Friday, June 28, 2013

this week

I love looking back through my files of photos on the computer. I love seeing how much the children have changed and grown. What little adventures and everyday chaos we endured that I may have forgotten. I decided to check out some new features in of which allows you search certain dates and grab corresponding photos. So I typed in today's date with a variant of  + or - of 3 days. A feature that could be useful when searching for date specific photos like birthdays, reunions, trips etc.

Here's what was happening this week every year since 2005.

Stuhr camp with the cousins.

Spending time with our moo cows at Davey. 

These stupid creatures tried to break in on this date in 2007.

Summer swimming trip to Branched Oak

Making smores with the cousins during sleep over in 2009

Visiting the zoo...still a weekly outing for us! 

Fishing trip at Milford Lake in Kansas with my brother (love the twins' enthusiasm!)

This silly girl...

is getting so darn big! Not a baby anymore...she's a little girl!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throw back Thursday

A flashback into the past! Here's a photo of the twins (about age 5). 

They shared a crib until they were 5 months old. Then we separated them. Couldn't have one rolling on top of the other. That wouldn't be good! After they out grew the cribs it was onto a full size bed for them to share. Which they shared until they were 8. We then put them into two 2 twin beds. But many nights we would find them together in one bed or the beds pushed together and them in the middle. So back to one bed...a queen size this time. Then when they were 10 we switched them into bunk beds. They are now almost 15 and using twin beds. All this time they have shared a bedroom. We've asked them if they would want separate rooms. And when we looked for a new house this was our plan. But logistically it wasn't going to work. So much of their stuff is "their" stuff. They've always shared clothes, toys, books, a computer, etc.

They still share a room. And I'm guessing it will be that way until they graduate and move on. They talk every night for an hour or so before going to sleep, they help each other pick out outfits and genuinely like being together. They talk about going to different colleges...which may be interesting. I wonder how they will cope. They have been together since day one. Squished together in a womb for 9 months. Never been apart from each other for a longer than a day. It will be interesting indeed!

People ask them all the time what its like being a favorite answer was "Its like having a forever sleepover with your bestfriend." So sweet!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Per. gol. a

I have been talking about building a pergola over our back patio basically since we moved in here. The patio is lovely and large but it gets tons of sun during the day and the stone pavers end up baking you alive while the sun crisps your skin. So not good! Our remedy was a pergola. A pergola is a wooden structure that uses slats to create shade as the sun moves throughout the day. So many people were like 'A what?' 'A pagoda?' Its a per-gol-a.

Anyway finally we saved up enough to get the project done! YAY! 

Here are our before and after shots!

We have planted vines on the outer two posts by the grasses. Boston Ivy that will grow quickly and spread creating an even better cover for shade!

Its beefy and big and scales well with the back of the house. The patio has a large footprint and the back of the house is three stories at this level so we needed something that could hold its own on that scale. We went with 8x8 posts, rough sawn cedar. Its beautiful! It will silver out over time and be a rustic charmer! I love it! Its perfect!

Monday, June 24, 2013

holy terror

I love this little sweetie...really I do! But this morning she had an epic meltdown at the dentist's office. I kind of just stared at her in shock. Like are doing this here...right now!? 

It was a pretty short appointment. Kwynn just needed a little something done and it was going to be 30 minutes tops. I brought her sippy cup, a snack, her bink and blanket. We were set- or so I thought.

We had dentist appointments last week that lasted two hours and she was perfect. She colored on paper, and shared with the other children in the waiting room. She was really really good! So why was this 30 minute adventure so darn crappy?

I had a feeling things were going to take a turn for the worse when five minutes in, she threw the clip board with the coloring pages across the floor.

I had her helping me to put everything away when she decided to wing the pencil sharpener at the wall. It opened and all the pencil shavings went flying.


As I was picking up that mess, she dumped the box of crayon and colored pencils on the floor in a fit. Then proceeded to throw herself into the pile and flail about (basically making a snow angel). I picked her up and put her in a chair. I quickly picked up the crayons but not before she threw herself out of the chair head first onto the floor. Which of course resulted in her screaming her lungs out...I'm guessing it hurt.

I finished picking up, grabbed her and we headed out the door to have a little talk. We went to the car, grabbed her bink and blanket and she sat on my lap for the rest of time.


She gets these little fits. I'm guessing out of frustration. She isn't really talking yet and I think it frustrates her when trying to communicate and she can't. That mixed with terrible twos and teething makes for pure craziness.

So if you see me and I look ten years older and a disheveled mess on the verge of a break know why. just kidding! um...kind of.

