Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kids say the funniest things! Right?

Everyday, I have a little chuckle to myself when I hear one of the girls pronounce something in their own special little way, such as Tara calling napkins "Nam-Queue-ms". Just say it all together-it's cute! And I love the way Lauren calls her little stuffed lamb (that she takes with her EVERYWHERE) "My Lamb-y", pronounced, "Miami". Adorable.

How about when they say a new phrase that makes you stop and think, "Wow, where did she learn that?". As in Lauren telling me, "No problem, Mom. It's a piece-of-cake!" and me asking her if she knew what that meant. Her response? "Mom, it means "It's easy!" What?! How do they know these things? Why do they have to grow up so fast? What else are they learning?!!!!!

Some of it is just great...walking into our favorite Chinese restaurant and having Tara say to our waitress, "ni-hao". Or, at another favorite eating establishment, having the waiter ask Lauren what she would like to have, and hearing her say politely, "I'd like a chicken and cheese Quesadilla, please!". Just warms my heart!

On the flip side, not everything they are learning is for the better and it really tests your parenting skills when a toddler faux pas is said in a very public place or in listening range of unsuspecting victims. For example, our daughter Tara asking me, "Why doesn't that girl brush her teeth?" while walking past a woman with obvious dental hygiene concerns. Or, Lauren asking, "Is that Grandma having a baby?" when a older woman was carrying a little extra weight around the ol' midsection. Uhhhhhh.... What do you do? How do you handle an episode like that?
I usually just try to steer them away from the situation, explain to them that it isn't polite to talk about other people, and pray that it never happens again!

Ahhhh, kids. What can you do? Just love 'em I guess!

Wordless Wednesday - First Orange Push-Ups

Friday, August 22, 2008


Another Blogger Mom out there asked me about Geocaching and wanted to know more about it. Well, you've come to the right place! It's a sport that has become, for many reasons, one of our dearest passions. Most important is the time we get to spend together as a family but it's also being outdoors, meeting new people, discovering new places and not having to spend much money to do it!

On the intro page to the GEOCACHING website, they give a good little description of what this sport is all about.

"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment."

Here is a list of things that you will need to get you started:
  1. Hand-held GPS Unit.
That's it. Nothing else. Once you visit the Geocaching website, all you need to do is input your home zip code and it will bring up a list of all the nearby Caches in your area. Click on the nearest one and the page will look something like this:

The Waypoint or GC# is located in the upper Right hand corner of the page and will be your reference number for each individual cache. You'll also see on the center/top of the page the Geocache Title, the owner, the size of the hidden container, the difficulty of the hide and the difficulty of the terrain. These items help you determine if this is a cache that you are interested in searching out. For example, a 1-Star Terrain usually means that it is Handicap Accessible and a 5-Star Terrain usually means that a boat or other special equipment is required to find it.

Just below this information is the key to the location of the Geocache, your longitude and latitude. This is the waypoint that you will need to enter into your GPS unit to get you to the hidden container.

In the middle of the page is a description of the cache or location and should give you some clues as to what you are looking for or the type of area you are going to be searching in. You'll also see a Google Map of the area and some cache attributes that will also help your team be more prepared, such as letting you know the cache is "Winter Friendly" (meaning most likely not on the ground) or that it's a "Lunchtime Cache" (meaning it can be completed in less than 1 hour).

At the bottom of the page you can read all the logs from other Geocaching Teams that have already found this cache and what they had to say about it. You can log your find by clicking on the link on the upper Right hand corner of the page, under "Navigation", called "Log Your Visit".

  • If you take something from the geocache, leave something of equal or greater value.
  • Write about your experience in the geocache logbook.
  • Place your geocaching stories and photos online when you log your find!
So, come up with a fun Team Name (we're Tikibirds) and get out there and find your first one! Once you do, you and your family and friends will be hooked! Any questions?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Rest for the Weary

A hectic week for sure! We were lucky enough to have the pleasure of enjoying a leisurely meal with the Brengle's on Monday night. They have a lovely home and a beautiful piece of property that makes you just want to run around in it and smell the wildflowers. While we were there, a new Geocache was published nearby and we all jumped in the Yukon to see if we could get a FTF (First-To-Find). It was a nice hike in a local Nature Preserve and we came away with another find under our belts and a little exercise to boot!

Here's our Team just after the find! (Tara's got the GPS!)

