Monday, April 30, 2012

John Deere tractors

I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin ~ and my Dad drove John Deere tractors.
I guess it's true ~ 'Nothing runs like a Deere'.

So when the preschool I work at took a field trip to Tolmachoff Farms in West Phoenix,
I was tickled to see Shawn & Emolyn having so much fun on the old John Deere tractor.

Emolyn was so absorbed in pretending to drive this tractor, she was oblivious to my picture-taking... or trust me, she would have kindly asked me to stop taking so many pictures.

You can see the progression of John Deere tractors on the family farm in Wisconsin, in the YouTube video my husband & I made as a tribute to my Dad ~

Friday, April 27, 2012

Emolyn's wedding

So... how does one follow up the birth of twins? Well, a wedding of course.
Yes, we had ourselves a wedding this week. Our 4 year old granddaughter Emolyn got married.
Hey, how else do you celebrate the birth of your twin baby brothers? Exactly! With a backyard wedding!

Actually, here's how it all came down ~ you know that yard sale we were suppose to have last Saturday? Well  my beautiful grandsons arrived instead... so we didn't have to endure 100+ temps, but rescheduled for this Saturday with much lower temps.

So this week I spent some time going through some of the boxes Miranda had dropped off for the yard sale, and found the bouquet that she caught at her cousins wedding a few years back. I knew that Emolyn would go wild over this white & purple beaded bouquet. And she did. She immediately wanted to get married. Well I was thrilled, because about a month ago I found the perfect flowergirl/ wedding dress for her at Goodwill for $5.00. But every time I would mention her trying it on, she would very politely reply "thank you for the dress Mimi, but not yet". But this time she was so excited to put it on, and then very politely told me she did not like the big puffy sleeves. So I cut them off and we had ourselves a wedding dress.

Oh my gosh, she was stunning!

Emolyn told me that I could cry at the wedding, 
because Mama's and Mimi's and Grandma's cry at weddings. So I did.

Emolyn also told me she wanted real food at the reception, 
along with the PlayDoh food that we had prepared. 

The reception was so fun! She danced and twirled and danced and swirled. And then she threw the bouquet and I caught it like a dozen times. And then I threw the bouquet and then she like took forever before she caught it. She's such a good sport.

Oh, and for those of you that are wondering, the groom was there. But as we all know, the wedding is all about the bride. Her "husband" is "Mike". He works at the Apple Store. And he was late getting to the wedding. But he finally made it. It's good thing he's a figment of our imagination... or else he'd have gotten an ear full from me. ha!

I can not believe how blessed I am to have such wonderful kids, a daughter-in-law, and now these precious grandchildren in my life. Wow.
Thank you, thank you Lord!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The twins birth story

Wouldn't you know, I'd plan a yard sale and the temps would soar to 100+. Needless to say, I was dragging my feet ~ but managed to do a tad bit sorting and paint a few sale signs on Friday. But when Shawn called late Friday afternoon saying Nicole was having contractions, everything came to a halt. They were going to the hospital to get her checked out. But when I hadn't heard from them by the next morning, I got up at 5:30 to get started on the yard sale. I had no more than got dressed when Shawn called telling us that Nicole's c-section was scheduled for 7am! I immediately jumped in the shower, Randy called Miranda, woke up Tyler and we were on the road in a half hour. We drove the 40 minutes to Thunderbird Banner and got there just in time to pray with everyone before Nicole was wheeled into surgery. Thank God Shawn called when he did, or an hour later we would have had everything set out and our driveway filled with customers. Whew!

Shortly after the twins were delivered at 7:18am ~ Shawn delivered the good news ~ along with the goods! ha! And this was our first glimpse at Jonah & Nathan. I can't tell you how ecstatic we were! Look at them! They are perfect and healthy and BIG!
Jonah was 5# 11oz. ~ Nathan was 4# 14oz.

And this was my first close-up of their sweet little faces and perfectly pink bodies. Oh my!

Jonah, on the left, is almost a pound bigger than Nathan, so it's been easy to tell them apart... so far. Yes, they're identical. So once Nathan catches up, it's going to be rather confusing. ha!

