Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We have had quite the adventurous holiday season around our house. As soon as Bill's dad arrived, our kids decided that they didn't want to sleep at night and thought it would be more fun to keep the grandparents up at night. We weren't sure what was causing it.

Wednesday, December 16th we celebrated Christmas with Bill's Dad's side of the family. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed our time together. The kids were a lot of fun to watch them discover what they could do with wrapping paper.

Thursday, December 17th Bob graduated from his Basic Law Enforcement Training. We were able to celebrate with him and continue our celebrations at Olive Garden after the graduation. We are very proud of him and everything he accomplished. Can't wait to see him in his first department uniform. Praying that God sends him the job opportunity that he has planned for him.

Saturday evening, we planned on going to church with everyone (Brent, Deb, Bob, Erica, Bill, Jackie and Dottie). Unfortunately the migraine and upset stomach that Jackie was dealing with on Friday continued over to Sat. She ended up in ER that night and surgery the next morning. When they were able to leave on Monday (day later than they planned) she left our beautiful state w/o an appendix. We are just thankful that they were here in town with us and not stuck between NC and MI on their journey home.

Tuesday we(My dad and I) took Billy in to the dr because he had been up all night for a few nights in a row and that wasn't like him at all. Double ear infection was his diagnosis. He also had a red throat and they didn't want to test him for strep since they were going to give him meds for the ears that would take care of strep if he had it.

Wednesday, Bill returned to work and Dad and I took Bekah into the Dr. She tested positive for strep but ears were fine. She started her rounds of medicine and felt much better w/in 24 hours.

Santa visited our apartment complex and I'll let you see for yourselves how much the kids LOVED Santa. ;)

We had a family event of making cookies, it was a blast. I made them, dad baked them, Deb kids and I decorated them and Bill helped us eat them. :) At one point Billy tried to pick up his cookie and stuck it to his bib with frosting used as glue.

Christmas Eve we continued our family tradition of opening pjs. I think Billy was a little disappointed when he discovered that it was just clothes and it wasn't a fun toy. Bekah loved that they were soft and was excited about "pretty" clothes.

Christmas Day we celebrated the four of us with Grandma Wade (Deb) and Grandpa Holtz (Brent) (wow that sounds strange). After our family Christmas, Bob and Erica joined in on the fun. We had my dad's yummy french toast and I made Christmas dinner later that evening.

Playing at the Park was a lot of fun. This was the first time the kids were able to play at this park, because last time it was closed for improvements. They had a blast running around and exploring everything around them.

The worst part of everything, is saying "bye". It is hard being able to have Grandparents around for 2 weeks and then all of a sudden everyone is gone. Kaylee is even looking around like "Where did everyone go?" Over the course of the holidays Bekah is talking more and Billy is now saying "geckah" meaning Bekah. We try to get Bekah to say Billy but she says "buba" instead.

Thanks for the chicken parmesan and french toast dads :) For all of the hugs, kisses and great memories. Can't wait to see everyone again soon. Love and miss everyone.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

15 Month Pictures

I know it has been way too long. I keep getting behind with the postings of the pictures. It is incredible what the kids are doing to make us laugh and cry all at the same time. They do some of the silliest things and then without notice they accidentally smack you in the face with a sippy cup (thanks for the busted lip bubby) :)

A few posts back the pictures had Bekah with a bruise on her head and Billy's busted lip. Well now it is more often that mommy has a busted lip because someone is always crashing into me with a toy or their thick heads.

As of today we took down our fortress as we call it. It is the "cage" that blocked off the tv and stairs for many months. We have hidden most of the electronics around the TV and are not letting them play around the stairs. They are able to climb the stairs and get down them fairly well, but we don't want them trying it with out us.

Both kids get very excited when they see each other first thing in the morning. You hear "buba" and "sissy" and it just melts your heart. Hearing their little voices say "mommy" and "daddy" is priceless. Their vocabulary is improving significantly.

