Wednesday, April 24, 2013

School of Rock

The twins' favorite movie right now is "School of Rock" with Jack Black.

A school where they spend all day learning to rock out for an upcoming rock concert? That's their idea of a dream come true.

During the Amarillo Area Mothers of Multiples rock video production, Owen gave us a little solo of one of the songs from the movie.

Remembering My Hero

It's amazing how a few mementos can make me feel close again to my Grandpa.

One of my closest and most cherished confidants is my Aunt Marcia. She's one of those people who, even though we don't always get to talk frequently, is a constant influence on my life.

The other day we were talking about my Grandpa, her dad, who we lost in the early 2000s. Grandpa is the only close family member I've ever lost, and I still, to this day, have a hard time dealing with his absence.

I mentioned to Marcia that I wish I had more mementos to remember him by and - more importantly - to remind the twins that he was an amazing man who they would have really, really liked being around. (Coincidentally, the twins were born on his birthday, and I can't help but wonder if he had something to do with it from Heaven. We honor him every year on their shared birthday.)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Old Time Rock N Roll

The twins' dreams came true in our cul de sac.

I'm a member of the Amarillo Area Mothers of Multiples Club, and we needed to make a rock and roll video for our recent bid to host the 2015 Texas Mothers of Multiples convention in our great city.

"I've got a bunch of instruments and two music-crazy kids," I exclaimed!

So a bunch of moms, a bunch of twins and one brave videographer headed to my house this morning to film a rock video to the sound of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll."

The twins were so proud - to them, this was a real concert in the middle of our cul de sac, and they were real stars!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mr. President

Evan as Washington and Owen as Lincoln.
Thanks to an amazing first-grade teacher, E and O are obsessed with U.S. presidents. They've asked us to buy them books about presidents, help them collect coins and dollars, and Grammi even got them costumes for Christmas.

President's Day was a HUGE deal at our house this year. The twins dressed up (as usual), and we watched all of the Lincoln specials on NATGEO. They sat, mesmerized, through all three of them.

I'm really glad their into all this presidential stuff. They're learning about good leadership, conflict resolution and how our country works.

Evan's pretty sure he wants to be president some day. Owen thinks that's cool, but he won't live in the White House with the rest of us because he'll be too busy playing in the NFL. But he will come and visit.

Good Teachers

How do you get a good teacher for your kids?

We had to stop by Mr. Houdyshell's house down the street on Halloween.
You pray and pray and pray and have a little bit of luck.

We have hit the jackpot all three years, first at Carver Early Childhood Academy (which we had to win a lottery to get accepted to). I truly believe all the teachers at Carver are amazing.

For first grade, after much decision, we moved the kids to City View Elementary in our neighborhood. Our first clue that we'd made the right choice was finding out our principal has twins!

He encouraged us to put E and O in the same class as long as they don't jeopardize each other's learning and performance, and because "it's easier on the parents if the kids have the same homework." What a great guy!

And then we met our teacher: Mr. Houdyshell. My first impression was, "a man who wants to teach first graders? This guy must be something special." When we met him, my theory proved correct. A tall, attractive 45-year-old man with an abundance of energy, a kind face and an infectious smile. When we walked in for Greet The Teacher night, he said, "These must be my twins!" He grabbed their little faces and said, "You two are the cutest things in the whole wide world!"

Yep, we were happy.

He lives just down the street, and he insisted we stop by his house on Halloween. He is great at taking pics with his phone, and if you give him permission, he'll put them on Facebook. He's into modern-day communication, and I really appreciate that!

One of the coolest things about him: he has instilled in our kids a huge love of presidential history. He is a huge JFK fan, devoting a corner of his classroom to the slain president. From what I can tell, he teaches more on presidential history than the average first-grade teacher, but Nate and I are thrilled. The twins are soaking it up and eating it up, asking us to take them to the bookstore for more books about presidents. They even asked for Washington and Lincoln costumes for Christmas! They're collecting coins to try to have as many representations of presidents as possible.

Having the twins in Mr. Houdyshell's class is an answered prayer. He's shaping their little lives in so many wonderful ways.

We can only pray that our good fortune continues to second grade and beyond.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Couch Crowders

I have to remember to cherish the moments...