Every single birth is a miracle, but everything about these babies is pretty miraculous! 
Do you remember me sharing about how we found out about the twins, in the blog post about events that you vividly remember "where were you when you heard...". Here's their story ~

My twin grand-babies (2011) ~ how could I forget the day I heard that my son and daughter-in-law were expecting TWINS! Randy & I were at a Marriage Retreat up north and we had decided not to go out to dinner with the rest of the teaching team. We were at a new location and wanted to be on hand in case any of the couples arrived early. I will never forget, we were sitting out on this gorgeous deck overlooking this breathtaking scenery, when Randy's cell phone goes off. Mind you, in all the years of Marriage Retreats, this was going to be the first retreat that we would have cell phone coverage and would need to remind the couples that cell phones were off limit. So needless to say, I was a little startled to hear Randy's phone go off. He answered and immediately handed me the phone. It was Shawn, and he said Nicole had something to tell me... and she says ~
"We have something to tell you... we're pregnant... and we got pregnant with an IUD... and it will need to be surgically removed... and when I had an ultrasound to determine the location of the IUD, they saw that it was twins."
Oh my gosh! I could barely comprehend what I had just heard. I mean, that's a lot to hear! But I found myself saying out loud "This is totally a God thing! These babies are undeniably gifts from God!" And I was instantly flooded with peace and a whole lot of tears.

And now they're here! Our precious gifts from God are here and we're so grateful!

The next day on Sunday, April 22nd, we went back to the hospital with the yellow blanket.
The very yellow blanket that my husband Randy was swaddled in 58 years ago...

... and that our son Shawn was swaddled in almost 30 years ago.

You're looking at three generations that were wrapped in the yellow blanket.
Makes me cry every time I look at this.

That's me ~ Jonah & Nathan's overjoyed Mimi ~ and the yellow blanket heirloom.

I also blogged about the yellow blanket when each of our three kids, and then Emolyn & Elsie, came home from the hospital wrapped in the yellow blanket.
You can click HERE and HERE for those stories.

And for those of you on facebook ~ you can click HERE for more photos of the twins birth day.

And my yard sale is now this Saturday ~ with temps in the low 80's. Yes!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The twins are here!

Jonah & Nathan were born today!
My son Shawn is the proud Daddy of two darling little boys.

Jonah & Nathan seeing each other for the first time after they were born.
Get this, Nicole's Dr. said it was the first time he had ever delivered twins together... like at the very same time! Neither can claim they were born first. They came out sandwiched together, one's head against the other's feet. 
How cute is that!

Nicole carried these babies for 36 weeks and she was sick most every single day ~
but delivered healthy, hearty, perfect little boys.
And she's feeling fantastic and full of life since the delivery. So happy for her!

Jonah Dean weighed 5# 11oz. ~ Nathan Beck weighed 4# 14oz.

Our hearts are truly bursting with joy and gratitude, 
and thankful for your thoughtful prayers.
Good nite everyone. 
More posts with pics to follow!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

twins in two weeks!

Two weeks from today ~ my two grandsons will be born.
I'm in tears just thinking about it.

Two little boys ~ two sons ~ emolyn & elsie's brothers ~ two grandsons.

I can hardly wrap my brain around the reality of what is about to happen.

Oh Lord, you know my prayers for this precious little family.

You know they will be moving mere days after the delivery of these little boys.
(just so you know, they're staying in the Phoenix area)

You know what they need and You delight in meeting their many practical needs.

 And You know the plans You have for them... plans to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future. 

Jeremiah 29:11

Please pray for Shawn & Nicole as they prepare for two more ~ pray for healthy, happy little boys ~ for emolyn & elsie as they welcome their baby brothers ~ that as a family they would continue to marvel at the outpouring of love ~ and blessings beyond all that they could ask or think ~ Ephesians 3:20.

And if you want a fun read, a good laugh or a good cry ~
you gotta read Nicole's last couple blog posts ~
click HERE.

Monday, April 16, 2012

my baking drawer

My kitchen has all drawers ~ big, beautiful, full-expension, deep drawers. But it never occurred to me that I could incorporate one of those drawers into a baking drawer... till I saw this picture (left) on The Farm Chicks blog. I had seen it a few years back... but thankfully Serena linked to her old kitchen again while revealing her brand new kitchen in her brand new custom-built home. And I'm thinking ~ "oh my gosh, why don't I have a baking drawer in my kitchen!!

