Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best Christmas Ever

This year had to be the best Christmas for the kids - hands down. They really got the idea of Santa Claus, and "tried" to be good for the weeks leading up the Christmas. It helped that we had a Christmas Elf (many thanks Aunt Debbie!!) living in our home, who flew to the North Pole every night to report on the days activities to Santa. On more than one occasion, I would find Emma or Jack sitting and talking to the elf - usually about something bad the other one had done! Sometimes, when they were arguing, all it would take was a quick, "Shhhhh!" and point to the elf to get them to stop. Trying to figure out if we can figure out something similar befor the Easter Bunny's arrival!

We managed to make it up before the kids and get the video camera ready. Emma started running down the hall, smiling as big as she could, and ran straight to daddy, before even looking under the tree to see if Santa came. Jack, in his usual slow awakening speed, meandered down the stairs and asked, "Mommy, was I good?" I said, "I don't know, Jack, I think so!" He ran into the living room, passed right by the Millenium Falcon on the ottoman, and ran straight for the box (which is the only thing he had seen in the store when we tried to gauge his interest!) Later, he gave the best line of the day, "I guess I WAS good!" ;-)

Emma was very pleased with her princess castle, and especially with the addition of a prince to make her princesses honest women finally. She got a Lite Brite (my retro gift of the year), which she had seen a few friends open, and quickly responded, "Oh, I don't want this" LOL I guess you can't win them all!

We were lucky enough to have Bruce & Marie here from UT to spend the holidays with us. Jack & Emma have missed their Papa & ReRe.

We had a great time that evening with family, and hosted an Italian buffet for 25. It was great to see everyone and we all had a great time.

Also, a big thank you to the Likins clan for the train set. That has been a big hit all season. We surrounded it with a lighted village that my grandmother gave to us, and put it next to the Christmas tree. Jack loved to be the engineer, while Emma put all her little critters on the flat car for a ride around the tracks.

We still can't believe that we will have a crawler next Christmas! Baby Grace was kicking away all morning, enjoying all of the commotion. I kind of enjoyed having real ornaments on the tree for the first time in 4 years, so we will have to figure out how to get them back on next year, too! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and loved all our Christmas cards!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming To Town (Emma is 4th from left, Jack is far right)

Closeups (Jack is far right, after scroll Emma is 3rd from left - and quite animated!)

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Emma has wanted nothing to do with Santa Claus since she has been born. Even this year, when she was excited to go to the mall and ask for her princess castle, she chickened out at the last minute and made Jack go it alone. She yelled to Santa what she wanted from the safety of daddy's shoulders. We had a Christmas party at school on Friday and Santa made a special appearance. I guess she felt safe enough to stand next to him, and even manage to look happy about it, but still wouldn't get on his lap. Jack is showing his usual restraint.

Their party was a lot of fun, and we got to listen to the class sing a few songs and then have treats. Not sure what we are going to do with them for the 2 weeks they have no school, but as their Papa and ReRe are on their way from UT right now, I am sure they will no doubt be entertained.

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

We had our Thanksgiving celebration at school today. Jack & Emma made and modeled turkey drumstick hats. Truth be told, Emma was quite mortified to have to wear it as the paraded across campus, and removed it rather quickly after their songs.
We made bird feeders with pine cones, peanut butter and seed, and made turkeys using only a pretzel, potato, and a few odds and ends, with peanut butter as glue. Jack wanted to eat his (gross), and got upset when I told him no... The photo below is his reaction.
Grandma CC and I had a nice turkey dinner with them, and enjoyed our morning.
Enjoy the photos & video!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I was tagged by Carol, which means I have to post 6 random things about me for all the world to see. Hmmm....

1. We were thinking of getting a dog for Jack ~ and then I found out I was pregnant, so now we are having a baby instead!

2. I am addicted to Butterfinger (minis or fun size, never a regular sized bar).

3. Our cat, Buto, is my favorite cat ever. We rescued her from a shelter, where she had lived her entire first year before we found her.

4. I love eBay and Craigslist. I have gotten so many fantastic deals, and am able to get what I want, without feeling guilty for paying full price.

5. I am really anal. I know - shocker! I need everything to be in its place. I can usually go a couple days with mess now that I have kids, but then I HAVE to organize and put stuff away. I don't like "stuff" and am not a saver.

6. I still miss Miami Beach sometimes. Not the people, or the crowds, but the beauty - of the houses, landscaping, the ocean - and the tropical smell.

Friday, October 31, 2008

School Program

Jack is on the far right, Emma on the far left, both in the bottom row. Emma was happy to finally be on stage, but I am not sure either one of them sang a note!

Child Bride!

Chicken Little!

