Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little Pretzel With Your Sand

The combo of The Littles and the sand almost overwhelms me with the mess.  Add a snack to this situation and I have to just remind myself to chill. :) 

Friday, December 30, 2011


Shouldn't you be at least five before you consistently ruin every picture with an awkward cheese face?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who Will Take Me Dipping?

All of these adults and The Littles have one question; DIP?

Rounding up anyone willing to take her dipping...

They bring their own towels, they just need someone to operate the "alligator" (elevator).

Lots of lovin' adults to talk into it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We had a Merry Christmas and during this season, life has been chock full of unexpected, but God ordained changes (which I will tell you about soon).

However, this post will just be chock full of pictures. :) I regretfully didn't get my camera out much but here is a few of our festivities:
 Happy Birthday Jesus party

Learning new sports,

High fashion,

Cousin love, 
A giant pajama party
and some dips!
 Now we are here...
 More to come...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some Antics and A Flashback…

Last year at this time…

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Some recent antics and a tiny update on our Ethiopia projection.

-Jon has started working on my parents farm. It has been a blessing for us as Jon is getting agricultural experience to prepare us for Ethiopia. The first night after work he walked in and the girls gave him a squeeze and then started sniffing the air.  Jon said, “Little J, what’s wrong”?  She took a big sniff and pointed to his jacket and said indignantly, “MOO”.

-Every bearded man is Noah and this includes any Santa we see.  The other day some Amish men came to fix our window.  They walked in and Little J said, “Noah!”.  Already embarrassed I tried to pass it off and quietly explain that they were “nice men” and “friendly”.  We went upstairs as they needed to ask me questions. The girls huddled close to my legs and then Little A started to clearly say, “Men, go away, men, go away, go away”.

-I heard a little voice from the kitchen, “Amy, help me, help me Amy!”  I went in the kitchen and Little A’s eyes were sparkling as she was pretend stuck. I stifled my laugh and said, “Little A, call me Mama” to which she responded, “Okay lady” She also calls me Ames at least once a day.

-The Littles love jokes. Here is an example of a line that cracks up The Littles:

Jon: Did you know there was a pink letter so stinky the mailman wouldn’t deliver it?

The Littles: hehehehehehe (literally beside themselves with giggles) More, more!

-When The Littles are asked a question, they precede the answer with “maaaaayyyybbbbeeee”…

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have A Merry Merry Christmas

Christmas pictures 

If you are interested, here is our Christmas 2011 letter:

Normally we don’t send a Christmas update; we just send the picture of our smiling faces and let you assume that all is well. Don’t worry, we are happy to report that all is well and God continues to be faithful. We love that about Him, that He is unchanging and continually sovereign and merciful.

So, while all is well, all is also very different. This past year has been full of redirection for us and at times, it seems like we were just barely clinging on for the ride. We feel God’s leading for our family to be involved in full-time missions overseas. As we have prayerfully considered what this means, God continues to lay Ethiopia on our hearts. Jon and I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia for further exploration in early November.

Jon has worked at Paragon Landscape for five ½ years and our whole family has been blessed through this company and Jon’s coworkers. He is done with his job as a landscape designer/salesman as we move towards beginning our support raising/missionary training journey. The vision for our time in Ethiopia would be to work within a “business as missions” model and start a business with a “double harvest” mindset. The basic explanation would be that while the business will hopefully bring in monetary profit for the sake of community development, it is crucial to also be paired with discipleship and biblical teaching and training for the sake of a harvest of souls as well. While we don’t have an exact timeline or plan (trust us, we wish we did!), we are moving forward, praying for faith to follow where God leads. Jon hopes to use this time to work in an agricultural setting to learn more about the industry as it seems that agricultural businesses are one of the most effective industries in Ethiopia.

I continue to stay at home with my little “silly beans”, Little J and Little A. They crack us up with their antics, melt our hearts at their sweetness and sometimes make us crazy with their orneriness! Jon and I love the toddler stage. It is hard to believe that two years ago at this time, we had never even considered raising twin girls. Once again, it shows how God’s plans are so much better than ours (Eph. 3:20-21).

Teaching Christmas to two year-olds has made it come alive again. The deep kind of alive that leaves us humbled and with goose bumps as we stop to think about the well-known words of the Christmas story and realize their magnitude. They girls have a much-loved Nativity set and we have a hard time keeping track of “Baby Jesus” as they snatch Him out of the manger for cuddles. They watch in wonder as the nativity scene plays out again and again as we tell the story of when God became man and lived among us. They love when the angels appear to the shepherds. Little J and Little A giggle when it gets to their part, “Hallelujah, glory to God in the highest!” Little J just says, “Glory, glory, glory!”

We wish you much love and Christ’ abiding peace in your Christmas season.

Glory To God In The Highest,

J&A, j&a

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lazy Woman’s Snow Day

Sometimes you just don’t have the energy for a full snow day.

However, I propose a decent solution: Lazy Mama’s Snow Day

When we got that first snow, there are only so many times in a 24 hour period that putting on snow boots sounds like fun.

The solution, SNOW IN THE HOUSE.