I had lived with my new kitchen for almost two years and had a hunch that this baking drawer could radically change how I function in my kitchen as a baker.

Yes, I'm a baker ~ and let me tell you, this has seriously revolutionized my baking experience. Everything I need is at my fingertips ~ so handy and so easy to access and so visibly pleasing. I think I pulled out my baking drawer to anyone who walked through my door for weeks. Ok, so maybe only family members. And I may have had to show great restraint when the Schwan's man came over. Although maybe next time I won't. ha!
Anyway, I love that darling little blue & green Ball container that holds baking powder (from the 99 Cent store)... and the larger containers hold powdered sugar, brown sugar, flour and white sugar.

Most of the containers were found at thrift stores over the years ~ except for the two green clear ones that I recently found at HomeGoods on clearance for 2 dollars each. I plan on filling each of them with cornstarch and baking soda.

What more can I say ~ I absolutely LOVE my baking drawer!
Do you have a baking drawer? What do you have in your baking drawer?

I'm linking up this post to ~

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Celebrate life

I won Nancy's Tourist of Life giveaway! So excited!
Nancy also threw in a free bacon coupon ~ 
because she recently won a years supply of bacon. I know!

But inside the box of chocolates I happen to unwrap a Dove chocolate and found this ~

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.

So true. Such a timely reminder.
So today I will choose to give thanks and celebrate my life.

Thank you Nancy. Thank you Dove.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

a BEE-utiful picnic

That's my granddaughter Emolyn and her Pop Pop at Kiwanis Park in Tempe ~ 
on the picnic of her dreams. 

Just the week before, she had expressed to me that one day she would like to go on a picnic "with a real picnic basket and a real blanket and real food". So we did.

And she loved every single second.

And I loved watching her love every single second.

And then as we were leaving, we came upon the most bee-utiful Bottlebrush shrub.

Bee sure to enlarge each image for a better look.

And then my daughter Miranda came over and Emolyn's little sister Elsie came over ~
and they laid out in the backyard and giggled as little girls do.
I sure love my girl-Es!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pantry transformation

When the previous owners built the old pantry, they took space from the master bedroom walk-in closet. And because the old kitchen had so little counter space, we put our microwave inside that pantry and that's why there is a good size hole looking into our closet (below). Which meant my clothes invariably took on the smell of whatever I was cooking in the microwave for these past 18 years. I'm not even kidding.
When we finally gutted the pantry, we decided to make it even bigger, which meant taking even more closet space, which was fine by me. I'll take more pantry space over closet space any day!

Thankfully we had extra tile to extend into the pantry. And those wood shelves from the Pyrex cabinet (see previous post) came in handy for pantry shelving. I also had a counter installed ~ which makes it a Butler's Pantry, right? Ok, to me it does.

Remember my inspiration? Well, I knew I wanted a counter top inside the pantry for my toaster oven. I probably use my toaster oven more than any other appliance in my kitchen, but I did not want it set out on the counter. And yes, that does mean I have to have the pantry door open while using it, but I don't mind in the least.

Anyway, I scoured every place you can think of to find the perfect counter top ~ Ikea, Home Depot, thrift stores, ReStore, etc. Oh, but let me clarify, not just any counter top... a counter top on clearance. Well, I finally found the perfect one on clearance at Lowes ~ $27.00! YES!

But I gotta tell, we've been using it for months without a door... and quite frankly, it's rather bothersome having to open a door to get inside my pantry. ha!

A huge thank you to my handy, handsome husband! 
I love and appreciate you so much Randy!

And my favorite feature ~ it's THE coolest night light EVER!!
Two years ago during the kitchen remodel, my husband wired the pantry with a light switch,
so we could turn it off and on without opening the door.
Makes for the ultimate cozy kitchen ambience!

For those who want to check out my previous post for the total kitchen transformation ~
keep scrolling down or click here ~

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! And please come again!

I'm linking up my transformations with these parties ~