St. Stephens Hallowen Party

Jack & Emma had their Halloween party at school today. It was very cute. Here they are modeling their spider hats they made. They had cupcakes, apple slices with caramel, popcorn, and juice. I am going back in an hour to help them get ready for the big costume parade and show in the gym and will post more later!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We had a great cool front this weekend which made the yearly pumpkin festival a little more bearable! We had a great time with our friends in the pumpkin patch, on the trampoline, watching the Pork Chop Revue, and watching them shoot a pumpkin from the cannon. That thing must have gone seriously, like 500 yards!! I only wish we could have seen the impact, but it was shot over a clump of trees. Hopefully, there were now cows or other living creatures over there, as they surely would have gotten a serious headache from that! After a few hours we all tired out, and went home, where the kids were elated to get visits from their cousins Rachel, Cliff, Luke, and their Aunt Mickey. Mommy was elated, too, as it is always a nice break when people come to entertain the kids!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rub A Dub Dub, 4 Kids In A Tub

We had a great time at the Bennett's on Sunday. The parents got to hang out, kids got to play, and we all had a great Mexican dinner, compliments of Jason. All the kids took a bath together, and jammies on, our kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. What could be sweeter! Thanks guys, for a great afternoon!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mommies cook dinner, daddies ???

Tonight, I made a big family size tray of chicken parmesean and pasta. We were all sitting down at the table enjoying dinner, with Steve complimenting me, and asking the kids if they knew what a great cook their mom is. To this, we had the following dialogue:

Emma: I want to be a mommy when I get bigger.
Me: Are you going to cook dinner for your husband and your kids?
Emma: Yes!
Jack: And I am going to be a Daddy when I get bigger.
Me: Well, Jack, what are you going to do when you are a daddy? (I am thinking lawn mowing, working, projects, etc in my mind when I ask this question.)
Jack: I am going to use the microwave, because daddies use the microwave to make dinner!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baby In My Belly

Well, it is official. I am 9 weeks pregnant today. Due date is April 20. We broke the news to Jack & Emma yesterday. We had been leading up to it for a couple weeks, asking them if they wanted mommy & daddy to have another baby. They both agreed it was a good idea - however - Emma has decided that the baby needs to sleep upstairs in her room so that she can sleep in the little room next to mommy...
We had thought they wanted a boy baby, so Jack could have a partner and Emma could be the only princess, but yesterday they changed their mind and said they wanted it to be a girl. I was not surprised Emma said this, but was surprised at Jack's change of heart, so I asked him why he wanted me to have a girl, to which he replied, "Because I like girls!" He is going to be a heartbreaker...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Emma and Ariel

Jack on a Train

Jack & Emma are 4!!!

And what better way to celebrate than their first trip to Walt Disney World, compliments of PaPa & ReRe. We went with the Bennett's ~ Jason, Alisa, Jake, & Bryce ~ who are regulars, and were great at getting us around. We had NO meltdowns, which is pretty incredible, and all had a really great time. The weather was great, there were little to no lines, which meant we got to take in a LOT of the park. Jack's favorite part was the train, that ran around the outside of the park. The conductor probably said,"Make sure everyone keeps their heads and arms INSIDE the train at all times," more times during our 20 minute ride than he did all day! Emma's favorite part was seeing Ariel in her grotto (not to be confused with the Heffner grotto), where she got to sit with her and get her picture taken. They also had on their birthday buttons and were wished a Happy Birthday by many of the employees of the park, and had the entire lunch crowd in the restaurant sing to them. At the end of the day, a somewhat strange employee broke out in song and followed us to sing it to completion, at which point Jack & Emma suggested we remove their buttons for the rest of the day! LOL I guess you can get too much good birthday cheer!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Germ Sponges

Jack & Emma are my official little germ sponges. They carry home all kinds of neat stuff they pick up at school, it will make them sick for maybe a day, and then they give it to me! I have been battling a cough/cold/sinus infection for a few days and finally got some antibiotics to wipe it out. It is a good thing kids are so resilient! Needless to say, I haven't been much up to posting, as I have been spending my free moments in bed. Back at 'em in a few days.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Every time I mow the lawn, Jack begs, pleads, and tries to get me to let him mow. Usually, he holds on while I push or use the power setting. The other day, daddy decided to see what he could do. With his engineering brain, he had it all figured out... In a couple years, we will have free child labor.