On Saturday we decorated the tree, or I should say they decorated the tree. While they were napping, Bill and I put up the tree and put the lights on it. We had the kids decorate it and didn't lift them up much so as you will see most of the ornaments are on the bottom of the tree, but it is very cute. Billy wanted to put all of the ornaments on the same branch and Bekah just wanted to collect as many as she could in her arms.

We had so much fun. I can't wait to bake cookies and make fudge with them in the next few weeks. We are so blessed to have our little miracles. I thank God every day for them and all the blessings and life lessons they bring.

We are looking forward to Uncle Bob graduating from his BLET course and are so proud of him. Family will be here soon to celebrate his graduation and the holidays with us. Hope every one has safe travels this holiday season and remembers the meaning of Christmas.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

14 month pictures

I added a few extra pictures to the 14 month shots since it has been a while. Billy didn't want to take pictures, so I have some other ones up from days after the first ones.

Billy's vocabulary is pretty crazy. He can say "daddy, mommy, kaylee, sissy, baby, ball, car, hi, hey" and a few other ones.

Bekah doesn't like to speak as much as she likes to use her signs. She does love to babble though.

Bekah has all of her molars in and Billy is working on his but none have popped through.

Both kids are very active. They enjoy sitting and looking at books, blowing their little toy horn, and pushing and pulling things. Anything that makes music or noise is a hit around the house. They enjoy the time that they spend with friends once a week at Mommy and Daddy's small group. They are the youngest kids there, but love to play with everyone.

Today we brought home our second art work project from church. They colored a pretty picture. I'm surprised that Billy didn't eat the crayon this time around. :)

We are looking forward to the holiday season and can't wait to see family.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Looking at Bekah and Billy this morning, I started to think about how blessed we are. I was thinking back to three years ago. Bill and I were praying for children, and didn't really know what our future held for us. We had no idea that our journey to parenthood would be such a long one(yet very short compared to some of our friends).

Two years ago, we were deciding to go to a fertility specialist in Charlotte. It was a big step for us, and I'm very thankful that we took that step. It was a leap of faith focused on what God wanted for our future. We knew that the path of fertility drs wouldn't guarantee our family, but knew it was Gods plan for us to pursue it.

One year ago I was very overwhelmed with being a new mom. I wanted to make sure that I was making all of the right decisions and caring for my children the best that I could. They were so small and couldn't tell us what was bothering them. I hated seeing them struggle with their reflux.

Back to this morning, Bekah was dressed up in a new dress and tights that had ruffles on the butt. She looked like a princess. I told her how beautiful she looked and she just beamed at me. Bill and I always tell her how beautiful she is inside and out. Once I got Billy dressed, I told him how handsome he looked, he just nodded and walked off. I just sat there on the floor watching them walk around the living room. We don't have babies anymore, we have toddlers. Walking is so easy for them and they want to be more and more independent. They are learning baby signs so that we can communicate better with them and understand more of what they want/need. They sign "more" and "all done" very well. That helps so much at meal time so that we know what they want. It prevents us wasting food to find out if they are all done or want more. Plus, I don't have to wonder if they were still hungry.

I had to post pictures from today because I was just in awe of how beautiful they looked. All the thanks goes to the Lord on our blessings. I was still thinking about all of this when we were at church, and then to top the emotional cake, the kids made their first craft in Sunday School. I know they didn't do much to make it, but it was very special for me. Their teacher even put their names and date on it for me. Right now I have them posted on the fridge, it is one of those moments that really makes me feel like a mom.

So blessed.

Lookin' Cute

This past week it has been quite cold. Today we dressed up the kids in their "warm" clothes for church. They looked so cute that we had to get pictures. They actually sat very well for the pictures. That was a first. :)

Playing at the park.

A few weeks ago, we had a wonderful day plying at the park. Unfortunately the play area was closed, but the kids were very content on playing in the grass. Billy decided that he wanted to walk on the path and got his first skinned knee

Sunday, September 27, 2009

13 Months Old

Ever since I returned to work, we have been dealing with something at the drs with the kids. I feel so bad for them. They have had a battery of tests, and just when we thought we were getting some answers, now they have had a upper respiratory virus. They are on about day 9 and doing much better. They have had very stuffy noses, can't sleep, won't eat much of anything and have even had snot come out of their eyes. YUCK!

