The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Back it up

We spent Fourth of July weekend up at Jeff & Sheila’s house, as we’ve done for the last few years. It’s a tradition we all really look forward to. We sleep in a tent, play tons of yard games (I think the girls can legitimately enter all of the tournaments next year), and hang out with family for the weekend.

The girls see my extended family three or four times a year. They used to be shy around them but no more! It’s fun to watch them socialize and run around without a care in the world where I am. Thank you Jeff & Sheila for everything you do to make the holiday special!

They went tubing. Once. They hate tubing but they give it a go every year.

Played water volleyball with whomever would play with them, went on boat rides, and helped light the little fireworks. We stayed through Sunday night fireworks, then headed to my parent’s cabin for the rest of the week.

The weather has been gorgeous! My mom bought them this unicorn floatie and it’s huge! Perfect for two or three kids to play on.

Lots more boat rides (always with pudding for some reason?). Some boat rides are happy hour themed, some are fishing, some are swimming. We’re trying to get in a little of everything this week! Luckily the fish are biting and we have plenty of snacks and drinks!

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

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Easter Crafts

Throwback to Easter! The Saturday before Easter we headed out to my aunt’s house for the annual Easter celebration. Per the usual, our day started out with a craft. I feel like our crafts get more elaborate every year? This year was no exception. Lisa had a bunch of little pots and a bunch of succulents. She also had paint, rocks, and other things we could decorate with. I took the easy road out and picked a pretty white milkglass dish to plant my succulent in. No decorating needed! The girls got super into it though. They each decorated two or three pots? I’d have to count how many plants are in the dining room.

They each painted their pots, and luckily, the paint dried quickly. Then they had Lisa make their name into a sticker (using her Crickut?). So pretty! As soon as their first pot was finished, they were reaching for another.
All of the colors they used were bright which was perfect. They add a definite pop of color to our dining room!

Post craft we colored eggs and had an egg hunt, then we ate. Standard fare. And we toasted to Lisa and Stan’s 25th wedding anniversary! I do love these family gatherings. They give the girls a broader sense of family and with only one parent, I feel like they need that.

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Happy Easter! 

The second half of this Easter post will have to wait until Friday since I forgot my camera at my Aunt Lisa’s house. It was a super fun afternoon as usual though!

My parents came up Sunday morning and went to church with us. It was such a gorgeous morning we were able to walk to church which started the morning off perfectly. We sat in the balcony next to the organ which maybe wasn’t the best spot, but the service was very nice. Almost forgot about the Easter bunny! He hid eggs all over the house, and brought baskets full of candy. The girls were very happy.

After church we headed over to the Golf club. I remember when we were thinking about joining, a neighbor told me that they did a fabulous job with every holiday event and they really do. The food is top notch, there is a huge variety, the atmosphere is perfect, and they always go above and beyond for the kids. Next year I need to class it up a bit and wear a dress though!

My dad took the girls to get their faces painted while my mom and I enjoyed a cup of coffee and one of each flavor of macarons. I’m guessing it was the same face painter as the Santa brunch and she’s fabulous. Very creative and even better, speedy.

We headed out to the petting zoo next. They had teeny tiny goats! And a few pregnant mama goats. And clearly a giant dog, ducks, a llama, an alpaca, and a cow. All of the animals were very friendly and sweet.

Family picture! We were waiting for the egg hunt and my mom asked to take a picture of us. Thanks Mom!

So the egg hunt. They had tons of toys, eggs filled with candy, kites, balls, punching balloons, and all sorts of prizes spread out over the lawn. I told my girls they needed to run all the way to the end and skip the prizes at the front so the little kids could get those. That strategy worked well, the little kids were able to get stuff and so were the older kids. The candy they came back with was the good stuff! I was very impressed.

After, my mom and I hung out on the patio while my dad fixed a few things around the house, then the rest of the day looked like this. Lots of doggie naps, and lots of humans reading books in the sun.

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Sledding into the New Year

We headed up to my aunt and uncle’s house for New Year’s Eve. They live on a lake and have snowmobiles so the girls were hoping to FINALLY get in some sledding. The one thing they wanted to do over winter break was go sledding, but it has been cold and windy and rainy and I just couldn’t make it happen. But Uncle Jeff made it happen!

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A few years ago we sledded down the hill. We tried again this year, but for some reason, we were in a much steeper spot. It was too much of a drop off so they put their feet down so they wouldn’t go over the edge.

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While the snowmobiles were elsewhere, they took turns pulling each other on the sleds. I tried pulling both of them but they’re heavy!

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It was COLD out. In past years it’s been around 30 degrees and we were able to stay out there most of the day. This year we lasted an hour, with most of the people heading in after 30 minutes. It’s always the wind that gets you! Once everyone else headed in, Jeff pulled them behind the snowmobile. There wasn’t much snow so he went really slow. They loved it and could not stop grinning.

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Every year Jeff gets rockets to set off. This year he had the Big Daddy! With the wind we had no idea where the rocket would end up, so the first few times they set it off they took it farther onto the lake.

