Tuesday, July 29, 2014

JOIN US FOR ROLLIN' ON THE RIVER (OR DONATE!)

I know I've mentioned before that William and Violet go to therapy several times a week, and we are about to increase their visits.  Most of our therapy is done at Easter Seals Arkansas, and I have been extremely pleased with their services.  The therapists have been kind, gracious and extremely knowledgable, and our visits have helped the twins immensely.  As you might imagine, the work that they do is not cheap to them, and we are taking part in one of their major fundraisers this year.  We will have a team at Rollin' on the River this August 23rd.  We'd love for you to join us!

Here's the flyer with the main deets.

Team VW

If you are local, you can sign up to participate in the event here!
If you aren't local and want to donate - which we'd greatly appreciate - here's the link to our team page!

We will for sure be participating in the Family Fun walk at 8 am, and CFA will be there serving some breakfast and sampling the new coffee that comes out next week.  It's so very good.  You won't want to miss that.

I honestly believe that the work Easter Seals does is extremely valuable.  Families with kiddos that have special needs need to have allies in their work towards improvement and functionality.  Because of William and Violet's background, they very much benefit from the services that they receive, and we'd be oh so grateful if you'd join us in raising money for this organization!

Monday, July 28, 2014

WEEKEND HAPPENINGS

This weekend was cram packed full of people and activity, and mostly, it was really great.  Ellen, Luke and True came for a visit.  Luke had a wedding to shoot in Hot Springs, so he was out of pocket for much of the time, but it was great to see them and have them here.

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People often tell me that they think True and Bella favor one another, and I can totally see it.  Earlier on Friday, Lily, all on her own, had sorted all the Legos by color and then built accordingly.  I am so curious to see what she will do with this sort of gifting some day.

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Family in town often means cinnamon roll baking on Saturday morning.  I love the look of pre-baked cinnamon rolls.  And the taste.  I love eating the dough, and I like them baked as well.  I pretty much love everything about the cinnamon roll developmental cycle.


The Davis family left Sunday morning when we headed off to church where we stayed for two services so we could teach.  Right after church, we scurried home and changed everyone into swim suits and drove to Wild River Country.  Every year we host a day there for our CFA team, and it turned out to be a great time to see everyone and their families enjoying each other and the water park.  It was really hot, but other than that, it was good.

When we arrived, we were told that we got a cabana as a perk.  Best. Perk. Ever.  I mean, we ordered food, and they brought it to us.  They watched our stuff and gave us tubes.  They brought us water when we needed it.  I don't know how much they cost, but I feel like I may be spoiled forever.  At this stage in life with four littles, it was a true blessing in our day.  John's sister and boyfriend also joined us, which meant we had extra hands on top of our wait staff.  That helped everything go more smoothly as well.

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Violet LOVED the little slide and wanted to go over and over.  We did one bigger water slide with the girls, but they didn't want to try any others  Maybe next year.




Most of our time was spent in the wave pool.  We did one loop around the "Lazy River," and I can tell you that I did not feel lazy trying to keep up with all of our peeps.  Violet looks asleep in this picture, which is quite far from the truth - I think her eyes were just closed, and William reached his wits end while floating along.  It was pitiful.



It is so hard to be 15 months old.  Both babies sacked out in the car.  We headed from there straight to a going away party for a CFA operator in our area and made it home just in time for a late bedtime.  It was a bit on the wild side.

To be honest, everything feels a bit on the wild side lately.  I think that is one of the side-effects of having young children close together.  Also, there have been a lot of developments for John at work that have meant some extra hours and definite extra pressure in the last month.  We are hopeful about what may come, but in the meantime, it has been more stressful.

I have a constant war within myself to appreciate the sweet moments that I am getting with my children and also knowing that there will come a time when it is not quite so crazy, and it will be okay to welcome that time when it comes as well.  I'm sure new craziness will dawn on the horizon, and I will have to adjust to whatever it is.  However, I think that these days have an exhaustion all their own.

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But, the moments have a sweetness all their own as well, and I am thankful for the preciousness that has been entrusted to us for the time being.  So thankful.

and tired.

Friday, July 25, 2014

LATELY

Lately I've been up to a bit of this and that.  Here's a smattering of it.

Some of our friends hosted a "Framing Party" for their home.  We wrote Bible verses on the frames and prayed and had s'mores and generally stood around talking while we sweated.  It was a great evening, and I can't wait to see the way the Lord uses this home!

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This is how Violet rides in the stroller everywhere we go.  She is the queen of the stroller.  Old women that we run into in public often look askance at us and tell me she is going to fall out.  I just say, "She hasn't fallen out yet!"

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Having children has many unintended consequences.  One night this week, I woke up to John shaking his alarm clock and eventually throwing it across the room, which was confusing to us both.  One of the girls had set the alarm, and since he never uses it, he didn't know how to turn it off.  That's just what you need in the middle of the night.

Speaking of the middle of the night - the girls have also started migrating to our bed for the first time in their lives.  Bella started this, but Lily was quick behind her.  It was cute in the early morning, but the cuteness wore off when they showed up at 4:30 am and 2:30 am a couple of nights this week.  We made a strict rule that they couldn't crawl into our bed unless it was light outside, and so far, they have happily obliged, which has meant better sleep for us.  When the alarm isn't going off.