Our first rounds of visits to the dr were from weeks of diarrhea. We are pretty sure that the kids have a sensitivity to milk. At this point we aren't ruling it an allergy. The dr suggested we put them back on their formula for two weeks and then try milk again. If we have problems, go back on the formula and then we would talk about allergy testing. I guess it isn't very common at this age to do testing. We are currently on the formula and will try milk again next weekend.

I also had to take Bekah to the dr for a very high temperature. Now it is pretty easy to see that it was her respiratory virus that they both have. Bekah got a pretty good sized goose egg on her head on Thursday when she fell against the chair. You can see her bruise in all of the pictures.

Just as I got my camera out to take the 13 month pictures, Billy fell against the gate and busted his lip. So now you get to see what it is really like with two toddlers. Bumps, bruises and all.

Both kids never stop to amaze us. Billy says "hi guy" all the time. He picked that up from daddy saying Hi Guys when he sees the kids, I'm guilty of doing the same. Bekah very clearly says "hi dad" There are quite a few mamas around the house and a few kaylees too. The best is asking them where their bellies are and they lift up their shirt to show you. TOO CUTE!

Well, Bekah is sitting on the desk as I type this and getting into everything, so I must go and get her some "real" toys to play with.

Love and miss you all!
~The Brands

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Kids

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to get everything updated. It isn't easy to find an hour or so to work on posts with two growing kids. Make sure that you see all of the new posts. There are quite a few of them.

I'm proud to say that we no longer are using bottles. We started Labor Day weekend. That Friday night was the last time our "babies" had bottles. I would have gotten rid of them sooner, but they had a bad reaction to Milk, so I wanted to give them some time and get their tummy's stable before I tried switching them over. We had been doing mostly sippy cups, but not all the time.

The week before labor day was difficult for the kids. They were sick, running mild temps and just not happy. It was also the time that I introduced new foods and milk with out lactose. After a week and a half of nasty diapers, I put them back on formula and only gave them foods that I knew didn't bother them. We still used the cups while using formula (big kids, so proud).

Tomorrow I'm going to introduce the lactose free milk back in. I hope that it doesn't bother them and that they weren't having a reaction to the milk.

Billy is starting to put two word sentences together. This is a very early development. He says "hi daddy", "hi Kaylee" "hey daddy" "hey Kaylee" I guess you can tell who his favorites are. He does say mama sometimes, but not as often. He is also saying uh-oh and knows how to use it correctly too. Billy is "talking" all the time.

Bekah is working on her talking too. She says daddy, mama, and tons of babble. One of her favorite things right now is to place a ball or small toy in your hand, get all excited about it and then take it back out of your hand. She is doing great, because she doesn't drop it into your hand, she places it there. She repeats this over and over and gets very excited.

Both kids have mastered climbing onto the couch, and getting down by laying on their bellies and sliding backwards until their feet hit the floor. Billy mastered it on his own, I showed Bekah a few times and now she has it down.

One thing that is difficult for Bill and I is their bed time. We used to put them down at 8 or 8:30, then it went to 8, 7:30 and then stayed at 7 for a while. Now they are to the point that they are pretty much ready at 6:30 or 7. I already hate how little time we get with them, now they are wanting to go to bed even earlier. Even though they are going to bed earlier, they are still getting up at the same time or even later.

Bekah loves it when you put new or "pretty" clothes on her. Her "pretty" clothes are just things that mommy tells her that are pretty, she lights up and is very excited. She also loves shoes. We bought them their first pairs of shoes at payless. Today when we were at the mall, I was looking for some new black dress shoes (didn't find any), when Bill was playing with the kids, Bekah looked down at her shoes pointed at them and then pointed to the ones on the shelves. The little stinker knew what kind of store we were in.

I wish the kids would leave things on their heads. They look so cute wearing hats, sunglasses and Bekah looks cute in head bands. Oh well, maybe when they get a little older.

