Monday, November 25, 2013

Five Things and a Bunch of Pictures

My titles just get more and more creative as time goes by, don't they? ;)

* Please be praying for our dear friend/Melissa's mom/my second mom Mrs. Kathy and her family. Here is a little bit of Melissa's post on Facebook about everything going on right now: So...
I mentioned last week that my mom had had surgery to remove a cyst, which at the time we thought was benign. It wasn't. :( Several of you have been riding this emotional rollercoaster with me already this week, and bless you times infinity for being such wonderful people. We have the best support groups anybody could ask for.

For those of you who want to know more about what's going on, my mom has set up a Caring Bridge site where we'll post updates as we go through the process. You can sign up and we'll keep you posted. Link is

Thanks for praying!!
Here's Mrs. Kathy celebrating the girls' second birthday in style! She has already shown breast cancer who's boss, so we have every confidence that she can handle this too, with God's grace!
* So a few weeks ago, I came across an article about a Jesse Tree ornament exchange, and I thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. However, I knew fully well I'd never be able to convince 24 other people to agree to make 25 ornaments for an exchange, so I pinned the article to Pinterest and moved on. Then the next morning I received a Facebook invitation to be a part of a Jesse Tree ornament exchange party! I was so thrilled that I accepted the invitation without even processing what I was doing! :) I really ought to do a post just about the gorgeous ornaments I received at the party on Friday night and the stories they represent, but we'll see if that happens. :) It was a wonderful experience though, and I am crazy excited to start this tradition with my family this year!
Sorry this is sideways! For my ornament, the Bethlehem skyline, I drew this picture (I found something similar online that I used for inspiration) and colored it in with chalks, took it to Kinko's, had copies made for each ornament I needed to make, ...

... and glued each one onto a gift tag like this using glitter Mod Podge, then added a bonus layer of Mod Podge on the front and back of each one.

This was the end result.
* Saturday we went to Mississippi and surprised Mrs. DeeDee for her 50th birthday!! We had such a wonderful time with her, Herbie, Jennifer, Tyler and Noah... and yet sadly I have NO pictures to show for any of it!! Massive fail on my part! But thankfully we will be seeing them this week, so I will have to more than make up for it then. :)

* As an only child, I am equal parts amused/annoyed/fascinated/disturbed by the sister disputes that have begun unfolding around here lately. I've been shocked to see just how early it begins! For a while, the girls would just ride around in their car seats, passing the time by arguing over who knows what. One would say "yes," the other would say "no," and back and forth they would go. Now it has reached the point where they'll argue about things like the topic of dissension they had today over breakfast -- whom Mickey belongs to. Tamsie said Mickey is Tamsie's, and Evie said NO, that he is actually Evie's. Now it would be sensible at this point to assume they were fighting over their stuffed Mickey, but alas -- they were watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at the time and fighting over who the real Mickey Mouse belongs to. Because clearly he's not public domain.

* I've recently had a smattering of other mommy friends ask me for advice on various kid-related topics, and every time, I've noticed a common theme in the replies I give them: I totally remember being in the phase they're asking me about and being stressed out about being there, and I know we're clear of it now (mostly anyway), but I sure can't remember how we got here. Everything is such a blur! I don't know if this is an any-mom thing or a twin mom thing. So if it's advice you're looking for, always feel free to ask away, but because everything is so hazy in my memories of it all, it's surprisingly hard to give. This can either be good or bad for you! ha!

Evie in her book nook. She must have just woken up since she has her paci bear!

Big smile!

I don't even know what she's doing here, but I LOVE that smile. 

Here's Tamsie making what is known around here as "the Chris face."
See what I mean?

Their favorite pastime (besides arguing, of course)

I love these dresses!

At Starbucks with Amma

In their element

Actually sharing!

Admiring the big Christmas tree at the zoo

And I love E's face here!

Baby and mama snow leopard in their own little area at the zoo

Tamsie's getting Aunt Jennifer kisses!

Back when the girls had reflux, I'd sit them up in their high chairs and read to them to keep them upright after their meals, since it was so hard to hold both of them at once. The tradition continues today, and storytime always follows food time. (That's why their books are on our kitchen table 95% of the time!) Here Evie has put her bunny in her booster chair for pretend storytime. :)

Kissing baby's boo-boo and modeling crazy hair. It doesn't matter how often you brush it, this is bound to happen immediately afterward.

Just riding along, talking away on her play phone....


Watching the sea lion show

Fun at the zoo with Amma
Out for a walk with Allie!

Pierce is totally photobombing!



Wearing their favorite fashion accessories: Mouse ears!

Snuggle time with Daddy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Great Resources!

I just saw Kelly's link-up today and thought I'd throw something together to share really quickly while my girls are still napping! Here are some of the most helpful resources I've found. I'm sure my list will be random, but maybe it will happen to include just the perfect resource someone is looking for!

- Parenting:
Shepherding a Child's Heart. Ditto what Kelly said. At seminary, I kept hearing about how amazing this book is, and it has proven to be extremely helpful to Chris and me as we figure this thing out!
* Also Don't Make Me Count to Three. We were presented with this book at our babies' dedication, and it has been a great one too.