Crossing my fingers we all make it through the next few months!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

raspberry trellis

Here's a few photos of our trellis. The posts are 6x6 and 8 feet long. We set them 3ft in the ground leaving us with a 5 foot post. We strung cable in three rows 15 inches apart. We are putting matching wire rows on the other side too, but our snippers petered out. It will be finished by this weekend. I misspoke when I said it was twenty feet of raspberries...its actually 30ft!!! yum yum

The thought is that the wire is strung on the outside of the row of raspberries. So when the plants grow, we can hang the canes over the wires for support. Its also nice because you can access the plants from both sides!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We are working on projects this week! John and I are finishing up our raspberry trellis and the twins and I are making a tufted ottoman for a reading nook in their room.

First of all, I love working on projects! Finding the perfect idea, tweaking it to suit our needs and working together to finish it! We have about 30 ft of raspberries and to keep them looking nice rather than straggly and unkept, we like to use trellises. We had raspberries at our last house and they were so much fun. The trellis also made them easy for the kids to pick. They didn't have to reach into the prickly branches as much.

So at this house, raspberries were on the list of must do things. After tearing out our dying wind break in 2011 and re-landscaping, we found the perfect spot! We've planted canes and now its time for the trellis. Its a custom one. We wanted something durable and nice to look at. Fences aren't allowed in our subdivision so all the backyards back to eachother. We try to be respectful of our neighbors.

We have the posts in place and cemented in. Wires are stretched in three rows on one side...still have one side to do. I'll definitely post pictures tomorrow...hoping to finish by then. John is also tapping into our water line and putting in a spicket for me so that I can water these bad boys!

As for the ottoman project...we found an old coffee table (FOR FREE!!!!!) and its the perfect size. The girls have been talking about this for awhile. They really want a reading nook in their room and feel this would be the most comfortable seating! We also found some cushions (FOR FREE!!!!!) that we can repurpose by using the foam. I think I have fabric that will this will be a very cheap and awesome project! I LOVE THOSE- they are the best kind!!!

Once we've done that one, I'll post pix as well!

Off to our projects!

Friday, June 14, 2013

summer so far

How has summer vacation been so far? Well....

Kind of crazy actually! We've had a crazy few weeks, but it starts to slow down the middle of next week. I can not wait! 

We will have 6 weeks of chilling at home! The girls and I are super excited! No trips or vacations...we are still basking in the memories of our travels to Central America and Mexico last spring!  

Kwynn and I will be starting a weight training program (she's taking weight training as a gym class in school this fall and needs to prepare...and I could definitely use some toning!)

McKynna is finishing up her physics textbooks. Yes, our child is reading two physic textbooks this summer. She's prepping for a Science Olympiad competition this fall. Kwynn is studying as well, but McKynna is super serious about it! Kwynn would never read a text book cover to cover. 

Corynn will keep busy with softball. Which is good...she needs to be kept busy. 

Evie will continue to be cute and drive all nuts as she approaches her second birthday! Can you believe she is going to be 2!? Wowzers! 

Here's to many happy lazy summer days ahead! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

and this is how it went

Evie: Oh man, she's got her camera out! 
ME: "Evie, look at mommy! I want to take your picture!"

Evie: here- take a picture of this
ME: "Evie put your foot down! I want to see your cute face!"

Evie: ugh! no more!
ME: "Smiles Evie- smile at mom!"

ME: "ok I'm done"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Sisterly bond is a crazy thing. I don't have a sister. Neither does my mom or mother in law. So seeing the girls interact is a new thing for all of us. The twins are bestfriends. Partly because they have to be and partly because they want to be. McKynna is the 'straight forward take action leader' personality and Kwynn is the 'easy going it will all work out I'll get to it when I can' personality. Which works out great for them...they work together rather than competing. They do get into arguments but they are quickly resolved, usually within the hour.

Corynn is her own child. She admires her older sisters and loves her baby sister. But she's in a bit of a lurch. 5 years younger than the twins and 9 years older than Evie. I think its hard sometimes for her to find her place. She would rather play or be with someone instead of being alone. So playdates and sleepovers are weekly.

Evie is loved by all. Her older sisters adore her except for when she needs a diaper change or is having a melt down. They are struggling with this toddler stage. Evie gets into everything, loves to push buttons (both metaphorically and actually...pushing the power buttons on tvs and game consoles is her favorite right now. Powering off a video game at a crucial point- the girls LOVE that!) and she is so full of energy. She's too young to play structured games, but too old be controlled as an infant. I think this frustrates the older siblings quite a bit. They will figure it out though. Summer break is the perfect opportunity!

Despite the bickering (which seems constant) and sarcastic looks, the girls love each other. This is a tricky time for them, but once its figured out or once they've grown out of it...I can see them all being very close. And the age gaps won't matter.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

68 years ago

My father in law was born on this day 68 years ago. He is a very young 68! He is fun, easy going, supportive, caring and pretty much the coolest gentleman I know!