Well, for now, I need to go to bed. God Bless and love you all.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

1st Birthday Party ~ NC

We celebrated their first birthday at our house on their birthday. We started out the day by going to church and then came home and napped. After lunch we had a small party with Bob, Erica, Meloney, Ben, Matthew and Mandy. Even my dad joined the party by webcam. The kids were so excited to see him, but didn't understand that they couldn't touch him.

As usuall, the kids were spoiled and had a blast. Their cake eating was much more fun to watch since they had their "practice" run in Michigan. Billy ended up turning the bath water a blue shade.

We had a wonderful time. Happy first birthday Bekah and Billy!

August 23rd 2009

Happy Birthday Bekah and Billy! Mommy and Daddy can't believe that you are one now. You are doing so many fun things that just crack us up. I don't know where the past year has gone.

Bekah is walking like a champ now. As soon as she got back home she stared walking more and more. She likes to wrinkle up her nose and try to make pig sounds. Her laugh/giggle, makes the entire room light up. She eats like a champ and eats everything you put in front of her.

Billy has mastered walking. He doesn't even hesitate anymore, he is just off. He likes to sit with daddy and watch tv, but most of all likes to steal the remote or phones. He shakes his head "no" when anyone around says "no". He is eating more and more these days, he isn't as picky as he first was.

Both kids now have 6 teeth and are eating solids. Baby food is a thing of the past. Now they can't walk under the desk anymore, and it was quite the learning experience when they found that out.

At their 1yr check up Bekah weighed 20lb 1oz and was 29 1/2in long. Billy weighed in at 21lb and 1oz and was 30 in long. Bekah is closing the gap in on the weight. It is funny looking at them because it looks like there is more than 1 pound separating them, but there isn't.

Binder Park Zoo

Our first trip to the zoo!

We started the day out by visiting our friends at Kalamazoo Missionary Church. The kids did great in the nursery and we were able to talk with people we hadn't seen in quite a while.

After church with my Dad and Deb, we met up with Bill's Dad, Jackie and Dottie at Fazoli's in Battle Creek for lunch. The kids helped me eat my meal and had a blast.

We headed off to the zoo. The kids had a lot of fun, but tired out pretty quick, especially Bekah. Bill and I bought them stuffed animals from their first zoo visit.

Here are some pictures that were taken in Ohio and Michigan.

As most of you may already know, we tried to see as many people as possible. Unfortunately that didn't mean that we were able to see everyone. We did our best, but it wasn't easy traveling with two toddlers.

The trip home was much easier with daddy able to help out in the car. :) I'm thankful that I made the trip up there on my own, I know I can do it, but dont' know if I will ever do it alone again.

August 1st

Bekah and Billy's 1st Birthday Party in Michigan.

Bill's dad picked Bill up at the airport while the rest of us got ready for the birthday party. Dottie out did herself as usual, there was so much food we could have fed an army. Everything was delicious and beautiful. Jackie helped so much too getting everything ready.

The party was so much fun! Kids were able to meet family that they hadn't seen before, we were able to see tons of people and just had an overall great day.


I know this is a long overdue update. Sorry it has been so long. We have been very busy around the Brand house. I'll try to start where we left off. It may take a few posts to get you up to date.

At the end of July, I made a trip to MI with the kids and dog. Bill stayed at home for a week, then flew up later. Just before the trip Bekah and Billy turned 11 months old.

My first stop was to Dee and Tim's house(in OH). Dee is Bill's aunt and her family hadn't met the kids yet. I was able to introduce the kids to Dee, Tim, Rick and Rachel. They also met J.J. and Sara. These are great aunts, but we didn't say the "great" too much :) We had a lot of fun and the kids did great in the car.

The next day we made our way to MI. We drove through Sturgis (making a quick stop to say hi to Bill's Dad, Jackie and Dottie) and concluded our journey in Mattawan at my Dad's house. It was nice to be stationary and to unpack the kids. They were happy to see my dad, but Bekah wasn't so sure about him holding her at first.

