Monthly Archives: November 2013

Movember

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My husband and several of the firefighters in his department decided to participate in “No Shave November” or “Movember” to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Firefighters must shave their beards for their air masks to fit tightly, so they all grew mustaches this month much to the chagrin of some of the wives.

The month is nearly over, so I thought I should take a picture of him with a mustache because this is the first time he has had one in the 13 years we’ve been married. I’m proud of all the men who grew mustaches or beards this month to raise awareness for a cancer that affects so many men.

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Photos of all my babies

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I just wanted to share the babies’ nine-month photos. There were so many good ones that I couldn’t pick just a couple to purchase, so there are a lot to share. I also picked up the older two kids’ school pictures this week, so I had to share those too!

20131123-132648.jpgSissy is always on the move. It was hard to get a picture of her posing because she kept crawling away.

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20131123-132810.jpgLittle sister likes to stand up, and, yes, she has had a haircut. I have actually trimmed her hair at least four times, while Sissy’s hair hasn’t been cut yet.

20131123-132856.jpgI thought this photo of them being serious was hilarious, and it reminds me of old photos of couples posing without smiles.

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20131123-133022.jpgThis is a chair that I have had since I was a little girl. Hubby repaired and repainted it several years ago, and all four kids have enjoyed sitting in it.

20131123-133246.jpgI thought this picture made it look like Little Sister was pushing Sissy in the rocking chair.

20131123-133347.jpgThey are such sweet and happy girls.

Now for the big kids.

20131123-133428.jpgBig Brother is wearing his hair shorter now, and his missing tooth has almost grown in all the way.

20131123-133539.jpgBig Sister’s hair is shorter now too. After I cut mine off, she wanted hers short like mine. With her naturally wavy hair, it looks cute layered and short in the back.

Milestones

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The babies are growing quickly and reaching milestones almost daily. They were nine months old on November 10th, but these photos are from their eight-month portrait session. It took me a few weeks to pick them up. I’m planning to pick up their nine-month portraits tomorrow, so I thought I should post these today. I’m just a little behind.

20131119-091504.jpgSissy is older by one minute, but she acts like she is a big sister, not a twin. She is definitely the dominant one and will take toys from Little Sister. She was an inch taller than her twin at their six-month and nine-month check ups, so she has a height advantage to go along with her naturally curious and aggressive nature. We will have to watch her closely to keep her from being a bully to Little Sister. Sissy is sweet, happy most of the time, and friendly. She might have said “mama” this morning, but it could have just been babbling. We will see if she repeats it. Yesterday afternoon, she took her first steps, walking to a friend of ours while I was changing Little Sister’s diaper, so I almost missed it, but I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and watched her take seven steps. I might have missed the first one or two. I was so surprised that she would take so many steps for her first try, but she took a few steps several other times that evening, and I actually caught her on video taking eight steps later.

20131119-093250.jpgLittle Sister is more sensitive and shier than Sissy, but she is sweet, talkative, and loves to be held. She babbles at home and in the car, but she gets quiet around strangers or even people she doesn’t know well. On November 4th, she was trying to crawl over my leg on the floor and fell and said, “uh-oh.” I thought it might have been a coincidence because she had been babbling the whole time, but she fell in the kitchen the next day and said, “uh-oh,” again. The day after that, Little Sister took her first steps, just a couple, but she repeated taking two steps at a time multiple times that day. Then on the 10th, she took three steps while Grandmother was watching her. When we got home, she took five steps for all of us. Little Sister may not be as aggressive as Sissy, but she beat her in walking and talking.

Whole Wheat Pancakes and Waffles Recipe

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20131118-151458.jpgMy children love pancakes and waffles and would probably eat them every day if I would make them. My son decided he would make pancakes himself last week, and he did so with only a little supervision from me. This is the recipe we use.

1 cup whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups if not using ground flax seed)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 TBSP vanilla
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together until dry ingredients are wet. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a large scoop with a squeeze-action handle to pour onto a hot, greased pan for pancakes, or pour batter onto a hot, greased waffle iron for waffles. Flip pancakes when bubbles start to appear around the edges for lighter pancakes or cook a little longer for darker pancakes. This recipe makes enough pancakes or waffles to feed four people.

I think I found the original recipe on www.sparkrecipes.com a few years ago, but I have tweaked it and made it my own. You can use a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour or use only one type of flour. My kids enjoy this recipe with all-purpose flour and no ground flax seed, which isn’t as healthy, but I have thrown an extra farm-fresh egg in (decrease the milk) for a little extra protein. I usually just throw the basic ingredients in a bowl without really measuring, and it turns out fine. You can add blueberries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. Just fold those in after mixing the other ingredients. If I’m eating pancakes (not just the kids), I’ll add ground flax seed, some oats, and a little more milk to the batter after making theirs because I enjoy heartier pancakes. Big sister and I eat our pancakes plain or topped with a little butter while big brother likes his topped with pure maple syrup. How do you like your pancakes or waffles?

Food

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We’ve been busy cooking lately, so I thought I would share some pics of a few of our creations.