Tuesday we got to hang with my sister and niece for awhile and then had a surprise visit from our friends, the Landry's! We all used to work together at Chuck E.Cheese (my first job!) back in the mid-90's and we've been friends ever since. They have 2 kids as well and the girls had fun running around and being crazy with them! Then it was off to the Youmans for another home cooked meal (not by me of course!) and a time for Mom to relax and let the little girls all have fun together! I also collected about 1000 film canisters but that's another story altogether...

Wednesday was super busy as well, watching my adorable niece Hailey for the day and then off to hang out with the Hower's for dinner and playground time. Picked the park strategically so we could also plan some activities for the big AGE OF DISCOVERY Geocaching Event on Saturday. As Todd would say, "Woo Hoo!"

Today is a day of rest and catching up on home stuff before the weekend comes and with it, more good times with friends and family. I feel blessed to be so busy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Life Lessons

I have learned a lot of things about myself this year. Some good...some...not so much. But it's in the learning that we grow as people. We learn from our mistakes (hopefully), we rally around our successes and we draw strength from ourselves when we need it most.

One of the life lessons that I have learned this year is that it's hard to ask for help. AND, it's equally as hard to know how to give it. I'm sure many of you can relate and have found a way to do these things without dreading the thought of making someone feel uncomfortable, putting undue burden upon them or worrying that it's not enough. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.

However, I am going to do it, no matter how uneasy I feel doing it. I'm asking for your help.

With my husband (Mike) in California most of the month, I'm on my own with the girls. I didn't think it would be easy, the Lord knows others have it much worse than me, but I still find myself looking for an excuse to go out because it's lonely when you have no one in the house during the day or at night to talk to.

-Add: Another phobia that I forgot in the last post-I have a very real fear of making phone calls. No, I'm not joking and it has nothing to do with being lazy. I just can't do it, at least not easily. So, when you say, "Just call me!", I think to myself, "Oh no!". Thank goodness for e-mail!

I'm also still recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. I just can't do all the things that I once could only 6 months ago. Sure, most of them are trivial, but when your backup isn't around, you feel lost. I just can't water the plants that are above eye level, my arms won't support the weight of the watering can. I can't just get down on the ground and play with the girls. It's almost impossible to stand back up. And I'm so fatigued by the end of the day....
Don't get me wrong! It's getting better, so much better. But, it's not easy.

Anyway, I just want to ask anyone who's reading, who's willing to lend a hand, to help me by doing one or more of the following things:
  • Send me a note or drop me a line every once-in-awhile. It helps. And if I don't respond right away, just know that I appreciate it and I will get back with you!!!
  • If you wouldn't mind having 3 extra girls join you for lunch or dinner some night, we would love to come along and see you and help in any way that we can.
  • If you just want to hang out or want someone to talk to, think of me. I'll be a good listener.
  • If you're in our neck of the woods and want to take a break, stop in and see us. Our home may be littered with toys but I can find a clean seat for you to relax in!
To those of you, and you know who you are, who have invited us to dinner, to the park, to hang out, to go Geocaching, etc. I really want to say "Thank You". You've helped me out tremendously, even if you don't think so.

I wanted to end with another life lesson that I learned this year. Friends and family are a blessing unlike any other and without them, I would not be me, and I like being me! So, to all my "blessings", YOU ROCK!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You're such a SAHMBOSS!

Ok, I was going to write about our weekend down in Kendallville, IN at the Midwest GeoBash but I'm going to share this with everyone instead thanks to someone named Wendy!

She tagged me with this meme/award which is now known as The Super Awesome Hot Mama Blogger or some shit (SAHMBOSS) meme/award. So you can blame her for the introduction of naughty language to this blog (which doesn't bother me any) and the ensuing waste of your time.

Below are my answers to some fascinating (or not) questions.

Let the SAHMBOSSing around begin!

A. Attached or single? Attached via wedding ring.

B. Best friend? My husband..followed very closely by my sister.

C. Cake or pie? Pie. My favorite is Blueberry!

D. Day of choice? Saturday

E. Essential item? My digital camera and baby wipes.

F. Favorite color? Green.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Hmmm...I really like both. I think that I prefer gummy bears though...they're easier to grab a handful of!

H. Hometown? Grand Rapids, MI.

I. Indulgence? Buying things for the twins-I love shopping for them!

J. January or July? Well, I would say July for the weather of course but January holds a special place in my heart as well. It's a tie!