Any time I wasn't in the room, she would go great to my dad, but if I was in the room that was a different story. Dad and I took the kids to a few dinners out, as well as a fun dinner with the Smeaders. They were anticipating the birth of their first grandchild and were having a blast with Bekah and Billy.

Bekah wasn't as excited about walking in MI and she was satisfied with crawling at her lightning speed. Billy on the other hand was determined to walk, and that he did.

After spending a few days at my dads house, we drove back down to Sturgis and stayed with Dottie. We visited my grandma and Century Bank & Trust where I used to work. I was surprised at how many people remembered me.

We got everything ready for the party and enjoyed time with Dottie, Bill's dad and Jackie. Our family was also anticipating Daddy's arrival to MI. We missed him very much.

more to come...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grandma Visit and Baptism

This weekend Grandma visited for Uncle Bobby and Auntie E's baptism. I'm thankful that we were able to share Bob and Erica's baptism with them. It was also fun to explain it to Bekah and Billy. They looked at me with serious faces and nodded their heads like they understood. I know they don't understand now, but they will later in their life.

We were able to have a great time together, and enjoy the pool. Bekah loved the kiddy pool because she could touch the bottom and crawl around in the pool. Her favorite part was crawling out of it. I think I spent more time putting her back in the pool than I did anything else. Billy is a water rat. He would live in water if he could. He likes to be on his belly and moves his arms and legs as fast as he can. I think he will be swimming in no time. He was even doing a good job of closing his mouth and putting it in the water. Daddy even taught him how to blow air out when his mouth was under water. Billy thought that was pretty cool.

It was sad to see Grandma go this morning, but we will see her and all of our other family members in a few short weeks. :) Hope everyone is having a great summer and we can't wait to come for a visit.

Please pray for our safe trips. I will be driving up with the kids and dog and Bill will be flying up later.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Day

It has been a big day around our house today. Our morning started off with Bekah taking 3 big girl steps. This afternoon when we weren't even working with Billy, he took 3 big boy steps. We are so proud of them. They are going to be taking off in no time.

This week we got new booster seats, snack cups and sippy cups. We had fun trying them all out while watching tv. Don't worry the booster seats are now in the kitchen and they won't be using them in front of the tv anymore. :)

You will notice a nice bump on Billys head, he fell against the end table in the living room and has proof.

Teeth count: Bekah 4 and Billy 2.

Favorite toys include mommy's old cell phone and the old tv remote. :) Oh and the wipes are fun to pull out of the container too (had to include that for you stef, this was only hours after we were talking about things kids get into).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Teething makes sleep at our house very difficult. Sunday, once the kids went down for a nap, I decided to take one too. When I woke up, I found Bill and Billy asleep on the couch together. Now that they are mobile they don't like to snuggle much. Bill said that Billy woke up early from his nap but wasn't quite ready to get up. He fell back asleep on the couch with Bill and Bill fell asleep too.

Our mesh feeders that are ment to have chunks of fruit and veggies in them (so the kids can eat them, but only get small pieces) are great for teething with ice in them. I wish I would have tried this sooner. Our floor got a little wet and so did the clothes, but I don't care. I have happy babies with ice. :)

Happy Dating Anniversary, 8 years!

I can't believe that today marks 8 years together. As Bill was telling Bekah this morning, we wouldn't have guessed that we would be in NC and have almost 1 year old twins. Life is pretty crazy but we wouldn't trade it.

I love you babe!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Prayer Request Update

I got the call on Friday to come in and sign next years contract. I HAVE A JOB!!! We are so blessed to see God work in our lives and to see how he has his hands in everything.

I don't know if I will stay at my school, or be moved to a new school, but I have a job. I will most likely have my same job. I'm so thankful for the blessing of a job in these tough economic times.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

10 months old today

Today marks 10 months we have had our beautiful miracles in our lives. Every day we notice them doing something different and new. They amaze us daily with their personalities and how they explore the world around them.

