in their pj's, ok, especially in their pj's) :)
I've been studying up on a verse that has been near and dear to my heart this past year- Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" I haven't made it too far- in picking it apart- because I have been stuck on JOY. I feel like often that is one thing that my life lacks- true joy. I am happy when things are going well and bummed or irritated when they aren't, but I often am lacking in true joy, so it has been a great and wonderful study for me to look at what true and lasting joy is, how to attain it and how to keep it going. One verse that particularly touched my heart is Jeremiah 15:16, "Your words were found and I ate them and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." That is one thing I am hoping that this next year affords me- more time to spend finding and partaking of God's Word. I know that I need to spend more time in the Word and I also know that it's one of the hardest things to do- to sit down, in the midst of a chaotic, messy, crazy house filled with crying, whining, yelling children and find some peace and quiet for my soul in the Word of God. If you have any great and wonderful pieces of advice on how to make that happen I'd appreciate it. If you wanna lift me up in prayer that God would allow me to find some peace and quiet in the midst of the chaos to spend in the Word that would be even more appreciated! :) 

Tuesday, November 27

crazy goofy kids

One of the things I love the most about having a "big" family is all the fun that they have together and now that the twins are getting a little older (over a year now ;)) they are starting to have a lot more fun with Hailey and Jackson. Look at these crazy little kiddos...playing trucks and sitting in the bins together :) 

I guess Ellie just wanted to get in on the fun so badly :) and she couldn't find her own bin, so joining Maysen was second best!! 

goofy, goofy kids!! 

Monday, November 26

Happy Birthday!

For the twins actual birthday, Korey and I just wanted something a little quieter more mellow and less stressful than a big party, so we decided to invite our parent's and head to a little pizza place to have a little celebration!! It was definitely not quiet or mellow, but it was a blessing to be able to enjoy my twins 1st birthday without all the fuss! (that's coming next weekend- have no fear) :) 
the girls loved it, too. They're both such hams that being the center of attention is never a hardship for either of them- and believe me, taking twins out for dinner guarantees that they will be the center of attention of the entire restaurant!! 
Maysen enjoying her toys and some giggle time before the pizza arrived!
Maelle and her Daddy
Maysen and her mommy
Maelle mostly enjoyed stuffing her face with all of the food :) she put as much in as her little cheeks could hold.
the Grandma's with their girls and namesakes (plus, Hailey) :) - Maysen Ann for her Grandma, Darlene Ann and Maelle Kay for her Grandma, Karen Kay
Hailey was overjoyed to celebrate the twins birthdays with them. I think she sang to them more than 10 times and was absolutely incensed when they didn't get to have birthday cake!! 
Jackson thoroughly enjoyed himself, too! He's such a goofy little boy and had the grandest time getting Maysen to laugh at him! 

Sunday, November 25

1 year

My sweet precious baby girls are 12 months old! 
first came Maysen Ann, as silent as a church mouse- just checking things out. then came Maelle Kay, screaming her little lungs out- mad as could be that momma forced her out of her warm little cocoon. 
wow. a whole year has gone by since they were first laid in my arms.
I'm sad, I'm happy...I'm basically a wreck!
This is it- the beginning of the end of an era for us; for me. 
A part of me is scared- scared that life isn't going to get easier; scared that life will get easier and I'll loose my dependence on God; scared of how I'm going to handle 2 walkers; scared that I'm going to expect more of myself as the girls get bigger; scared that people will expect more of me as the girls get bigger. I guess I feel much the same as I did a year ago- scared and fearful as to what the future may hold. 
A part of me is happy- so happy that this crazy, wild and incredible ride has an end in sight. Happy that as each month passes the girls will get more and more independent and will rely on me less and less for everything. Happy that soon my kids will be able to play together and interact more. Yeah, mostly just happy that there's an end in sight.
A part of me is sad- sad that my babies are this big. Sad that this year has gone by so fast. Sad that my babies are seeming less and less like babies and more and more like big kids. Sad that as they grow they will need me less and less. Sad that soon I'll have no baby on my hip as I walk around the house. Sad that this part of my life seems to have an end. 
my sweet dear, Macy, I love you so much little girl. You light up my life. You love to eat-you cry and cry if the food doesn't come fast enough, you love to nurse- you're always pushing your sister off and trying to steal her side, you love your sippy cups- and you love to steal Maelle's whenever you get a chance. You just love a lot, little one. You smile so much and laugh and giggle with the best of them. You're so easy going and you'd rather just sit and play with a few toys than chase after my heels all day. The one thing that gets you going, though, is if you think Hailey and Jack might be having fun with some toys without you. You love to investigate what they're doing and play with them. If I ever hear a baby crying, after I put you and Maelle to bed, I almost always find out it's you, because Maelle's picking on you. You're usually such a sweet little mellow baby, though. Jack can do whatever he wants to you without you ever fighting back or crying. You fall over and never cry- you're such a little toughie. The only time you're not so tough is when you're teething or sick- then you're all whine and cry! At that moment you just wanna be held and cuddled all the time. 