(And yes, you do spy princess dresses paired with Elmo slippers because these Littles don’t think it is possible to over-accessorize. )



Baby Jesus, Joseph and Barbie all joined in the fun.

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Hmm…may be doing this a lot this winter. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three Toddlers Walk Into A Bakery

The cute Yummees Bakery sat empty, rows of perfect cupcakes beautifully displayed and the bakers worked on cakes in the back, completely unaware of what was about to hit them…

3 toddlers on a sugar high. Oh ya.

(Little J would only eat the cupcake by bringing the whole plate to her mouth)

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Starting into their cupcakes

About 90 seconds later…the sugar hits their blood stream.

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Yes, we did offer to windex their windows.

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Since our encounter with Santa, Little A has wanted to hold Little J on her lap.

Miss Adilynn decided that she wanted horsey rides from The Littles.

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Little J was not a fan of that idea and kept laying down.

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No problem, the great part of twins is there is always another one to catch! Little A enjoyed it.

(I really wish I could have caught the whole thing on video!)

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Thanks Kristi and Amy K, what a fun idea!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It’s The Thought That Counts?

Because we are going to be singing at a nursing home tonight, we thought it would be a good opportunity to practice giving to others. 

“Girls, who wants to decorate Christmas cookies?”

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They both started on the same cookie

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Oh yeah, good and decorated.

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TIme for a cookie!

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Little A shoves it all in, Little J took her time, licking off the frosting and adding sprinkles to each bite.

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A small sampling of their work.

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Hopefully it is the thought that blesses and not the perfection of the product. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

I’ve always thought that I would be the mom who would allow my kids to go to the grocery in costume.  It has always made me smile.  However, now that The Littles wear Princess dresses everyday, we have not gone out in public with them once.


We are working up to it.  :) Do you let your kids go as they are into public settings?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First World Issues

(Make sure you check out and add your traditions to the last post.)

It is the little things that drive me crazy, ya know?

Take the following things I have complained about (at least in my heart) within the last few weeks:

-The sun is so bright and I forgot my sunglasses on the table at home. Squinting is so annoying and will probably give me a headache and more wrinkles, that skin around my eyes is so unforgiving.

-My internet has not been streaming videos quickly and occasionally stops to buffer. *GASP*

-Macy’s didn’t have my size in the exact boot I wanted, I will either have to go to another store, order it online, settle for another pair of boots or skip new boots altogether.

-Our automatic door on our minivan is not working properly, again.

-Walmart stopped carrying my favorite brand of hummus, the only brand they carried with 100% olive oil. Huge bummer.

A few weeks back I was talking to Jon on the phone and was telling him my predicament-that I didn’t have quite the right “genre” of shoes for my outfit. He laughed and said, “Ames, this sounds like a first world issue”. Humph. Sigh. Long pause…should I be mad? I sat there for another three seconds and then I laughed too.

Since then, God has brought these words to my head often as I find myself getting worked up and bugged and I must say, it has been good for me and my contentment level!

While in Phoenix, Seth showed us this youtube clip that I thought was GENIUS and kind of sad as the irony hits.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Need Your Ideas...Traditions for Focusing on CHRISTmas

Last year I asked you about your Christmas traditions.  I just went back and re-read them and love 'em more even now! Check out your ideas from last year here.

We have had a few festivities focusing on the fun and "magical side" of Christmas. While it has been fun and sweet, we don't want receiving gifts and eating lots of cookies to be our focus.  This feels very Grinch-like, but we are teaching Santa as a fictional character. We were at a large family Christmas last night and so we explained Santa before he came.  The girls were apprehensive but did a good job with enough assurance and a prayer with Little J for courage to sit on Santa's lap.

This year, a common thread that keeps coming up is doing a Christmas focusing on sacrifice and giving back.  We have had a few ideas but need your ideas too!

So, AGAIN, I want to hear your traditions.  Specifically I would be interested in knowing how you have incorporated giving with your children. How do you focus on Christ during the holidays? Even if you haven't implemented them, what activities have you thought of doing with your family?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More of The Three Amigas (And One Funny Story)

While we were in Phoenix, these three together were quite a trio. I am amazed and thankful for how well they all got along! There were moments of watching them and I almost felt like they were teenagers hanging out and then I would change a diaper and remember. (Or actually Jon would change a diaper and I would remember.  I have to give a shout out here.  That man changes LOADS of diapers.) :)





Bathtime is more fun when the tub is full of kids!


The high chair line-up


Delighted with their own bowls of frozen yogurt.


G took off her shirt before the ribs and chocolate cupcakes meal. Of course The Littles wanted to match!




“Who can find Little G’s belly button”? (We maybe had some confusion…)


And one funny story:
While at the zoo, the girls were enjoying the baboons (at least I think it was the baboons)
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And when Little J (my tender-heart) was the only one left standing at the window, there was a “BOOM” and then feathers flew and a bird landed at her feet. A very out of it bird who had just run into the window right above her.
Little J looked at the bird, who was still moving a bit, and started to cry, “no tweet tweet”.
Our own “circle of life” lesson at the zoo. Dumb bird.