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The last time he brought it in close and let the girls push the button. It must have caught the wind just right because of course it blew over the neighbor’s house and broke a fin. I feel like we break the rocket every year though. Sorry Jeff!


After our outside time we headed into the house for games and food. Growing up, every family gathering involved either dice or card games for money. I loved sitting in on these games and listening to everyone talk smack. This year my girls got to sit on my lap while we played dice and cards and talked a little smack. It was so fun! After the drive and the cold weather, I was exhausted by 10:30pm, so we celebrated the New Year with the east coast ball drop and then headed back to the hotel. I think next year I need to hit the caffeine because I heard things got crazy after we left.

Thanks Jeff and Sheila for hosting!!

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Christmas Wrap Up

I took approximately four pictures of the Christmas weekend. Oops? I’m awful at taking pictures of present opening so that wasn’t a surprise, but usually I do better!

Christmas Eve Eve
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Since we were picking up a pie from Nadia Cakes, we also picked up four pupcakes. We had missed Midas’ pupcake, and Lark’s birthday is on Thursday, so we celebrated all at once. I thought it would be sweet and picture worthy, but as soon as they came out all the dogs started going crazy. Annie and Demi ate theirs in one gulp, and Lark and Midas ran off to their corners to eat theirs slowly.

Christmas Eve
This year my parents came up to our house for Christmas Eve. They came up in the morning and while my dad and the girls shopped, my mom and I finishing prepping things. There wasn’t a ton to do, but I realized I am low on serving dishes so we hunted around until we found enough dishes. This is what happens when you don’t get married.

Church was at 4:00. As we were walking out the door I realized we hadn’t taken a family picture (again). I never seem to get that shot! Church was very nice, although next year we need to get there a little earlier. For dinner we had roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and dinner rolls with creme brulee for dessert. It was delicious!

Christmas Day
I was ready for a 6am wake up. The girls have been so excited for Christmas I was sure they would be up early! But no, they didn’t get up until 7:30 and that was only because Delaney heard me letting the dogs out. She woke up Caden who maybe wasn’t really ready to get up. Our morning had a bit of a rough start but we rallied.

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Here’s the one picture I got of present opening! Please note Caden’s crazy hair. She’s confused because she got hot chocolate k-cups in her stocking, but we don’t have a keurig. Or do we??? That was our family gift from my parents. I’ve avoided them for years because I like my drip coffee and I have no room in my kitchen, but Caden loved it so much when we were in Arizona, I caved but only if my mom could find a small one.

The girls were very excited about all of their gifts. They got a lot of Legos, books, and some clothes. Delaney got a few science type things, and they also got some new board games. Overall, solid gifts and nothing that will end up in the garbage in a month.

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We made reindeer pancakes for breakfast which were a big hit! Breakfast was a teeny bit crazy with everyone opening up boxes and putting things together and in the kitchen, but that’s our life most of the time anyway. Caden loved doing the whip cream and the dogs loved the extra bacon.

After lunch we headed out to my brother’s house to celebrate with him and his family, and my grandpa. The weather was crazy! Torrential rain, thunder, super high winds. Luckily it was above freezing or it would have been a nightmare. We had hoped to go sledding and maybe have an outdoor bonfire, but those plans were shot. Instead we opened presents, the girls had some dance parties, and the younger cousins did a little piano recital for us. It was a really nice day ending with an amazing dinner! The french silk (gluten free!) pie from Nadia Cakes was the perfect dessert.

Boxing Day
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The day after Christmas everyone slept in. I let the girls stay in their pajamas until just before my parents got to our house. Mostly the girls played Legos while I took down all of the Christmas decorations. I love the holiday spirit, but I was ready to get my house back.

Since my parents had an early flight out Tuesday morning, they stayed with us Monday night. I have not done any decorating beyond what we did when we moved in, so we headed to Home Goods to find a few things. We had great luck and found some cute prints for the girls’ bathroom, as well as a few things for my bedroom. I still need more things, but I feel like after a year, I can finally visualize how I want things here. I’ve also decided to tear out the carpet in the basement and put in laminate flooring. I hate carpet and even more than that, I hate continuously replacing it. With foster dogs and everything else, it makes sense to do laminate and even better – it’s cheaper than carpet! We spent some time in Home Depot looking at their selection. Caden has a lot of opinions about the flooring. It was cute watching her hunt down the cheapest option (it’s the basement!) in the color I want.

And now here we are, it’s already Wednesday. How awesome is that?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! I have to say, our change of location to Arizona worked out very well this year. I could definitely see this being our yearly tradition. We got a gorgeous, though windy, day with lots of sunshine. My mom and Sue divided up the dishes so no one had to cook like crazy.

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We had appetizers on Sue & Mike’s deck, since their outdoor area was sheltered from the wind.

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After eating we rested, then hit the pool for some swimming. There was no one there! We thought there might be a few other families that would swim between meals, but we had the pool to ourselves. The girls even got to go in the hot tub (can’t when other people are around because it’s against the rules).

