Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Girls' Weekend

One thing I pray about at night, is that my children stay close to each other as they grow older, and they stay close to Brent and me as well. I know our years are coming when they won't want to have anything to do with us, but I pray that after that phase they will want to be with us again. One thing Brent and I are doing to try and encourage "closeness" with us is having a Girls' and Boys' weekend every year. We hope to continue this even during those teenage years when we are really uncool. We feel that by doing this, we could strengthen the bond between Father & Son and Mother& Daughter. Maybe I'm way off, but at least we will make some great memories in the meantime.

This year, the twins were finally old enough to seperate them for the first time. Brent took Luke up to Alabama and Georgia for the weekend to see an Alabama baseball game, spring football game and a Braves game in Atlanta. It was all about sports. I gave Brent my little camera and told him to take a TON of pictures. when he has a few minutes, he's going to blog about their trip. But for now, here's how our Girls' weekend went!

Late on Friday morning, we said our goodbyes and waved from the porch as Brent and Luke sped off to the airport.

Ashley and I came back inside and I asked her what she wanted to do, and no surprise, she picked coloring.... Go figure. If I let her pick, she'd just sit there for hours and color. We did that for a while, but I had other plans for the weekend up my sleeve. I told her to pick anywhere she wanted to go for lunch, because we were going out! Of course she picks McDonalds. So off we went to jumpstart our weekend! Sitting there at McDonalds was hilarious. She just talked and talked, about everything, and we both laughed a lot. It was so fun to have that one on one conversation about nothing.

We then came home, threw on our bathing suits and walked out to the sandbar.

Ashley invited her friend Emily over to join us. This was special for Ashley, because she never gets to have one on one time with her friends. They were so cute, just having fun, playing hopscotch and giggling.

Later that evening, we had a wine and cheese party. That is what girls like, right? Wine and Cheese! No, that is not wine in her glass, it's grape juice. She felt so special drinking out of a wine glass, that for the rest of the weekend, she requested it for everything, from milk to water. I have created a monster!

Saturday was our full-blown girls' girly day. We invited my sister and nieces to join us at a children's spa for hair, nails, and makeup. When I say, these girls were pampered, I mean THESE GIRLS WERE PAMPERED!! They all loved every second and had permanent smiles on their faces.

Now what would a girls weekend be without a tea party at a tea room? This was both really sweet and really scary at the same time. Scary in that EVERYTHING in that tea room was fragile and of course there was an extra long table cloth on our table that was almost yanked off many times. But the girls loved it. They each got their own tea pot with their lunch. We got many comments on how cute they were. We tried to teach them how to hold their pinkies up.

That evening our town had a little festival, that we went to. It would have been great, but I had to take Luke's place and do this.....

I only did it once, and Ashley kept going. Thank goodness she's independant, that slide hurt!

We ran into some good friends and got to hang out with them for awhile. Ashley and Aria loved the Water Tunnel.div>

This is is when I really started noticing Luke being gone. My heart stopped a couple times when I naturally went to look for him and he wasn't there. This is something that a mom of multiples would understand. I've always had 2 kids in my periferal vision at all times, and to only have 1 made me feel a little lopsided. I felt a little off, uncomfortable. I didn't like it one bit. I think Ashley started feeling it too. She started missing Luke at the festival, asking when he was coming home and telling me that she missed him. I missed him too.
Ashley slept with me that night.

The next morning we slept in and lounged around. We went to Harry and the Natives for Brunch. (Basically, we did a lot of eating over the weekend....)

We decided to go see the movie "Hop" since it was kind of rainy out. Right outside the theatre there was a photo booth. Of course we had to get in. I will forever cherish these special pictures. After all, there are not many pictures of me with the kids. I guess that's the price you pay when you're the photographer in the family.

And I will forever cherish our weekend together. I was happy to see Luke when he got home that afternoon, as was Ashley.

We all had a great time, but I am glad that my family is back together again.

I am thankful for these special moments that I get to have with my daughter. I just love her so much and hope that she will always know that. I am so very thankful to have her in my life. I love you baby girl!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easter Weekend 2011

I always seem to post about wonderful, happy times, but obviously our lives are not that perfect. So, to prove that we are very normal, well, maybe not.... Here's how our Easter weekend went.... ha!

