Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Monday, May 13, 2013

What is Happiness…THIS is Happiness!

April was a special month because we got to spend a week with Nana and Grandpa and a long weekend with Gramma, Poppy, Aunt Aimee and Uncle Israel, Uncle Brian and Aunt Rie and cousin Aaliyah! We were so excited to be able to have lots of family time and for the girls to share in some fun times and be spoiled with love. I included several family pictures from Aimee’s and Israel’s wedding celebration too since it was a memorable moment for all of us.

Right now we are enjoying the most gorgeous weather of the year. Some days are in the 70s and some days in the 80s, with only a few days in the 90s. We are living outside morning, afternoon and night. When the girls hear the word “outside,” they frantically move towards the back door, sit down in front and wait anxiously to get socks and shoes on before it is party time! Beautiful weather and running wild makes everyone happy. This past month, the girls have enjoyed something extra special in the back yard. After a lot of hard work and help from family, Jay was able to finish building the swing set in our backyard. The swing set is literally called a ‘resort’ and you will see why from the pictures below! The girls love the lower level tree house and they will grow into the second story and big slide. In the meantime, Aubrey could swing all day long (the higher and more crooked the more she laughs) and they both love going in and out of the tree house bringing their balls and other toys inside. Some of our most fun times outside are with the sprinkler, baby pool or water table. We also love the splash pad too at the park. They love, love, love getting wet. It doesn’t matter if we change outfits 4x a day or walk around in our diaper all day, they are happiest when they are dripping wet! Their favorite is gathering water in water bottles or bowls and then drinking it (or dribbles half of it down the front of their chest!). Let’s just say I’m glad we have a privacy fence because the girls end up running around stark naked in the back yard pretty much daily!

The girls are so good and easy to take out on errands or whatever else I need to do during the day. When we go shopping, I usually put Aubrey in the larger basket area of the shopping cart and Avery is buckled in the seat up front. Avery is much more of a climber so she is better strapped in and I know that Aubrey is perfectly content with rooting through my purse or the diaper bag and checking out her surroundings. They self entertain themselves…Aubrey shuffles through my purse or diaper bag and pulls out every last item, and piece by piece, hands it up to Avery up front. Believe it or not, this is quite entertaining over and over again! This week when I was food shopping with them, I put animal crackers in the basket and the girls kept signing “please” because they wanted some—talk about good manners! Speaking of sign language, the girls routinely use signs for: all done, more, milk, cracker, eat, lotion, please, elephant, socks (Aubrey), hat (Aubrey) and we are working on thank you (they know how to blow a kiss and thank you is very similar, but we are working on pairing it in response to an action). I’m also happy that after quite a bit of practice (modeling behavior), we can say “let’s put our hands together and pray” and they both put their hands together and listen to the prayers—melts my heart. The verbal vocabulary also continues to grow, adding the words: hi, milk, no (this is Avery’s favorite word by far!), and duck (Avery).
This past month has been marked with lots and lots of teething. Avery got four teeth initially and now seems to be getting some more and Aubrey got 6 teeth at once. Some days or nights were more challenging than others, but as soon as it resolves, they are back to their normal, happy, and crazy selves. Thankfully when teething does affect their sleeping patterns, they fall right back into their normal routine very quickly. Speaking of teeth, the girls will eat just about anything, but if were given the option, they would live on fruit. They cannot get enough of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes and bananas. Some of my favorite moments are when I’m eating some of the fruits and the girls come to me like little birds begging for a bite, being so overly sweet hoping to win me over for a bite! Needless to say, I’m pretty good with sharing!

We are just starting to color with crayons. Instead of eating the crayons all the time, they just eat them most of the time. We have gotten some fancy artwork, but not quite enough of their own handiwork to post something on the frig yet—soon I can’t wait to see my frig plastered with all their doodles and beautiful pictures.

After some time of taking steps, Aubrey has taken off and is walking, walking, walking. We have learned that she truly prefers to do things on her own time. However, she is a very determined little girl and when she is ready, she will be ready to change the world, just like her sister. Avery has really worked on listening this past month and it never ceases to amaze me how much she actually understands. I’m so proud of my girls for all the big and small things.

For Mother's Day, we are keeping to the wonderful tradition of having a family picnic at the park. Jay treats me to lots of my favorite things (i.e. choc covered strawberries, salt and vinegar chips, fruit, kettle corn, cupcakes, and my favorite hoagies) and we spend special times together outside at the park. I couldn't imagine a sweeter Mother's Day.  This year, the girls ate a hoagie (like a big girl--big bites from the hoagie and all!), had their first popsicles, and chased/kicked balls. They loved just being kids and I loved seeing them so happy. I'm so thankful for my wonderful husband who knows exactly what I would love on this special day.

Some of our favorite things:
**Loves to purse out her lips and say "no, no, no, no" to just about everything and everything. More times than not, she says it with a happy heart just being excited about her new word.
**She is just learning how to "zurburt." She is zurburting her and my arm. She will always crack me up!
**Loves to dance and sway her arms. She is a dancing queen (she even danced to this song at our neighbor Pam's house for her birthday!).
**Loves finding little fuzzies or pieces of trash in the carpet or outside and proudly hand them to me.
**Loves to sit in your lap to read a book.
**Loves her blankets in her crib but is very good about putting them back in the crib when asked...somehow I think she is going to be a blanket kind of girl.
**Loves giving hugs where she just dangles in your arms.
**Loves chasing balls and now kicking balls.

**Loves to laugh and gets excited when she does something new--she gets very proud of herself.
**Loves to be in her mom's or dad's arms, held like a baby.
**Loves climbing in, on, and around things.
**Loves playing with her sister and most especially sharing food with her.
**Loves to be swinging high on the swing.
**Loves being in the ballpit.
**Loves when mommy sings "Jesus Loves Me" to her.
**Loves making the noise of a snake (SSSSSS) or acting like a lizard and sticking her tongue in and out really fast!
**Loves drinking from momma's water bottles.
**Loves chasing balls.

Avery and pigtails = cuteness!
Aubrey and pigtails = cuteness x 2!
Check out all that cuteness!
Spending fun times with Gramma and Poppy.
All dressed up and ready to celebrate Aunt Aimee and Uncle Israel's marriage.
Hanging out with Uncle Brian, Aunt Rie and cousin Aaliyah.
Good times celebrating with Aunt Aimee and Uncle Israel.
So thankful the whole family was able to celebrate.
Grandparents looking their best!
The three musketeers.
Enjoying our walk with Poppy and Aunt Aimee.
Pool time
Aubrey at the splash pad--she loved it!
Avery loving the splash pad...she is such a big girl.
What a beauty.
Lounging at the park.
Playing in the ice bucket...her hands and mouth were freezing, but she LOVED it!
Sweetness from her pigtails to her toes.
Checking out the park scene after playing at the splash pad.
Dancing and loving life.
Check out this awesome swing set! Way to go Daddy!

Mother's Day


Avery enjoying the sprinkler
Time for a drink
Sharing food and sharing love! I love how Aubrey takes a bite then gives it to Avery (at one point, Avery shakes her hand like she doesn't want it, but then changes her mind!)
They love wrestling with the pizza crust!