Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat Night

At first the older girls wanted to be fairies. But they weren't happy with how long their 'lazy' Mom was taking to help them assemble their costumes. (As if I have time to scour the thrift shops for suitably filmy scarves, etc.) Then Clare wanted to dress as a Chinese girl. Originally, Noelle wanted to be a ladybug and Natalie wanted to be a bumblebee. Then the all dug into the costume box, and Noelle decided to be Spiderman and Natalie wanted to be Batman. Then they were all going to be cheetahs. Then Noelle changed her mind back to a ladybug. Then Clare decided to be the Mommy ladybug and Noelle would be her baby. Then they all jumped on the ladybug bandwagon, even Mom. Conor wanted to be Link from the Legend of Zelda game, but a few days ago somebody gave the boys several sets of authentic fatigues.

Thus we have the annual October ladybug swarm:

And a Military Man:
The package of face paint reads: To remove, wipe off and wash with warm water and soap. Additional washings may be needed. Duh. You think?

At one point while we were out, Noelle was wearing gloves but Natalie had eschewed them. I turned to see them holding hands, and Noelle explained, "I'm holding Natalie's hand to keep it warm!"

Finally, a local stable had a fundraising picnic to raise money for their vaulting team. My camera has been broken since the corn maze, but these were taken of Clare & Noelle at the picnic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Will You Please Get To The Point Of This Post?

This is Natalie.

When people ask me how we tell the difference between the twins, I run through the tangible list - Natalie's a little bit taller, their hairlines are different, Natalie sucks her fingers so her smile profile is different.

But there's also the intangible stuff. Their voices are different. They laugh differently. Noelle's feelings are more easily hurt, but Natalie holds a grudge longer. Natalie is more of a girly-girl, while Noelle wants to be the boy in all the games they play. Noelle stays up forever; Natalie recognizes and embraces her need for sleep (which really endears her to her tired old mom). Noelle has a longer attention span; Natalie seems more flighty. Noelle frequently has a slightly bruised expression, while Natalie almost always looks like she's up to something. Thus the twinkle and the devilish grin in the picture above.

And the list goes on.

One of the bigger differences right now is that Noelle seems to have a better memory for detail, having the ability to memorize books, prayers, and songs word for word. It was Noelle's gift for words, in fact, that convinced me that she might be ready to read. She was the first one to demonstrate an interest in reading, and to tell the truth, I really didn't think Natalie would be able to keep up with her. On this point, thankfully, I was mistaken, and they are both making excellent progress.

Where Noelle is meticulous with words, one particular quirk of Natalie's is the way she mixes words up. Instead of "forgot," for instance, she will say, "gotfor," as in: "Mom, you gotfor buy my favorite cereal at the store!"

One afternoon, on the way to Bible study, her lips got tangled up and no matter how many times she tried to say "Bible study," each time it came out "Bubby." This struck us as so funny that now our twice-weekly meetings are forever referred to as "The Bubby."

Which brings me to the final point of this post. Today something startled Natalie, and she turned to me in exasperation and exclaimed, "That scared me out of a crap!"

Apparently, the phrases "holy crap" and "you scared the crap out of me" are used too commonly around this house. I didn't know whether to laugh or hang my head in shame.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, we just went out and did something fun. It seems that lately, all our fun plans get scuttled or shipwrecked by our lousy time management or the myriad of obligations held by various family members. But yesterday - obligations be darned! - we spent two glorious, crisp, sun-drenched hours at a local pumpkin patch and corn maze. Not a very long time, but it felt like enough.

Daddy and the older kids tackled the corn maze (sans camera, so there is no photo record), and they really enjoyed it - especially my highly intuitive 12yos, Conor. He has my innate sense of direction, and paired with my husband's logical brain, that maze didn't stand a chance.

While they were navigating the maze, I dragged herded guided the twins through the other activities. Not too much held their interest, because on the far side of the park they could spy a giant bounce castle/obstacle course, and they couldn't wait to get over there.

They made it through the obstacles with nervous trepidation (is that redundant?), and soon found themselves at the summit of a giant precipice.

Uh oh. Dare we?

C'mon - nobody lives forever!

Did we make it?

Do you think they liked it?

Once more into the breach, dear friends! Once more!

I could have saved myself the price of admission into the activity park and just paid the dollar each to bounce in the castle. They went through at least twenty times and were totally exhausted by the end.

There was also a rope maze. I instructed them not to duck under any of the ropes as they tried to navigate their way into the center. Even though I was in plain sight the entire time, Noelle was practically in tears when she got "lost." Natalie, on the other hand, skipped ahead fearlessly and made it to the middle.

Then she threaded her way back through to guide her sister safely in.

The final consensus? Two thumbs up.

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