Biking Fun

The Princess:

& The Showoff:

Power Wheels Pile-On

First Day of School

We got teary eyed (for a moment) at how big Jack & Emma are. They started their first day of Fledgling class on Monday. They loved it. They only are going 3 days a week, but it has already made a big impact. They have music class, art class, computer class, as well as singing, dancing, toy playing, and socialization. Emma got really mad this week at ballet because none of the other girls would talk to her. Never mind they weren't supposed to, they were there to learn to dance, not to talk and play, but coming after 3 days of school I think it was a difficult adjustment for our little talkaholic. In any event, even though it is a bit sad that our kids are growing up, we are very excited for them and all they are going to do and learn.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Buto the Monster Slayer

Did I mention the only reason Emma will sleep upstairs in her big girl room is because she is convinced that Buto will kill any monster that should happen to get past the monster alarm (ADT) that we set every night? Buto curls up on the little pink wicker chair until Emma falls asleep, and then comes down to eat her dinner and returns to sleep at the foot of her bed. She does this even after getting her tail yanked, fur plucked, eyes poked, and getting locked in drawers by the very little monster she is trying to protect.

My Big Kids

Well, Jack & Emma have officially moved into their big kid rooms upstairs. It makes us sad at how grown up they have become, but on the other hand it is a bit of a relief, as constant care for twins in the last 4 years has been exhausting. I am finally sleeping through (most of) the night, unfettered, and the kids have their own space now so they aren't at each other's throats all the time. I haven't figured out how to decorate them. I am not a big one for themes, so it is going to have to be classic and cute. Any suggestions?
They start school in a week, and I am not sure who is looking forward to it more. No, wait, I can answer that - Steve and I!! We have a quick 10 minute walk from our door to their classroom. One cool thing is their teacher taught my cousins, Tim and Garrett when they were that age, and Miss Luci remembers them fondly. It is only 3 1/2 hours a day, but it will give them some much needed structure, and us an uninterrupted train of thought.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Star Is Born

We had ballerina day camp yesterday, and it was a hit! Jack was sick again with fever and couldn't go, but Emma went and had a great time. They learned some new moves, got to watch a big ballerina dance, and made a picture frame. At the end, they got to play dress-up in frilly costumes, and dance in front of the rest of the girls to music. We peeked in the windows, and Emma was a riot. She is so used to running through the house at a million miles an hour, I think the teacher was somewhat concerned for her safety as she ran around the studio as fast as she could! When she came out, you can see she was very pleased!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Little Monsters

Jack was talking to his grandfather while we were out in UT. He asked Jack how our cat, Buto, is doing. The exchange went like this:

Papa: Jack, so, how is your new kitty doing?
Jack: She's good.
Papa: Oh, that's good.
Jack: Yeah, except when she scratches us.
Papa: Scratches, you? Why would she do that?
Jack: Because we are little monsters...

Apparently, they ARE listening. This is what I them they are when they torture our poor, sweet, innocent cat, who wants nothing more than to play with their toys and go through life unmolested.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Weekend at the Cabin

We went to the family cabin just outside West Yellowstone. We spent a night in Pocatello, so the kids could show Papa & ReRe their swimming skills at the Holidome. Emma swam like a champ,but Jack couldn't get over being so impressed with the fact that he could stand up in the pool, and refused to actually swim anywhere.
Next day it was a trip to Bear World. A man who was bummed that there were no more bears in Yellowstone to see set up a park with a "Bear Drive Thru". You have to keep your windows we wouldn't anyway, but the bears are up close and personal! They had some amusement rides which the kids loved, too.
Then we made it up to the cabin. We had beautiful weather. 80's in the day, 45 at night. We ate meals on the deck, boated and threw rocks in the river, and had a great time. Jack & Emma loved walking Winston, though at times it was difficult to decipher who was walking whom.
We came back on Monday to prepare for Tuesday night's party and sleepover at Debbie and Byron's house. We celebrated Aunt Sue's 60th birthday, Corwyn's coming home from rehabilitative care, and the end of our trip. Jack & Emma got the coolest new shoes from their Aunt Debbie - will post pics of those soon!
Wednesday morning we loaded up and headed out, back to FL and Buto - who missed us all so much she happily let the kids pet her as much as they wanted!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Tractor

Every morning when we wake up, Jack shoots out of bed and wants to drive Papa's tractor. He knows you have to check the oil before you start, and even knows how to work the front end loader. So far, he has been most excited about it than anything else - especially the fish!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Catching Fish In A Barrel

We are in UT visiting the grandparents, and took the kids to a local trout farm on their first fishing expedition. Emma was great, right out of the gate, and caught 3 fish. Jack did well, catching a couple of his own, but was a little more reserved... We are going to fry them up for dinner tonight - not that I am going to eat any!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ballet Primer

We got Jack & Emma's ballet outfits today so we decided to take them for a test run. Imagine what they will be able to do after lessons!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jack & Emma Go To The Movies

Jack & Emma went to their first movie at the theatre tonight with Grandma CC & Grandpa Mike!! They saw Wall-e and had a great time. They were very well-behaved (as their parents were not there) and even said thank you on the car ride home (before being prompted). This was a much appreciated event as it gave us some peace and quiet and sanity for a few hours.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Singing Lessons


I can't do one without the other. These are my first videos using the digital camera, so it is more of a wow, look at what I can do thing, more than something most peopleare going to find very interesting. I will get better, though!