Bekah now has 4 teeth and shows them off when she smiles. She has been having a tough time sleeping and wakes up crying like she is in pain, but haven't figured out what it is that causing it. She likes to crawl around the room with a bib or burp rag hanging out of her mouth. We call her our little puppy dog. She talks a lot during the day and likes to say "da da" the most. Sometimes she makes it into "a da da" not sure what any of it means, but its pretty cute. She walks around the furniture as long as she has a hold on something or can put her hand on something for balance. Bekah waves bye bye and is just learning how to blow kisses. She is the most beautiful little girl with a very strong spirit. She will be able to achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Billy now has two teeth and working on the top two teeth. He uses everything to rub on his top gums (crib rail, moms arm, high chair, and anything else he can get his mouth on). Billy is quite the sleeper and has taken 3 1/2 to 4 hour naps although 2 is his normal. I think he is going through a growth spurt. Billy took his first step on Tuesday right into Uncle Bobby's arms. It was so cute. He has been working on it, but this was his first true step. He is babbling on and on. He makes all different sounds and changes his tone of voice when he is talking. He loves to lay his head down on stuffed animals. Billy has a soft spirit. He watches and observes everything around him, checking everything out. He analyzes his environment and has incredible determination.

We bought the kids a push/ride toy. You can walk behind the toy, and then in converts and they will be able to ride on it when they are older. Billy didn't want to ride, but Bekah liked pushing it backwards. They will both walk behind it, but don't know what to do when they get to a wall. You get the look "mom, come fix it".

When they wake up in the morning and from naps are one of my favorite parts of they day. They are always so happy and excited to see you. Billy jumps in his bed while holding onto the rails and gives a huge smile. Bekah lights up the room with her huge smile and is sometimes still sitting and playing with her doll or standing and talking with her brother.

It is fun to watch them interact. They will look at each other and just babble back and forth. I'm kinda scared to know what their conversations are about. I think they are plotting against Bill and I ;)

Finger foods are so much for them. They eat little bites of about anything. They get so excited to share our foods with us. Even though they don't like baby food rice, they love ours.

Just wanted to let you know we will be traveling to MI August 1st and will probably be leaving either the 8th or 9th. I'm not sure when we will be in Kalamazoo and when we will be in Sturgis, but we will let everyone know.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quick Prayer Request

I just want to make a quick request to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Please don't stress over it, but there is a small chance that Karrie could lose her job. The entire state of NC has to make staff cuts in Education, but until they finalize the state budget, no one knows how many positions must be cut. When they announce the cuts, it will start from the bottom with 1st Year teachers. Second year teachers will be next, which is where Karrie is. From all the talk from administrators, they seriously doubt the cuts will make it to 2nd year teachers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hockey League - Game 3

Alright, game 3 of our season was the best so far. Unfortunately that doesn't mean we won, just that we played better. We didn't have our full team because of it being such a late game (we started at 10:45pm) but it actually helped make things less hectic. This was my first game taking over the goaltending responsibilities, and I played fairly well despite the score. It may seem strange to say that, with a score of 6-12, but this was the best team we've faced yet and if it wasn't for a handful of crazy saves it could have easily been much worse. I let in the occasional bad five-hole goal, which was a combo of rust and being tired. There were also a few fluky goals that everyone including the ref looked at one another like "How in the world did that go in??" Our defense played better, but they still need to work on picking up guys in the slot. I counted at least 3 goals were I had to play all the way against one pipe and the other team had a guy camped out behind me just outside of the crease. No one on my team picked up this extra guy and they had an easy pass across center and slam dunk goal. There's nothing really I can do in those situations other then dive and hope for the best. From about halfway through the 2nd period on, we actually outscored the other team. We started spacing ourselves properly and jumping in on offense when we had the puck. I also had quite a few saves throughout the game that not only had my teammates cheering, but the ref and other team were commenting as well. It felt nice that my first game back was also our best game, and not trying to boast, but if we had one of the two previous fill in goalies the game would have been much uglier. Everyone was very appreciative of how I played, and they were taking the blame for many of the goals that they knew weren't my fault. I got the feeling that everyone thought I played well and were happy I was in net for the team. Unfortunately, it sounds like we play the best two teams the next two weeks, so things might get a little worse before they get better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twin comments

When we are out and about we get many questions and comments. It never ceases to amaze me some of the questions we get. I'll list some of the comments and questions we get.

