Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fraternal twins


Being a mother of multiples is a lot of work but so much fun! I get twice the snuggles and twice the giggles. I can dress them alike but revel in their uniqueness. So far, they have reached most milestones at close to the same time. Little sister just started crawling on hands and knees at the beginning of last week, whereas sissy has been doing so for six weeks, but little sister had mastered a fast army crawl while sissy never tried. They have both recently begun to “cruise” a few steps while holding onto furniture and large toys. They love to pull up and stand, and they have let go for a few seconds without falling, but they are definitely more comfortable holding on to something or someone.


20130927-094649.jpgThey each have two teeth, and I love seeing their smiles and funny expressions. They are both ticklish but in different places. Their laughter is the sweetest sound, but sissy has a deeper laugh than little sister.


20130927-095028.jpgSissy’s hair is lighter, finer, and thinner than little sister’s. I have trimmed little sister’s hair four times to even it up, but I haven’t cut sissy’s yet because it lays so perfectly on her sweet head.


20130927-095401.jpgThey were seven months old when these pictures were taken. At six months, they were not as photogenic and seemed to have some stranger anxiety. I bought pictures for their scrapbooks but not near as many as this time! My husband asked me when we would stop having their pictures taken every month. I will stop when they reach 12 months. It is difficult enough to take pictures of a single baby by yourself, especially when older siblings are running around and photo-bombing the baby’s pictures, but I’m afraid I would have no pictures of quality if I didn’t take the twins to a studio once a month.

My good camera has been out of service since July 25th, my dad’s 60th birthday. Thankfully, I got a few pictures before a little hand swiped my camera, causing all photos to be mostly black. I take photos with my phone, but the babies move so quickly that one or both of them are usually blurry. I really must find a place to repair my Canon EOS. Can anyone offer a recommendation?


I lost over 10 inches!

I lost over 10 inches!

No, this is not a post about weight-loss. I lost over 10 inches of hair, and it feels wonderful!

20130915-113758.jpg My friend cut my hair Friday, and I’m planning to donate the 10-inch ponytail to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to help make a wig for a woman with cancer.

20130915-114329.jpgHere are before and after photos of me. It was nice to be able to put my hair in a ponytail when it was long, but I’m enjoying having short hair again.


20130915-113815.jpgFor more information on how to donate your hair, check out this article that gives information about several different organizations that accept donations of hair. The first time I donated a ponytail, I sent it to Locks of Love and received a nice certificate. For the next several weeks, you can receive a $30 Visa gift card when you donate your ponytail to Pantene, and I’m all about getting free stuff, especially when I was planning to donate anyway.


Organization in the playroom


I strive to keep myself, my family, and our home organized, and I knew having a convenient place to store everyone’s bags and coats in our new home would be a necessity for this family of six. I also knew we would need storage for toys in our game room (currently a play room for the little ones), and I no longer wanted bookshelves in that room because of the danger involved in climbing and furniture falling over on children. {I dread the day I have two babies climbing on furniture at the same time.}

I pinned several “mud room” ideas while we were planning and building our house even though I knew our house wouldn’t have an actual mud room. I gathered ideas like the ones shown here, there, and everywhere. When we met with our cabinet builder, I told him I wanted cubbies on the bottom, space to hang bags and coats, and more cubbies on top. He started sketching and asked a few questions, and this is what we created.

20130903-080735.jpg I tell everyone this built-in and our granite kitchen countertops were my two splurges in the new house. I don’t think I will ever regret either choice.

I love having this space near our garage door, so we can grab our things on our way out, but also in the play room, which is surrounded by the kids’ rooms. The cubbies at the bottom hold containers of toys, while the cabinets at the top are currently filled with seasonal or topical books. {Yes, we have a lot of books, but I collected many of them while teaching, and they have proved most helpful while homeschooling.}

I would like to make a large cushion to provide seating for adults while watching the children play. For now, the bench provides a place for Sissy to pull up and stand and a comfy place for Big Sister to relax on a couple of large pillows.


After being crowded in a rent house with no game room for a year, we are all enjoying having a space to play and be together.

To keep you from thinking I am super mom or an organization queen, I must confess that the bench has been covered with boxes and then stacks of books since we moved in over two months ago. I just cleaned out two large plastic storage tubs of junk yesterday and stored all of the books in the tubs until we get new book cases for the kids’ rooms. I was so excited about finally having the bench cleared off that I took photos and sent them to my mom and mother-in-law yesterday, and now I’m sharing them with you.

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering


I have enjoyed reading mysteries since I was a child. I remember checking out all the Nancy Drew books during middle school, and then I discovered Agatha Christie’s classics during high school. Once I married, my in-laws introduced me to contemporary mystery writers, but I was still drawn to my mother-in-law’s leather-bound Agatha Christie collection. The murders in Christie’s books are ingenious and usually involve some element of deception. No matter how many of her stories I have read, I do not believe I have ever solved the crime before her main character. However, I had become accustomed to the faster pace, heightened suspense, and romantic element in the contemporary novels, so it was with great delight that I requested Rules of Murder from Bethany House to read and review, and I was not disappointed.

This first book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series is set in England in the 1930’s among a family of the upperclass with a few Americans involved as well. Drew Farthering is the charming main character, who enjoys reading mysteries and decides to try his own hand at detective work when a murder is discovered on his property. His friend Nick assists in solving the crimes but continually reminds Drew that this mystery is not following the “rules of murder” set forth by Father Knox in his ten commandments for mystery writers.

One of the interesting aspects of this book is the relatively young ages of the main characters. In most contemporary mystery novels, the main characters seem to be in their mid- to late thirties. In Christie’s novels, Miss Marple was in her seventies as I recall, and Hercule Poirot was at least middle aged. Most of the main characters in Rules of Murder are in their twenties, but Drew and Madeline seem rather mature. The introduction of Madeline Parker and her friends provides comedic and romantic elements, as well as a spiritual component. The religious aspect is not overdone, but we are reminded that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Rules of Murder contains an ingenious plot, and Julianna Deering breaks all the rules with her characters and their deceptions. I would highly recommend this book for any fan of the mystery genre.