Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Scrooge!

I am a "Halloween Scrooge!"

I know, some of you might think I'm CRAZY after you read this post, but it's my blog and I can write what I want, right? My purpose is not to judge any of you who enjoy Halloween. This is simply my opinion.

Even as a young girl I disliked Halloween. We never made a big deal of it in our house growing up because my Mom didn't like it either! I think we participated in trick or treating a few times and then my Mom started the Fall Festival at our church, which we attended a few times. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED all of the candy - I was a total sugar addict as a kid. But, I was extremely shy so the idea of knocking on doors and asking for candy made me totally anxious. I also worried a lot about what people thought of me and I wasn't very creative so I hated trying to figure out what to wear for a costume! And to top it all off, Halloween scared me! So, unlike most children, Halloween was a day that I dreaded.

As an adult, I still dislike it. For as long as I can remember, I have turned off all the lights and layed in bed watching tv to ignore the knocks on my door from trick or treaters. Jimmy does not share the same feelings as me so if he is in town he will buy a couple of bags of candy to hand out while I lounge in bed.

My dislike for Halloween was heightened a few years ago when I was pregnant with the boys. I was in my first trimester and was extremely sick throwing up up to 10 times a day. I really thought I was going to die! I would just camp out at home in front of the tv so I could stay close to the bathroom. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina was taking place during this time and the news coverage was flooding television stations. All I could do was lay on the couch and cry as I watched people losing their homes, their jobs, their pets, living in shelters, and watching as families dealt with the deaths of over 1,800 loved ones. I felt so helpless. We helped out by giving money, but we could only do so much. My mind was racing trying to think of ways to do more.

Then I heard this shocking study. Americans spend approximately 5 BILLION dollars annually on Halloween - about $64 per household.!!! I felt disgusted. My thought was... if everyone would just take the money that they normally would spend on Halloween and give it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina what a huge difference we could have made on our fellow citizens! This year, according to The National Retail Federation, total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach 5.77 billion!

Now that I'm a parent I've thought even more about it. What is Halloween anyway? Is it a holiday? What is it's purpose? I found this interesting article online about the traditions and origins of Halloween. It is my responsibility to teach my children about our country's holidays. I can teach them about Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July but how will I teach them about Halloween?

This is the boys' 3rd Halloween and thankfully they don't know anything about it! Sometimes I think it would be fun to dress them up in a costume while they are still little, after all, there are so many cute ideas for twin costumes... Ernie and Bert, Batman and Robin, Two Peas in a Pod, Twinkies, 2 of a kind cards, Ketchup & Mustard, Buzz & Woody. etc! But, I'm too cheap and practical to buy them something they will probably only wear once! They will begin to ask about Halloween soon enough. We'll cross that bridge when the time comes. Thankfully, most churches have Fall Festivals that provide safe and fun outlets for kids.

Tonight, I will probably hang out on my bed watching Mickey Mouse with the boys while Jimmy hands out candy to trick or treaters!

For those of you that don't feel the same way as I do, it's ok! Whatever you do, please be careful tonight!

I'll finish with a cute idea I read on another blog...

Pumpkin Carving Prayer

Dear God,
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer....
Open my mind so I can learn about you. (Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sins and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see. (Cut the eyes out in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so Your Word I will hear. (Cut the ears shaped like the Bible-rectangles)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You are near. (Cut the mouth)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! (Place a candle inside and light it)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Food Faves

Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas
recipe courtesy of

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
8 ounces white button mushrooms, (about 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chopped skinless, boneless chicken breast (1 breast half)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups baby spinach leaves, sliced into ribbons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 (10-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese mix or Cheddar
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushroom water is evaporated and they begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken, cumin, chili powder and oregano and stir until all spices are incorporated. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Lay 1 tortilla on a flat work surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spoon 1/2 chicken and vegetable mixture on top of cheese, then top with an additional 1/4 cup cheese. Top with another flour tortilla. Heat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Carefully place 1 quesadilla in pan and cook 3 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip quesadilla and cook an additional 3 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with second quesadilla. Slice each quesadilla into quarters. Place 2 quarters on a plate with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 2 tablespoons salsa.

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Monday, October 20, 2008


I've been tagged. Leslie at Twice Blessed tagged me for this meme. To play, you have to go to your 6th photo folder and select the 6th photo from that folder to share.

Bryce and Drew are about 2 weeks old here. It was pretty typical in the first few months to see Drew crying. He was kind of a fussy baby. He had a condition called Laryngomalacia - a common condition in infants where the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation, causing airway obstruction. It causes stridor or noisy breathing - like he had the croop! Poor baby! Thankfully, our Pediatrician was correct when he said that most children will outgrown this condition by the time they are one.

Now it's my turn to tag 5 friends to play along!

Rebekah at The Irizarry Family
Leilanni at Seeking the Morning
Katie at Harris Boys
Sarah at Emma and Luke

Ginger at Reagan Mackenzie

Have fun girls and don't forget to TAG 5 others!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Way Back WHEN-esday!

Dateline: September 2006
Bryce and Drew's Age: 5 months old (they still have blue eyes!)

We had just relocated from Texas to where we live now. The house we bought was new and was not quite finished when we got to town. So, we lived in a hotel for 2 weeks! Thankfully, my Mom flew down to help out and make the move with us. She helped take care of the boys and to help wrap up looose ends in DFW, made the road trip with us and then lived in the hotel with us for 2 weeks! What a crazy time! Thankfully it went really well. They weren't mobile yet so we spent a lot of time playing on the bed with them!

***Can you see their bottles in the background?***

I remember friends telling me not to stock up on bottles prior to the boys being born becuase they may like different bottles. I thought that was crazy advice. Afterall, isn't a bottle just a bottle?