I sincerely hope he has a wonderful day and knows how much we love and appreciate him! He is the rockstar of father in laws and at the top of the list for world class grandpas.

Happy birthday Jeff!

Monday, June 10, 2013

back home

The twins and I flew home yesterday...a super early flight, but glad we did so we would have basically the whole day left. The twins left today for a week long camp- so they wanted to rest and finish packing. We also celebrated my father in law's bday yesterday and Corynn had softball practice in the evening. And amidst all that I was able to sneak in a 3 hour nap! It felt soooooooo good!

So here's a recap of our trip!

Our hotel was just a block from Capital that was AWESOME! 

My mom was in town for a National YWCA conference. We did some sight seeing with her but she was in meetings and classes alot too! 

Kynna pointing to the Canadian Embassy! 

Congressman leaving the capital after the session was done. Field trip! ?

Union Station...we did ride the metro. It was an experience. scary. intimidating. And we probably shouldn't have made our first trip during a Saturday night in down town. I'm sure we stuck out! 

Washington monument...still being worked on after it was damaged in an earthquake in 2010. Its made completely of blocks (you can go to the top to get a birdseye view of the city, but closed right now). The blocks are not mortared together in anyway...just set together one on top of the other. Crazy huh!? Like a super sized jenga...surprised it didn't topple over in the earthquake! 

Cool antique/art store near Ford's theater. If I wouldn't have had to worry about how to get it home- I would have purchased a few things! 

Museum worker striking a pose in the door way! Its the house Lincoln was brought to after being shot- directly across the street from the Ford's theater...where he ultimately died. 

There are museums everywhere in DC! And museums on everything! This Postal Museum is HUGE! Crazy! 

Smithsonian castle- the first Smithsonian building built. Cool story- A man named Smithson decreed in his will that if his nephew and only heir didn't produce an heir of his own before Mr. Smithson died- then all his wealth would go to the American people. Well, his nephew didn't produce so we got the money. It was in the late 1700s and the amount was $550,000. He didn't specify what we could use it on or for- but left it to us because he believed in our ideals and cause. He lived in England and never stepped foot in America.  

And that's how the Smithsonian collection of museums (of which there are 12 around the mall with 13 to be finished early 2014) and Institute was started. Pretty cool! 

This castle is where he is buried. A few years after his death and once the castle was complete...a few gentleman in our government went over to England and brought him back to be buried here. 

This is the National Cathedral! Very cool and very gothic! Interesting took almost 60 years to complete because it was built in medieval fashion. No modern tools or machinery. 

This is the old National post office. It later became offices and a bank, but now its renovation to become a hotel. I love historical buildings. The detail and moldings are amazingly beautiful! 

It was a great trip! Lots of fun and saw tons great things! I think the best part was spending time with the girls and my mom. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

feeling guilty

Tomorrow the twins and I embark on a 5 day trip to Washington DC. It was a happenstance trip that kind of just happened. Things fell into place, worked out at the right time and so we seized the chance.

As I pack bags and make lists (you know me and my lists!), I'm starting to second guess myself. Its going to be a great trip, the twins are super excited and we're going to spend time with my mom. What's there not to be pumped for?

I feel guilty for leaving my baby. Well, my toddler baby. This will be my first lengthy trip away and I feel bad. Not for leaving her, per se...but for the people who have to watch her. I deal with it (it being Evie) everyday all day. I have built up a wall of patience and mommy maneuvers to deal with her. And now my dear sweet husband and his parents are going to have to take her on. I feel like I'm leaving them to fight a battle unarmed. Its hard to explain. She's not the worst kid...just the most difficult of our 4. And I know that our other 3 were superbly easy babies. But still. I really hope Jeff, Nancy and John know how super appreciative I am for them taking this on! (and please don't judge me based on how she acts! She has been strong willed and stubborn since birth...remember the non-stop crying at the hospital for formula!?)

Part of the guilt is also because being a stay at home mom is my job. And I feel like I'm leaving my post unattended. Its my job to take care of the kids while John works and provides for us. The house and kids are my responsibility and I feel like I'm letting him down a bit.

I also feel guilty because I'm missing Corynn's first softball game. There will be seven more, but what if this is the one where she hits a grand slam and I miss it? Or she participates in a triple play or catches the ball for the final out to win the game?

And what about the laundry and meals? I've made lists of snack. lunch and dinner options, all of Evie's likes and favorites, stocked up on diapers and wipes and laid out her clothes for the week.

Now I just want it to be known...that I did all this stuff because I am a type A personality and like things to be organized and orderly. Also because I love my husband and want to make this as easy as possible. I also know that he is fully capable of taking care of our children and I'm to blame for all my worries.

I also know, as I re-read this post, that it's quite obvious I'm in desperate need of this trip. A few days to devote to the twins, have fun and enjoy!

I'll be back this weekend to recap the trip!