- Working with high school/college girls:
* Total Truth. I led a book study on this several years back for high school seniors, and all of us learned tons!! It is excellent for studying and forming a solid Christian worldview. It is certainly not a light read, but the way I see it, high schoolers are used to studying Shakespeare and physics and such anyway, so it's certainly nothing they can't handle. Plus I believe many of them are craving something with some serious depth!
* Girls Gone Wise. Really anything by Mary Kassian is excellent. This is truly one of my all-time favorite book studies. Another good one from her is Conversation Peace.
* Lies Young Women Believe, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Evangelism/leadership training/spiritual gift training:
* Jaye Martin Ministries. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Jaye in seminary! God is really doing some great things through her ministry! :)

* - Probably one of my very favorites. I especially love his a la carte section, where he links to all manner of great things he's found all over the Internet. I also like to find book reviews by searching for titles in the search bar.
* The Housewife Theologian - just recently discovered this blog and have been loving it!
* Practical Theology for Women
* Moore to the Point - always a great read.

I'm sure there are SO many more, but here are just a handful of some I have found to be excellent and very faithful to Scripture! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Fun!

One of these days, I sure hope I'll post something thought-provoking and insightful. But for now, life is so busy that it's all I can do to post the various photos I take along the way! Here's the latest batch, in whatever order they uploaded:

Tamsie and Evie wore their princess costumes from YaYa, Papa Herbie and Uncle Noah to our church's fall festival!

Tamsie chose to be Ariel that day, and Evie was Cinderella. They thoroughly enjoyed all the inflatables they were big enough to handle!

We loved watching them have so much fun.

Chasing after balls and throwing them into holes

Pierce, AKA Woody, joined in on the fun!

Halloween night, saying "This is our candy!" over and over in voices of wonderment and poring through all of it. This year they are still blissfully unaware that it's edible... ha!

Halloween night with the Birthday Granddaddy himself

The day after their birthday party, since all of Chris's siblings were in town, along with Mrs. DeeDee and Papa Herbie, the whole bunch of us went out to celebrate at Owen Brennan's for the most delicious brunch Memphis has to offer. Here's Alex with Evie.

With everyone there, I didn't even have to lift a finger to help T and E with their brunch! I was loving all the extra help and the chance to sit down and eat to my heart's content on the other side of the table! ;)

Chris, Tamsie, me, Evie, Noah, Jennifer, Tyler, Mrs. DeeDee, Alex, Papa Herbie

T kept snuggling up next to Chris at dinner that night

Typical... I failed to get the silly pic memo!

Evie is crazy about her Granddaddy!

They turned their tent from JT into a little book nook/TV viewing station, as both are demonstrating here. Kinda reminds me of how my Granddad used to watch the news and read the paper all at the same time! ha!

Sometimes Allie passes shoes down to the girls. Amazingly, they often share just fine like this! :)

Playing at the mall playground

Whenever they see this picture in one of their books, E always identifies the brunette as Aunt Mo -- which we find hilarious, since she used to hang out at the fence between our houses back in the olden days, making lots of noise and trying to get me to come out and play while I would be diligently practicing piano inside. Love it!

The book is nearly as big as E.

I love how they get so intrigued by their books!

Future Librarians of America? Future writers? Future book reviewers?

Thursday Afternoon Ladies' Book Club??

Grandparent time is always a favorite.

Wild monkeys!

That face. Those dog ears... or pigtails... or whatever you call them!

Here's Evangelyn rocking her first set of them!

And here's T playing with her slide whistle and rocking her pigtails too.  She wouldn't sit as still as E (shocker!) so hers didn't turn out quite as well.

Hogging the remote!


T walked over to a bookshelf, picked out this book, and proclaimed, "That's a big book, baby. Let's read it!"

Sometimes it's interesting to see who gets rocked to sleep in the cradle. Each toy is also lovingly serenaded with lullabies, including such favorites as "Go To Sleep, Sweet Duck" and "Go To Sleep, Little Baby Doll."

That's my girl T, taking after her mom with the Starbucks.

They beg for my cup the whole time I'm drinking it, and then when it's as empty as I can get it, they have a go at it.


Silly girls will use anything as a utensil to feed their baby dolls with. Here T is meticulously dipping a hook from her doll cradle into this yellow cup and then placing it on the baby doll's mouth. 
Here's a sweet hat that Gigi's mother made for the girls, modeled by E!

And here is T's version. Once again the girl has an abandoned coffee cup in hand.

Helping Daddy water the plants

If you look closely, you'll see T and E climbing up this inflatable at the church carnival. I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me a little nervous letting them go inside something like this with other bigger kids while I waited outside! This was a first for them and for me. :)

Looking at the camera is apparently SO overrated.

But you can still tell they're super cute in their costumes!

I told them Granddaddy's birthday was coming up, so OF COURSE they went and found their mouse ears to wear! Birthdays = opportunities to wear mouse ears, as far as they are concerned!

At a fall festival at Mrs. Kim's preschool. We discovered that the girls had ballerina costumes that had been given to us ages ago, so that's what they wore to this carnival. Things were so chaotic that this is the only decent picture I took there!

Trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids! We love living in a neighborhood with lots of littles! :)

T climbing on her Granddaddy's back

I told them to look at Tamsie, and then I realized they were making the same basic face -- so I had to take a picture!

Remembering my Tri Chi Genie days, mom came over before work and had me do her makeup on Halloween. Here she is at the end of the day, genie eyes still intact.

These days, the baby dolls receive a good bit of their food in stacking cups.

This actually happens on a regular basis during snack time!

Chris and I were able to go on a couples' retreat this weekend with church friends, thanks to grandparents who volunteered to keep the girls!! This was our first-ever time away from the girls overnight!

We sure were ready to see the girls when we got back. Here is Chris cuddling with Evie during naptime the next day.

Hanging out with Cliff at the mall!
So things have been pretty busy lately, as usual, but also pretty fabulous! Hope your November is off to a great start! :)