Miss Pitiful

Classic Emma. Medicine, no doctor! (Did I mention the medicine is really yummy and cherry flavor??) Okay, well she does have a fever now.

Sick & Sicker

Which one of these looks sick to you? Right, exactly, let me retitle my post to "SICK & FAKER" Jack has been sick for a couple days - severe cough, fever, ear infection, nasty runny snotty nose, and is now on antibiotics. Emma, this morning, decides she is sick too and needs medicine. I say she needs to go to the doctor. Noooooo. Not interested in seeing the dr, just wants some of the attention that has been (improperly) redirected towards the care of Jack and should be (rightly) hers!
Okay, so maybe she is getting the gumboo that Jack has been battling, but far worse that the actual cold, she is suffering from serious lackinus of attentionus.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DVD's - Mommy's Lifesavers

All I can say, is I would like to give a big ole bearhug to whoever came up with the idea of DVD's. After staying up with Jack coughing all over me last night, and trying to reason with him at 2am that he REALLY needed to drink the "mecinine" I was giving him, I woke up this morning (after sleeping from maybe 6-10am and having a nightmarish dream about my upcoming 20 year HS reunion) with a swollen face and the energy of a 2 day old fruitfly.
Yesterday, Grandma CC got the kids 6 new movies to go with the new portable DVD player for their early birthday and our trip (spoiled much?). I plunked them in front of the TV, told them to stay away from each other and they are happily (QUIETLY) enjoying their shows, while I nurse a cup of coffee and make a dr appt for this afternoon. Thank you DVD guy, you give sanity to mother's everywhere. Bless the women that are strict and say "no TV" for their kids. I don't know how they do it...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Buto the Wonder Kitty

This is Buto. We rescued her from a shelter a few months ago because she looked nearly identical to my favorite cat of all time, Watto. Like Watto, Buto loves to play fetch, yet unlike the somewhat psycho mean-spirited version, she is the sweetest, funniest, loveable cat. I am constantly surprised at how tolerant of the kids she is. They will try to poke her with the broom, trap her under chairs, throw stuffed animals on her, and yet she remains sweet and docile. She refuses to run and hide, like our other cat, Little Ang, who has taken up residence outside, away from J & E, and will always stand her ground. From time to time, she will let them know they have crossed the line, and give them a swift swat to the chest or hand. Of course, this only deters them temporarily, and it is usually nothing a rub of peroxide and an Elmo bandaid won't cure. One of these days, they will realize that cats are sharp, and that they shouldn't mess with the Buto.

Calm before the storm

They LOOK innocent enough. We were at Chico's, and were about 5 hours into an outing with my mom. To their credit, up to this moment, their behavior had been acceptable, with very little threatening and yelling on my part. The trouble started when we left the safety of the "man chairs" at the front of the store and ventured to changing area to watch grandma model her clothes.
First, they were content enough to make faces and dance in front of the huge mirror near the changing rooms. Then, that got boring, so they decided to check out the changing room, crawling back and forth under the door of g-ma's room. As they crawled in, crawled out, ran to the mirror, and back again, it was only a matter of time before I lost one...
Suddenly Jack was gone. GONE! It was a small store, and I could see the front door - all glass - and was "pretty" confident that he hadn't gotten out. All the salesladies that had been commenting on how cute they were, now wanted nothing to do with me, and looked at me like, "Look lady, if you can't keep track of your kids, get out of our store." One lady checked the back room, but for the most part they all just sat slackjawed staring at me like they were about to nominate me for the bad mother of the year award. So, I am calling his name, again, again. Trying to keep the cracking out of my voice. I call my mom out and shove Emma at her and say I have lost Jack. I go outside, look around, nothing... I go back inside, looking in clothing, under changing room doors, inside racks, calling the entire time, while these women stare at me. NOTHING! Just as I am about to really lose my cool, and start freaking out, it occurs to me what I should do.
Calmly, collected, I say, "OK, Jack, see you later, we are leaving." Within a half second he says, "Mommy, mommy, here I am, wait for me." and comes scurrying out from under a dressing room door. A dressing room I had looked under mind you, but he was smart enough to go inside and stand ON TOP of the bench, so I could not see his feet... He comes running up to me laughing, saying "I was hiding from you mommy, hahahaha" Um, Jack, no not funny...