Lately I've made a bunch of cookies, including 8 dozen last week alone.  That was a bit much, but I did make some of my favorites ever last week.  They are just so bright and festive!  I've wanted to do bunting on cookies for just about forever, so I was glad I got the chance.  One idea that has been rolling around my head is to host a cookie decorating night - is that something that anyone out there would have any interest in?  I'm not sure when/if I can pull it off, but it sure sounds fun.

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I've had several opportunities to navigate parenting issues in the past couple weeks - always, really.  Yesterday, after I had had a firm talk with Bella, she went downstairs, and I heard her saying, "Mama is a very bad girl." over and over again.  That lead to more firm talks about how we honor our parents, though I did laugh out loud when she couldn't hear me.  I also overheard Lily tell Bella, "I hate you when we are picking up."  And, to be honest, I don't blame her for the sentiment - Bella is notoriously hard to work with when picking up.  However, I did go in and try to explain that we don't use the word hate towards our sister ever and work on teaching other ways to communicate.  I feel like I am constantly teaching them how to communicate with one another, and then it hit me - somebody has to, so I am glad that it gets to be me.

One of the other things we are trying to figure out is the twins' therapy schedule for the fall.  I have made the choice not to put them into the preschool, because it is from 8-3 Mon-Fri, and I don't want to give up all that time with them.  I feel like this is my shot to build the best connection possible with them, and I am not ready to forfeit it.  Thankfully, when I explained that to the Services Coordinator, she was really understanding and said she would try to work something out for us.  I'm hoping and praying that our fall schedule is not absolutely crazy with the start of school and everything else.  We shall see.

We've also had a bit of fun.  We enjoyed the splash pad with our community group a while back.  I also went to the pool with the kiddos and several friends.  I got no pictures, because William wanted to be held pretty much the whole time.  He is certainly no fan of the water yet - he just shivers a lot.  Probably because this summer has been so mild.  So, the pool is not really our favorite place this year.  I keep reminding myself that there will be other summers.

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We have several visits from people to look forward to in the next couple of weeks, and now I need to go finish picking up the house for family that is currently in route.  Looking forward to some cousin time!  Hope your have a joyful weekend in your future!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TWINS ARE 15 MONTHS OLD

I thought it would be fun to give periodic updates with pictures of the twins.  Then I tried to take pictures of them.  It was a bit disastrous.  I decided to go ahead with the update, because it is a pretty telling look of reality these days.  Granted - I decided to take these pictures when William was already a little cranky, which was my bad.  There are other times when both babies might have been perfectly compliant.  But, they still would have been two 15 month old babies, which means they are squirmy and have opinions about just about everything.

This is what the babies were doing when I decided to grab the camera.  Just chill in'.

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Also, they have the look of "Mom - are you serious?  Do you really think taking our picture is a good idea?  We can assure you that it is not."

I was able to catch this sweeter pic with a bit of luck and fake sneezing.  Gets them every time.

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Until it doesn't.

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I have long thought that the months between 1 and 2 are quite challenging.  They have opinions and want to be active, but they do not understand boundaries at all.  There are a lot of fun moments as well, because they are starting to comprehend what we say and want to be a part of things.  As with anything - there are a lot of pros and cons.

Miss Violet is incredibly active and very close to walking.  She has four teeth, all of which were hard whined for.  She loves playing "Where's Violet?" and covers her eyes regularly.  She also just learned how to wave, which is pretty precious.  She is fairly obsessed with our cats, and we are pretty sure that her first word is "Kitty."  Her crawling is incredibly proficient, and she tries to climb out of any and all contraptions that she is placed in.  Buckles have got nothing on this girl.  She's also a bit of a cuddle bug and snuggles against your shoulder whenever you pick her up.  Just don't set her back down, because as quick as a wit, she will lay her head down on the floor and wail pathetically.  Her drooling is also note-worthy and legendary.  There a literal puddles of it around our home.

Mr. William is still our most chill child as of yet.  He is usually about a week/two weeks behind Violet in most skills.  He is crawling very well now and is still so pleased about it.  He also loves Peek-a-Boo, and more often than not, he covers his mouth instead of his eyes.  So funny.  He has only two teeth, but I am sure that more are on their way.  He loves to fall backwards in your arms and laugh, and he would play this game just about forever.  He is a bit more vocal than Violet, and it certainly seems that he is saying "Da Da Da" to John.  We'll see.  He still loves jumping and gets a great kick out of his bouncer.  This boy can eat.  If it is food that he likes, he can just keep eating at a rather alarming rate.  He is starting to be able to take steps with someone holding his hands, so I imagine that walking will come before too incredibly long.

Both babies qualified for speech therapy, so this fall will bring quite a bit of therapy for both babies.  But, it is so fun to see them make so much progress, and I would rather do all the therapy that we can now, while they are little, to give them a good start.  I'm so thankful for all of their therapists who truly love them and want to see them succeed.

The big girls wanted pictures with the babies, which I had a feeling was ill-fated.  But, I let them try, and this is what we got.

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That about sums it up.  William and Violet want to be on the go!  Happy 15 months!