1) Are they twins? um, no, I just took the neighbors baby that is about the same age.

2) Are they both yours? That is how twins work!

3) Are they identical? Well one is a girl and one is a boy, what do you think?

4) Do twins run in your family? Does it really matter?

5) Oh good a boy and a girl, your family is done. Um, isn't that our decision?

6) Oh bless you. I know that can be a nice comment but when it is said sympathetically, not so nice.

7) I can't imagine having twins. That is why God gave them to us and not to you.

8) How do you do it? Well, I feed them change them and love them just like you do one baby.

9) I've always wanted twins! Did you want the preterm labor, complicated pregnancy, possible NICU time, two mouths to feed, two diapers to change, two medical bills to pay, two babies to get up with in the middle of the night? It isn't all puppies and rainbows.

10) Are they natural? Aren't all babies natural?

11) How far apart are they? 21 min THEY'RE TWINS??? yes, there are only 2lbs difference between them, not 9 months worth.

The worst will have to be the ones that say "I just have to stop you." We want to reply, "Then we will just have to run you over." We get this about 2 times a month. People will walk right in front of the stroller or cart and stop you. Do they realize that they aren't the only ones that do that and people like that make our shopping trips turn into all day outings.

I thought everyone would get a laugh from our daily events.


Yesterday, my summer started at home with the kids. Our first day was great. I feel like I'm running around crazy, but a good kind of crazy. I try to get things done around the house, but it isn't easy with two little "helpers". The only time I can really get things done is when they are napping or in their high chairs. Our living room isn't baby proof, so I'm either moving the kids away from things or saying "no". Since I don't want them saying no, no, no back to me, I try to remove them more than say NO. We baby proofed as much as we can but there are still things that they love to play with that they shouldn't like lamp cords and other cords.

I made it on my first full out grocery trip yesterday with the kids. Bill and I usually do it together or only take one kid with me while the other stays home with daddy. I had Billy in the front part of the cart and Bekah in the carrier. Her legs are getting so long that her feet hit my legs when we walk, but it wasn't too bad. I don't think summer in NC is a good time to have a 9mo old furnace in a carrier. I think Bill and I will stick to big trips together where one has the cart and the other has the stroller. I can manage smaller trips with the stroller and a few items.

Today I think we may hit the library and see what all fun books we can find. Tomorrow I will be going to a Small group bible study for moms. I'm excited to meet other moms at our church.

Here are some pictures from when we went to the park the other weekend. Bekah and Billy tried out the big swing. They had a blast.
Here are some pictures from their first time at the pool. It is pretty dangerous taking a camera to the pool with these two. Funny part about it is, Billy splashes like crazy in the pool, but Bekah splashes more in the bath tub. :)
Hope you enjoy the pictures and the update. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hockey League - Game 2

So at the end of the post for last weeks game, I said "If we learn how each other play, and get used to being out there together, we should be alright." Well, apparently we haven't learned enough yet, because I think we might have played worse. We actually started the game fairly well, but it was apparent pretty quick that the other team just out matched us in the skill department. It didn't help that we were still having trouble doing the small things like line changes and staying in our positions. There were times when I was out as an offensive player and I would have to collapse to our net to make up for the bad positioning/play of the defenseman. And this was after I had just led a rush the other direction where I had no one to pass to. Karrie and the kids came this week, which was really nice. It was fun to look over and see them, especially because it was so painful to look at my team on the rink : ( Oh, and Bekah does not like the cage on my helmet! She started to cry both times I got close to her with it on lol. Another factor that didn't help our cause was our goalie. I am grateful he played for us, as he had just finished his first game right before ours. The problem was, he was very tired and it appeared that he stopped trying about halfway through the game. So two weeks in a row now we've played bad as a team and have had a goalie playing two games in a row letting in soft goals. With that in mind, I decided to step up and tell everyone that I'm playing goal this next week. Not only will it help with stopping the lame shots that were going in on Wed, but it will also take one person off our very cramped bench. For some reason, they added an 11th player to our roster. That's too many for an inline team. The only bummer about playing goalie, it takes me off the rink as a player, which we still need. Overall, I think my presence in net will do more to help us win though, and it will help me get back in the goalie mindset for when I try to play on an ice team. Oh, and that final score....11-1...OUCH!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Hockey League - Game 1