my precious spunky little Maelle. You are such a joy. You are the smallest of the two babies, but you make up for it in spunk. You are always trying new stuff- your newest trick is standing up in the middle of the floor, or "walking" on your knees with stuff in your hands. You're pretty cute when you do that. You don't laugh as hard as Maysen and you make us work a little harder to get a giggle out of you, but Hailey barely has to look at you before she gets you to smile and laugh. You're always so busy. But, I love when you sit and eat your food. You're so cute. You just pick it up piece by piece, very daintily, and eat it so slowly and cutely. You also love to pick on your sister in bed at night. You love to climb on her and sit on her and steal her nuk right out of her mouth. She just lays there and cries, but the best is when I come in you get up and start giggling and laughing :) I know you are going to have a fun and quirky little personality and I'm so excited to see it come out as you get older. My favorite thing about you is that whenever I sit down on the ground- you are always there, climbing up on my lap. You love to snuggle and be in my arms and I love that. I could just walk around cuddling you all day. 
I can't wait to see the little people you girls are going to become in this next year. You're so cute and so precious and this year has been the best year of my life, so far. I love you, precious girls and I thank God every day that He blessed my life so much that He made me your momma! Our family was not complete until you entered it! 

Saturday, November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was so prepared for a "normal" Thanksgiving this year- after our incredibly stressed and quiet celebration of pb&j sandwiches and a drive around town last year :) But, I guess normal is rather elusive, regardless, of what you have going on in your life! 
We put the babies down for a nap and were planning on waking them up a little early and then heading to my mom and dad's for the day. Turned out that we woke the girls early to sit in the car and watch movies for an hour and a half, about 5 blocks away from our house. For once in my life I guess I'm thankful for my husband's "nosy-ness". He thought he saw a fire, then he said it smelled like a, of course he had to check it out...turned out that a garage was on fire and we were the first ones on the scene. Korey ended up going and getting the family out of the house, as I called 911. (my first time calling 911- kinda hard to believe I've made it this long without any horrible catastrophe) The poor family lost their garage and the car inside it, but most of the house was saved...not inhabitable for a bit, but definitely will be able to move back in at some point. It definitely made us appreciate what we have and be much more thankful for our little house! 
we do a lot of sleeping around this house :) even on Thanksgiving- ok, especially on Thanksgiving- when everyone is willing to run with, play with and entertain my kiddos!! They get pretty wore out with all their aunts and uncles! 
Macy girl trying to get our of her highchair...
my crazy funny little boy- entertaining us all :) 
sweet little Ellie eating her cheerios and trying to get in some trouble at Nani's house
I took this picture just before everyone was going to sit down for dinner and it was a good thing that I did, because our little family never did make it to the table...this momma ended up getting sick and her poor family had to leave just as dinner was getting done. It was a good thing, though, as I ended up throwing up 2 more times on the way home- no one wants that around on Thanksgiving! Thankfully, though, we figure it's not the flu- just me and a weird allergy to avocados. Strange, huh?! I'm mostly just thankful that I know I'm not going to pass it on to someone else in the family. 
This turned out not to be exactly the Thanksgiving that I had planned for our little family, but we're blessed none the less and we're so incredibly thankful that we have a house to come home to, clean clothes to wear, and great family to celebrate with! (not to mention an amazing neighbor who bought the girls matching "thanksgiving day outfits"- can you tell her husband's out at deer camp?) ;)