Sure enough, each boy had a preference! Bryce did the best with Avent bottles. Drew could not drink out of them because his mouth is so narrow - the milk would just spill out all over. So, he did best with Dr. Brown's bottles!

They were completely different from the very beginning!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Yesterday we had another play date with our triplet boy friends. We went to a beautiful, National River nearby. It was a perfect Fall day - 75 degrees, orange and red leaves falling all around and crystal clear water.

The 5 boys enjoyed throwing rocks in the river for a long while. Then they got brave and dipped their toes in the water. Before we knew it, all of them had stripped naked and started swimming and splashing in the cold water. It didn't take 5 "just beginning the idea of potty training" boys to figure out how fun it is to pee in the river. One boy would pee and the other 4 would clap and yell "good job!" while the next one would start. All 5 boys were peeing all day long! It was great practice and a huge encouragement for each of them to have their buddies cheering them on! I have some really funny pictures of them but I don't think they would appreciate their naked bums all over the Internet! We finished our day with a fun picnic lunch by the water.
The boys crack me up with the things they say. I just have to write them down so I don't ever forget!

Here's a few...

"Dats funny!"

"Good job buddy!"

"I'm SOOOOO happy!"

"Cool dude."

"Oh WOW!"

"Excuse me pweas."
"Mommy, zugit please...LOUDER!" zugit = music

"Eew....dat diaper gingky!" ginky = stinky

"Oh no, Bicie gunk!" gunk = stuck

Some funny conversations...

Bryce: "Mommy, I need diaper change. I go poo poo."
Drew: runs over to the couch to observe and says, "Bicie, ew no go poo poo. You have willy big pee pee diaper. Eeww...messy!"
When the boys get hurt they always run to ask us to kiss their "boo boo." They amazingly always feel better after the kiss!

Today, Bryce bumped his head pretty hard.
Bryce: "Mommy kiss it...I hurt my head."
Mommy: "I'm so sorry Bryce. Let me kiss it."
Drew: "No, Mommy, I kiss it. Oh Bicie, I'm sowy. I take you to da doctor!"
I don't know what it is about poop but the boys are very intrigued by it. Anytime I change one of the boys' poopy diapers the other one has to stand inches away to see it!

Today I was changing Drew's poopy. Bryce was leaning over him to see.
Bryce: "Dew, I see yo poopy."
Drew: "No Bicie, dats gwoss!"
Bryce: "Eew, Dew, dats ginky and messy!'
Drew: "Bicie, no yook. It's MY poopy!"

Are they gonna hate me someday for posting this?!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rusty Wheels

We had a fun outing today with our friends Amanda, Grayson, Andrus, Liam and their grandparents. We went to a place called "Rusty Wheels." They had vintage farm engines and equipment. Lots of tractors, saws, trains... a total boys' playland!

The 5 boys stood in front of this huge electric train table for probably an hour. It sure beats their Thomas the Train Table!

Bryce had fun sitting on the big John Deer tractors.

The boys also enjoyed playing on some old toys, like this digger.
The favorite thing of the day was the Rusty Wheels train. They probably rode around the track 30 times!

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Way Back WHEN-esday

Dateline: October 2006
Bryce and Drew's Age: 7 months

The boys were 7 months old when they flew on their first airplane. We went to Washington to visit the 3 sets of grandparents and to meet all of their extended family. We captured some of the beautiful NW fall colors in my Dad and Stepmom's yard.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Individual Time

We started a new tradition today.

Each week we are going to try to set aside individual time with each of the boys. We see the importance of separating the two of them. They are always together. They play with the same toys. They eat together, bathe together, watch tv together, read books together, go to Sunday School together, ride in a double stroller together, etc... And, they are usually dressed in the same clothes (at least for the time being!)

The twin bond that they share is close and special. But we recognize that a little break every now and again is healthy and necessary!

Today, I chose to spend my "individual time" with Bryce. I have been spending a lot of time disciplining this sweet, strong-willed son of mine lately, so I was looking forward to fun time alone with him!
We spent some time playing with toys at our local educational/toy store. We enjoyed a nice lunch together and he helped me do our weekly grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and the health food store.
It felt very strange to have a "singleton!" I pushed a regular size grocery cart. I only had one diaper to change, one sippy cup to refill, one lunch to buy, one hand to hold and one sweet face to kiss.
After a few hours of special time with Bryce, we were both ready to get home to our Drew Bug! They were so happy to see one resulted in NO NAP! Bryce repeatedly unzipped Drew's crib tent and crawled inside to be close to him. They just wanted be together!
To all of my mommy friends out there (mom's of multiples AND singletons) you have any fun traditions that you do individually with your children? Would love to hear your comments and ideas!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We Made The Newspaper!

Last week Jimmy and his mom took Bryce and Drew to the city park so they could have lots of room to ride around in their trucks. The boys had a blast driving up and down the hills! Our friend Amanda and her triplet boys happened to be there as well and joined our boys for a totally unplanned play date. Each car has 2 seats so they all took turns rotating the 5th child. Jimmy noticed a man and woman observing and enjoying the boys from a distance {Twins and triplets in the same place attract a lot of attention!} Eventually the man walked over to the group and said that he was an editor for our local newspaper. He thought the boys were really cute and wanted to take their picture. Of course, nobody argued with him!

Well the boys made The Daily Times in color! Isn't it cute?

The title to the picture was "Multiple Drivers!"

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Way Back WHEN-esday

Dateline: April 2006
Bryce and Drew's age: 6 days old!
It was such a great feeling to have our little family together at home. The first week or so we swaddled the boys up and placed them together in one crib. This sweet process didn't last long because Drew was somehow able to scooch around - he would come uncovered and end up laying on top of Brcye! We were afraid they would get hurt! So, from that moment on they slept alone in their own cribs!

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