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And my mom caught a little nap while we swam. For two minutes until she realized Sue was sitting in the corner.

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Halloween 2016

Halloween on a Monday is rough! It was such a rush after school trying to eat and figure out costumes. When Caden broke her arm everyone agreed that Caden would wear Delaney’s witch costume since it has flowy sleeves, and Delaney would wear Caden’s witch costume. But sometimes this weekend Delaney decided no, that wasn’t happening. I thought for sure we’d have to cut the sleeve on Caden’s costume, but it just fit over her cast! Phew. Her skirt was super cute, but she kept tripping on it so it was a ripped mess by the end of the night. We ended up trick or treating our old neighborhood, then came back and hit the houses on our street in our new neighborhood. It was a great night.

It took Delaney a little bit to get into it, but Caden was full blast from the beginning. She was stirring her cauldron and riding her broom. I died!

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4th of July!

Picture heavy post warning! We headed up to my aunt and uncle’s house for our annual 4th of July family gathering. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and I feel like we have a nice routine down. Lots of lake time, lots of game time, the meals are covered, fireworks from North Dakota, and everyone has fun.

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We had gorgeous weather for Saturday (Sunday was a cloudy and windy but we didn’t let that stop us) so we spent a lot of time in the water. My uncle has a nice pontoon, but since there’s a lot of us and the kids like to tube, my cousins both bring their boats too. We got to see Alyssa’s new boat! It’s so nice. Such a smooth ride and the perfect place to chill. Captain Dood thought so as well.

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Missing one sibling, but here’s the group that brings us all together.

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A lake selfie. We took a few this year.

The girls love my aunt and uncle’s house. First off there’s a lake, so that’s huge. They also have chickens that lay eggs (they got to collect four!) and a huge garden. Delaney kept talking about how peaceful it was, which is what she says when she wants to move somewhere. That kid seems to be a country girl at heart!

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This was the first year in a while that water volleyball made a comeback and it was a huge hit! When forced to divide into two teams Coach told us line up shortest to tallest and number off. Dane, I’m not sure you belong at the end of the line.

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Our family is a little bit competitive, and whenever there is a lull we immediately bust out a tournament bracket and throw down. Water volleyball was no different. I am sore from diving after balls and my swimsuit had a fair amount of sand in it! Still can’t believe we lost both games.

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Sunset cruise time. The lake they are on is small, but there are always a ton of boats out! We’ve been coming up here for 30 years, so it’s fun to see what’s changed as we cruise around the lake. 2016 will forever be the year of the new canal.

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All three of our dogs stayed behind with the dog sitter and we missed them! Luckily there were a few dogs around for us to love on. Asa loved Caden. He was a big, sweet boy.

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The swan floatie that is everywhere! It’s everywhere for a reason people, this thing was awesome. Super fun to play on, and also super fun to just hang out on.

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My aunt and uncle got a jet ski this year and everyone was excited about this new toy! Both girls rode on it and loved going super fast.

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A little blurry because the sun was going down, but the younger cousins swinging. These kiddos had so much fun! And even though Sam is the oldest, he still hangs with them and indulges them.

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Happy Easter!

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I’m going to preface this with the fact that I am exhausted, so this post may be more pictures than words. Both girls were SO excited for the Easter Bunny to come to our house, that they couldn’t sleep and climbed in bed with me. Three people and three dogs is too many! Midas had to sleep on my chest so he wouldn’t get smooshed! Onward.

Saturday we headed out to my aunt Lisa’s for Easter with the family. The girls helped dye eggs, I stayed out of it.

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After eggs was the craft! I will probably not explain this well, but we put drops of nail polish in hot water. They mixed together and created kind of a film on top of the water, and if you dipped a coffee mug in just right, the nail polish clings to the mug and you have a pretty design!

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This was definitely a craft where you learned from your first round and made adjustments. Some nail polishes worked better than others, smaller drops worked better than big drops, and some people went with just one color which looked super cool. Super fun craft!

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We did an egg hunt outside, then the kids got Easter baskets. This picture is a bit blurry, but the photo bomb was too good to leave out! Dinner was my uncle Stan’s ribs and I definitely out ate everyone at my table. Word.

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The girls are super into Star Wars still, which made Easter Baskets easy. The Easter Bunny hid plastic Star Wars eggs with stickers in them, they got totally amazing marshmallow Storm Trooper and BB-8 things, Star Wars eggs, and some paper Storm Trooper things that I’m leaving for the babysitter to do with them today.

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Best gift? Light saber bubbles! They light up! So totally amazing (found at Walgreens). Because no one got much sleep our morning was a little slow. We hit the late service at church, then had brunch out and about. Our church is trying to make services more family friendly so they have replaced some of the chairs with round tables that the kids can color at. It worked perfectly for us. We were kind of off by ourselves, the girls brought books so they could read (and listen), and I didn’t feel like we were bothering anyone around us. Two thumbs up.

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