Wednesday, November 21

so much to be thankful for

I feel almost overwhelmed with the magnitude of things I have to be thankful for this year...God has blessed me again and again and I hope that I never get over the awe of His grace and patience and mercy that he showered on our little family in this past year! This is what we looked like on Thanksgiving day of last year...

 one huge thing I have to be thankful for is that the kids have grown and I have not :) (and no, not posting a belly pic this year- no one wants to see that) ;)
and, here are a few of my favorite things- the things I'm truly thankful for this year:
these 4 kiddos who have all grown up so much in the past year!! I love and cherish each one of them!
 sigh...the time goes by too quickly...(and not fast enough, sometimes) :)
 LOVED giving my kids their first bath all together. They all loved it, too, and enjoy splashing and playing in the tub any chance they can get :)
 the day we dedicated our precious girls to the Lord was one of the most special and precious days of my entire life...a day I will never forget! 
 learning how to do all things- times 2, including napping :) was a great and wonderful experience- one I try not to take for granted, as I know it is a rare thing and not everyone will get to experience it! 
More than anything I am thankful that God has blessed our family with joy and peace, in the midst of- in spite of- and because of-- struggles and trials and crazy days. 
"May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit"
Romans 15:13

Tuesday, November 20

I'm a deer hunter, how do ya do...

or something like that ;) 
here's my deer hunter and his 2 precious hunters in training with the deer he got a few minutes after the sun rose on opening morning!
Jack was a little scared of how big the deer was and the blood on it...but, not my sweet precious princessy little girl :) she just got right in there and loved every minute of it. She's been asking Korey to take her deer hunting every day since he brought the buck home! 
a scared little boy...who needed his own gun with him for protection :)
a proud dad and his equally as proud little girl :) 
going from a girl whose Dad never really liked hunting, to a girl who cuts up deer in her own kitchen and cooks it for dinner almost every night has been a pretty big stretch for me, but I'm thankful I can say that I'm getting there and I wold proudly allow my little girl to go for her hunter's safety when she's old enough so that she can hunt down big bucks of her own someday! (not sure I'm gonna go as far as to hunt down my own anytime soon or anything, though) :) 

Sunday, November 18

we did it!

what a difference a year makes
"we did it! we did it! Praise Jesus, we did it!"