Saturday morning, we got up EARLY to go to the Tequesta Easter Egg Hunt. Ashley wanted her hair in french braids which I love. I even braided in baby's breath. She and I were excited about her beautiful hair until Brent walked down the stairs and smelled the baby's breath in a vase and said, "Those flowers smell like Pee!" What?! Are you kidding me?! Of course, since Brent said that, Luke had to say it as well. And that started the downward spiral of the baby's breath. "Mom!! I don't want to smell like pee!!!"--"You, don't Asha, your Dad just likes to say things like that! You look beautiful!"--"Mom!! Take the flowers out!"--"I can't, Asha, they're already braided in. Trust me, they don't smell bad!" WHAAAAHHHHHH... And the crying began. The whole time, I'm giving Brent the evil eye and he tries to back pedal. Meanwhile, Luke is keeping it up. "Ashley smells like pee! Ashley smells like pee". Eventually we convinced her that she smelled wonderful and she loved her baby's breath and french braids again.
We finally got to the egg hunt and things were great. When it was time to hunt for eggs, Ashley just stood there and watched all the kids. Luke took off and found a golden egg (not "the" golden egg, but a golden one. We told him it was special) Ashley ended up getting ONE measly egg. After all the eggs were opened, and candy poured into their baskets, Brent and Ashley took everything back to the car while Luke and I stayed with his friends at the park. We got really distracted by all the Sponge Bob characters and Luke had to have his picture taken with each one. By the time we found Brent and Ashley over by the petting zoo, Brent was fuming. "where were you?! you were supposed to meet us here, 20 minutes ago!" Whoops...... We then went home and I took the kids over to our neighbor's house for Egg Hunt #2. In the mean time, Luke started having horrible diarrhea, which we thought was from all the candy he had at the park. (Lord help me, please do not go at the neighbors house.) We get over there and they are perfect angels. They fill their baskets with eggs. Luke decided that the snails were just as beautiful as the eggs, and when i went to sort through their baskets when we got home, this is what I found. Later that afternoon, we went to Egg Hunt #3. It was at Roger Dean Stadium (the local minor league baseball field). A helicopter dropped 25,000 eggs from the sky. Sounds great, right? no...... We ended up waiting about 2 hours in the heat, in a crowd, without water. Cranky, hot kids (one with diarrhea) and a sweaty, "I hate people" husband, did not make for a relaxing afternoon! I swear, Brent and I were on the verge of divorce!

This is a glimpse into the future, Ashley on the phone and Luke looking cool... After the Egg drop we stayed and watched the first inning of the baseball game which turned out to be fun. (maybe it was the beer that Brent got us?) Sunday morning, we got up early and searched for eggs and baskets. Everything went pretty smooth, (well minus the kids fighting over finding each other's eggs.-"That's mine! I painted that one!" ugh...) We then went to church and came home and spent the rest of the day in the pool.
Overall, it was a great weekend. It wasn't all bad. We actually had a great time. We had lots of laughs and made lots of great memories. Turns out, Luke and Brent were in the beginning stages of some sort of a bug they picked up on their boys' trip to Georgia and Alabama (posts from that weekend coming soon) And Ashley? She rarely gets mad, but when she does, WATCH OUT!! I feel so blessed to have the family that I have, even though there are times where we all are ready to kill each other! After all, that's what family is about, right?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Easter Cookies

I am finally realizing that I am just never going to keep up this blog how I would like. I have so many pictures on my camera and stories to tell in my head, I just can't find the time to sit down long enough to get them on here! But this one is well worth the time. This is the neatest way to explain Easter to kids. This recipe would be best to make the night before Easter, but I thought I would share it a little early so those of you would have time to make them with your own kids, grand kids, nieces/nephews etc. It is a must and so much fun in the meantime.

Easter Cookies:
All you need is; Bible, 1c pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites, pinch of salt, 1c sugar, Ziploc bag, wooden spoons, tape.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place the pecans in a Ziploc bag and have the kids beat and smash them into little pieces with the wooden spoons. (the smaller the better) Explain to them that this is what the Roman soldiers did to Jesus after he was arrested. While they are doing this, read John 19:1-3

Next, let each child smell the vinegar. Add it to a mixing bowl and explain that this is what Jesus was offered to drink when he was thirsty. Read John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt in each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that the salt represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our sins. Read Luke 23:27

Add one cup of sugar. Let them taste the sugar. Tell them this is the sweetest part of the story because Jesus died because He loves us. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes, until stiff peaks are formed. When it turns white, explain that white represents the purity in God's eyes and those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in the broken pecans, then drop mixture by spoonfuls onto paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60

Place the cookie sheet in oven and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66

Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight and that's how Jesus' followers felt when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and John 16:22

The next morning, open the oven and remove the cookies.

Take a bite, NOTICE- THE COOKIES ARE HOLLOW!!! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 29:1-9

This was such an amazing experience for me to see my children start to understand the true meaning of Easter. I know you'll have as much fun as we did. Definitely try this. You will be amazed at the questions your kids come up with. If you don't have a bible, you can still do this, there are several recipes online that include the verses. Even if you don't want to read the actual verse, you can just explain it in your own way. Have fun, and let me know how it goes!!

I am thankful for this Easter season, and thankful God gave me my children.