We recently got new living room furniture, and we now have seating for about 10 people. We are a family of four.

The following is a nightly occurrence:

I come home from a long day of work and sometimes a grueling workout at the gym; help with dinner, laundry, etc. etc. By the time I finally take a shower and hear the couch calling my name, I look forward to picking a spot in our 10-person living room to relax for a few minutes and take a deep breath.

I choose my spot carefully - somewhere secluded.

But somehow, at the moment my butt hits the soft leather, a trigger is engaged; a signal is sent into the sky. Somehow, precisely 2.5 seconds after I drift into the inviting new cushions, I am flanked by both kids. Not one, but both. So closely, that I actually have difficulty expelling that deep, cleansing breath I so looked forward to.

It's at that moment that my entire being wants to scream, "Get away from me and let me have my space!"

Then I look down and see a little head on my right shoulder and a little hand on my left forearm and it hits me.

Some day -- probably soon -- the twins won't want to even talk to me, let alone sit close to me.

So, despite my longing for a quiet break from the busy day, I succumb to a three-way couch cuddle and remind myself to enjoy it while it lasts. Some day I'll look back fondly and wish to have it back.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentine

Evan gave me the sweetest Valentine letter. He appreciates me for my laundry services! Sweet kid. I think I'll keep him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sweet Innocence With a Side of Ketchup

Every time I see chicken McNuggets, I'm reminded of a sweet little story.

But first, some history. Our 100-pound German Shepard, Baron, is the same age as the twins. That's actually another story for another time. But he's grown up with them. And he has always relished any opportunity to sit by the twins while they're eating. Needless to say, they drop stuff. A LOT of stuff. And he loves to eat all of it.

I actually taught him the command, "Clean up!" and he knows to scour the kitchen floor for droppings.

When the kids were around 2, McNuggets were (and still are) their favorite food. One evening, Baron was paying particular attention to their delicious McDonalds meal. And Owen was paying attention to him.

He very casually asked, "Mom, does Baron like ketchup?"

"No," I replied, then watched in disbelief as Owen nodded his head, assured of himself, and handed Baron a McNugget. Without ketchup.

I couldn't be mad that he'd just fed the dog part of his dinner, because he had so sweetly inquired as to Baron's condiment preferences.

I've never forgotten that story. And Baron still prefers his leftovers without ketchup. But he'll take them any way he can get them.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

As per tradition, Grammi made the twins' costumes again this year. They are positively works of art, looking as pristine on the inside as they do on the outside. And she doesn't even know a thing about Harry Potter! The twins gave her guidance on the design, and I think they're pretty darn authentic looking.

If only the little glasses would stay on their little button noses.

Halloween was another hit, and the twins have another amazing costume to add to their swelling collection.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Teaching Kids to Golf

Our new favorite evening ritual: two large buckets.
The twins don't turn 6 until next week, but we already gave them their big birthday present weeks ago. Because we couldn't wait to let them use it! We gave E and O a new golf set. It came with a 5, a 9, a driver and a putter. We figured they could share and try everything out before we went to the expense of a second set.

Off to the driving range we went.

You've never seen such rapid-fire golfing. Two large buckets, gone in mere minutes. Our philosophy at this young age: Just let 'em hit the ball, however they want. Not too much schooling, or we might sour them.

So far, they're loving this new sport. The driving range is close to our house, and we figure we've made enough trips to know the twins are pretty hooked. So, Nate and I decided we better buy another set of clubs. After all, even though there's no visible difference between the 9 and the 5, they fight over them just for the sake of fighting. That's what twins do.

It's hard to believe these were headed to the landfill.
As luck would have it, we got a call from a friend the other night. "Someone was having a garage sale, and all the leftovers were piled into the alley. There are some kids' golf clubs in the mix, and I'm gonna grab them for your boys."

We figured they'd be junk, but they're great clubs! About 15 of them! The twins now have more club choices than their serious-golfer dad. And the fighting? It has virtually ended. There are plenty of 9s to go around.

As my dad says, golf is something you can enjoy even when you're old and out of shape. So here's hoping the twins will continue to enjoy their new sport. And here's hoping that golf is something the four of us can do together for years to come.

Now, if only mom could get some lessons...