did I climb Mount Everest? nope
did I traverse nations near and far? nope
did I cure cancer? nope
did I come up with the newest invention? nope
I simply kept all 4 of my children alive, my marriage in tact, and at least the majority of my sanity in the first year of my twins life!!
I feel like super woman, I feel like I could do anything, I feel like with God and me together there's nothing we can't do! (or survive)
When I was a younger Mom, with only 1 child, I remember telling a friend that I felt like there was more I wanted from my life- more I wanted to do for God than simply be a wife and a Mom. I told her that I wanted to do something big and wonderful and "be somebody" for God; not just scoot through life as an ordinary Christian. Well, I got my hearts desire and more. My life is the farthest thing from ordinary that I could ever want; my relationship with God is not even close to being ordinary and I have done something great and wonderful- I survived an entire year with 4 little children, 4 children aged 2, 1 and zero at the beginning of this journey!
In one week we will be celebrating our twins 1st birthday and I feel like simply surviving this past year has been the greatest accomplishment of my life, to date!
 The thing is, though, that I did not survive this first year of my babies' life on my own. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I don't know about that, but I do know that it takes a village to raise twins and I also know that we were blessed with one of the best "villages" surrounding us. I truly wish that I could write a "post" on here, thanking each person by name for what they did...but, not only would it be pages and pages and pages in length, but to be honest- I don't even know or remember who all helped us and what all they did. (I'm still not sure I'm out of my sleep deprived "fog" but I definitely am doing a lot better than when we first brought our m&m's home!) From the people that brought us meals, to the ones that took our older kids for a few hours, to the ones that set up "help" schedules, to the ones that sat at our house while our kids were sleeping so Korey and I could go for a quick walk together, to the ones that handed down twin clothes, twin strollers, twin books and twin advice, to the ones that gave diapers and wipes, to the ones that prescribed medicine for my mastitis over the phone so I didn't have to bring my preemie babies to the clinic, to the one who rode with me to the hospital and held oxygen on my baby's nose, to the ones who took care of us in our 2 hospital stays, to the ones who brought treats and or coffee to the hospital, to the ones who sat with me and prayed with me and made me laugh at some of my darkest moments, to the ones who held my babies on mommy's night out so I could come and enjoy myself, to the ones who braved the chaos and came over to hang out with me, to the ones who braved the chaos and invited me and the kids over, to the ones who texted me and kept reminding me that I wasn't alone and that you cared, to the ones who called and put up with screaming kids to listen to me cry, to the ones who didn't forget about Hailey and Jackson, to the ones who didn't judge us when our kids came to church "tattooed" with pen and marker from head to toe, to the ones who loved on us despite our irrational behavior, to the ones who made and brought us christmas cookies, to the ones who offered free babysitting,  to the ones that prayed for our marriage, prayed for our kids and prayed for my sanity, to the ones that said nice things, gave positive feedback, or encouraged us, to the ones who were there for us- who came diligently, to the one who slept over, to the ones who did things that I forgot and things that I may not have even known about! To all of you, I owe the deepest and most heartfelt thank you that I can muster! To all of you, I owe a debt of gratitude that I can never re-pay! To all of you, I owe it all! I'm sitting at my computer with tears streaming down my face in thankfulness and immense gratitude for all that you have selflessly given and been to me this past year. I know I could not have done it without each one of you and it was because of each one of you that I can say that I did it and I survived the hardest year of my life!!(so never knows what's to come, right?!)

Thursday, November 15

a dad, a boy, and their ducks

This morning Korey came home and told the kids he shot a mallard...Jackson immediately took off to his bedroom and came out with his very own little mallard :) 
can you say, "awwww" 
He even had to put his in the garage by Daddy's ducks :)
"like father like son"
almost as sweet as me and Hailey painting our toenails and fingernails to match 

Wednesday, November 14

too fast

Yikes! It never ceases to amaze me how fast my kids grow up! Everyone warned me of it when Hailey was a newborn, but apparently I didn't listen hard enough, because it still surprises me! 
Hailey's been drawing a lot of really cute pictures and it's been adorable and super fun to see! 
 don't you love her little people?? they have hair, legs and daddy even has less hair than mommy ;) 
 with Hailey's obsession with drawing and coloring and crafts- all the kids have been getting into "arts and crafts". Jack's drawings mostly consist of circles and scribbles, right now, but it sure is cute to listen to him tell me what he drew- mostly a truck or a dinosaur! 
 Maysen loves crafts, too...or maybe she likes chewing on the markers! 
 Maelle's just mostly too busy trying to crawl around, walk around and create problems to worry about coloring and all that stuff :)
 Jack showing off his drawings. It's a good thing this boy is so cute, because he's been pushing a lot of buttons lately! grrr...why are 2 year olds so hard??! 
 yup, Macy's brother decided to color her neck...
 and then her sister decided to pick on her...poor Macy! 
 I can't believe that my little twinnies are almost a year, I can't believe that my little firstborn is gonna be 4 soon and I can't believe that my sweet little boy is turning in to a terrible two year old!! kids are growing up too fast- time please slow down!