K. Kids? Twin girls.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Fun, laughter, sharing, and bad jokes.

M. Marriage date? May 8th, 1999 (can you believe it's gonna be 10 years next May!!!)

N. Number of brothers & sisters? My sister Anna is 3 years younger and my brother Kevin is 5 years my junior.

O. Oranges or apples? Apples for sure, especially my Mom's homemade applesauce.

P. Phobias? Not being able to pay the bills, drowning, being outside in the dark.

Q. Quotes? Anybody want a peanut?" - The Princess Bride

R. Reasons to smile? Geocaching, my girls, family, the love of my husband.

S. Season of choice? Fall-the world just smells good in the Fall.

T. Tag seven peeps! Not gonna do it!

U. Unknown fact about me? I never studied in school. I went to class, I read the chapters and did the homework. That's it. No more. No less. Please don't hate me!

V. Vegetable? Zucchini, sautéed with onions and butter. Yum!

W. Worst habits? Totally wasting time on the Internet, procrastination, not making the bed and neglecting my chores for one more chapter in my book.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? Ultrasound. It showed me one of the most beautiful sights of my life, my babies.

Y. Your favorite food? Chocolate.

Z. Zodiac sign? Pisces. The Fishes.

Pisces Traits

Imaginative and sensitive
Compassionate and kind
Selfless and unworldly
Intuitive and sympathetic

Now that you have been enlightened, please feel free to comment or post answers of your own! Hope that everyone is having a great day!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

She Makes Me Smile, She Tries to Sing

Some may be wondering about the Title of this blog and assume that it refers to our Twin girls. The truth is, it's a lyric from one of my favorite songs. Mike introduced me to Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) almost 15 years ago and I think that I liked them right from the start. But the more that I listened, the more that I came to love them. Jeff Lynne has a beautiful, pure voice and his music is genius.

This song in particular is one that caught me off guard. It is soft, meaningful and heartfelt. Mike likes to sing it to me and I happily let him, usually joining in when I can't stand to keep my vocal cords silent any longer.

Did you know that Mike can sing? He's pretty darn good! I know that I love to sing and we when we get a chance to do it together, like on long road trips, I find the meaning of perfect contentment. It's good...

Need Her Love

She gives me love that I could never hope to have,
She tells me that she needs me,she tells me that she's glad,
And if she goes away, I'm like someone who's left out in the rain,
I need, I need her, I need her love.

She came in from the west, a summer breeze I couldn't rest,
I had to take a fast train, to be there by her side,
She made me feel so good, she made it like it should be all the time
I need, I need her, I need her love.

Just when I was thinkin' of her, she came along and made me
want her. I need her love, I need her love, I need her love.

If she goes away, I'm like someone who's left out in the rain,
I need, I need her, I need her love.

The boats that sail, the planes that fly,she is with me.
I wonder if she wonders, if this is all for real,
I couldn't stand to see her cry because of me, that would be sad.
I need, I need her, I need her love.

She tells me everything, she makes me smile, she tries to sing,
But never shares her suffering, if things are going wrong,
She makes it like a dream, if things are as they seem the
world is good. I need her love, I need her love, I need her love.

Electric Light Orchestra
"Discovery" 1979

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Week with Mike

With Daddy home for a week, before jetting off to California again, it has been one activity after another in our household. This weekend we took the girls to the Grand Rapids Public Museum for the first time (courtesy of GE) and had a really nice morning! Lauren and Tara's favorite part was the Carousel ride with Dad-they had that look of pure bliss on their faces!
We also went for a nice boat ride with Grandma & Grandpa Brace. The day was perfect and we all enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine.
Lots of little things going on this week but our main goal is getting ready for the MidWest GeoBash, which is currently regarded as the 2nd largest Geocaching event in the world. This year it's in Kendallville, IN and Mike and I are going Fri.-Sun. while my Parents watch the girls for us! We're really excited to go and hang out with all our caching buddies and just get away for a couple of days.
Please bear with me as I learn all the ins and outs of blogging and this site. I'm having fun with it so far!

On the boat with Grandma and Grandpa!

Daddy's enjoying the ride!

Round and round they go!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Blog from Us!

After witnessing the wonder of blogging though my CarePage earlier this year, and enjoying so many other blogs out there, I thought that I would start one of my own. If no one reads it, that's fine. At least I will have a chance to put my thoughts down in writing, something that I haven't done for far too long.
So, to those that are reading this, enjoy!
I plan on keeping this site up-to-date with issues regarding my health, Mike's work in CA and of course, our twin girls!