20131118-124411.jpgBig brother loves to cook and used to help me in the kitchen all the time. He asked for a chef’s apron a couple of years ago, so Grammy got him a chef’s apron and hat for Christmas that year, and it still fits. He whipped up some pancakes for himself and big sister last week, adding blueberries to his after making hers plain. I’ll post our recipe soon.

20131118-130956.jpgI found this recipe on Pinterest and finally made these delicious peanut butter bars. I knew better than to make the whole recipe just for us, so I halved the recipe and used a smaller dish, but my bars were a little thicker than they should have been. They were still delicious!

20131118-131335.jpgWe received this Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker as a baby shower gift almost a year ago. I did not make baby food for our older two children. It just didn’t occur to me to do so. When I registered for gifts while expecting the twins, I thought I’d try making their food. With two babies, jarred baby food could get expensive, and I figured two babies would be able to eat enough to make it worth my time. I have been making their food for a few months now, and it’s not hard, and it doesn’t take too much time. The most time-consuming part is dicing the food to 1/4″ pieces for the Baby Brezza. I bought a butternut squash and diced that whole thing into 1/4″ pieces. It took forever, my hands hurt when I was halfway finished, and I don’t think I steamed it long enough because there were little pieces in it after the machine blended it into a purée. Needless to say, I haven’t tried butternut squash again! I have made plenty of other foods for the babies and have enjoyed having the Baby Brezza. You just dice the food, put it in the bowl, pour water into the steam tank, and turn it on. It will steam for 10 to 30 minutes and then automatically blend if you want.

I was at Costco a few days ago and found a 2-pound package of organic butternut squash already cut in 1″ cubes. I wanted to make a lot at one time, since it was a large package and I’m hoping the babies will eat it, so I used my stockpot and steamer insert. It only took about 15 minutes to steam about 1.5 pounds this way. Then I put it all in my KitchenAid food processor and puréed it.

20131118-132437.jpgI put about one ounce in each ice cube well and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I transferred the cubes to a freezer bag and will remove a couple at a time to thaw for the babies to eat. Now if we can just get them to eat it! So far, little sister likes peaches, and they both like apples and blueberries mixed together (super messy going in and coming out!), but neither of them would eat plain apples, bananas, squash, or sweet potatoes. They did like it when I mixed peaches, bananas, and oatmeal together, but sissy wouldn’t eat that the second time I made it for them. I’ve heard that it could take up to 10 times before they will eat a new food, so we will keep trying.

Climbing

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My husband’s parents live just down the driveway from us. They have lived there for about 30 years, and we moved into our house just over 4 months ago. It is absolutely wonderful living so closely to a set of grandparents. The older two kids are back and forth between our houses all the time, and Grandmother helps me with the babies frequently.

Granddad built the kids a tree house out of scrap wood from when our house was being built, and he also created a play area for the kids above the tack room in their barn. Big brother thinks this area is his fort and enjoys hanging out there. A couple of weeks ago, he placed a board upright on the floor of the fort at the top of the wooden ladder that Granddad built for them to climb up to the fort. I think he was trying to make a wall or something, but he did not nail the board in place. The older two kids were in the barn with Granddad on Thursday the 24th, and big sister decided to go up to the fort by herself. She climbed to the top, grabbed hold of the board not knowing it was loose, and fell several feet to the ground. By God’s mercy, the only thing she hurt was her left ankle, and Daddy got home just as Granddad carried her into our house. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic, so he checked her out and looked at her ankle.

20131104-104023.jpgIt was swollen and starting to bruise, but it didn’t look broken. We put ice on it, elevated it, etc. When she still refused to put any weight on it Friday morning, we decided to take her to our pediatrician just to see what they thought.

20131104-104121.jpgOf course, they recommended x-rays, so we took her for x-rays. Nothing was broken, but she had sprained it pretty badly. We bought her a brace and ordered a pediatric boot, and she has done well with those. She went to school today in regular shoes for the first time in over a week, so I think she is almost back to normal. It’s amazing how quickly children heal.

I must mention how gracious God has been to us over the past several years. This was our first trip to the doctor for an injury. We still haven’t taken a child to the ER. Part of that is due to their daddy being a paramedic and knowing what is a true emergency and what is not, but none of our children have been seriously injured before this, and it’s a wonder big brother hasn’t broken half his bones already with all the crazy stunts he tries. I thank God every day for our children’s health and safety.

We finally bought new car seats for the babies. Well, we ordered them online a few weeks ago, but one never made it to us, so we had to wait for it to return to the company, the company to refund our money, and then just go to the store and buy another one. We bought convertible seats, which means they will be rear-facing until the babies are at least a year old, and then they are able to be turned forward-facing, so these seats should last us a few years, until the babies are able to ride with just a booster seat. We were preparing the seats in the house, making adjustments to the seat backs and harnesses, and we sat the babies in them to make these adjustments. They look so big!

20131104-104453.jpgSissy is our climber–just like her big brother–and it wasn’t long before she was standing up in the seat and trying to move over to the other seat!

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A few days later, I was looking for an outfit for little sister in their closet, and sissy climbed up in this little rocking chair and stood up.

20131104-104756.jpgThis is why the chair is in their closet and not in their room. Right now, I’m just thankful we only have one pint-sized climber on our hands.