Alright, I said I would keep everyone posted on my inline hockey league and we had our first game Wednesday night. I'm playing on a house team, for those of you that don't know, a house team is made up of a bunch of people that signed up individually and are just thrown on a team. We've never met before, let alone played on a team together. This can make for some interesting challenges. First off, I had to sign up for the Beginner level league because of my work schedule. You can get skill ranges from true beginner to fairly decent all in the beginner league. We don't have anyone on our team that is as skilled as Bob, but a few of them are alright. We also have some that are very weak skaters and you can tell that inline is new to them. We also had all 10 players show up for the first game, which was actually a bit of a bad thing. With all of us being new to each other, and many new to organized hockey, it was a bit chaotic. There were a few guys (some of the decent players) that were getting quite frustrated and they let that get to them. Overall we played ok for our first game, especially considering the circumstances, but ended up losing 5-2 according to the official standings. I played fairly good for my first time in quite a while, and I could tell pretty quick that I'm one of the best players on the team. For those of you that used to watch our Chiefs team at SoccerZone in Portage, our old team would have destroyed this house team. All in all, I still had fun getting out there and playing, and one of the guys has taken the initiative to try and organize lines for next game based on skill. If we learn how each other play, and get used to being out there together, we should be alright.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Baby Dedication

Baby Dedication - May 24, 2009 from Johnny Cook on Vimeo.

On Sunday, May 24th Bekah and Billy were dedicated at our church. They have posted it, so I thought I'd share it with you. We are so happy to have found such a wonderful church to call home. If you don't want to watch all of the dedications, we are at 4min 10sec.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Speaking of Hockey.....

GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Playing Hockey

It has been a really long time since I've played hockey on a consistent basis. When we first moved down to NC I tried to play a few times here and there but never got into a league. With my first job traveling, and then the birth of the kids, it was really hard to find the time to join a league. Well I finally decided it had been too long and I'm going to get back to playing again. I don't travel anymore for work, and the kids are getting old enough where it's fun to take them out and do things.
I really enjoy playing both as a Player and as a Goalie, but I just recently purchased some new goalie equipment so I started off with that first. For those of you that might remember, I had a problem with my left thumb when closing my glove, so the new equipment was to allow me to switch to catching with my right hand instead. This has worked out very well so far, my thumb doesn't hurt anymore and my play seems to have stayed at the same level. I also found a steal on a new set of leg pads that actually fit me the way I like (my old ones were too big for my tastes) and a new chest protector that fit better and allowed for better ventilation. I've played a few pickup games and/or practices on ice and am really enjoying it. Two problems though....first, I am waaay out of shape lol and second, both ice rinks just started their summer sessions and I was too late to make a team. Still desperately wanting to get back to playing, I'm turning to my first love and joined a house team at the inline rink. Karrie and I figured it's probably been around 4 years since I played a league as a player not a goalie. I'm really looking forward to playing again, especially as a player. Goalie is great, I love the challenge and I really like learning the new position, but I started out as a player. It will be a fun way to get back in shape and be able to play without worrying about my positioning or not making a save. I can just go 'play'.
I posted some pictures of a recent pickup game of my in goal, and a practice session that Bob and I did where I skated on ice for the first time as a player. Boy is that different then inline lol!! My first inline game is this coming Wednesday, June 3rd and I'll post on what happens. Hopefully Karrie and the kids can make it to some of the games and we can get some pictures up of that too!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

9 Months Old

Bekah and Billy are really getting big. Daily we are amazed by their smiles, cries, new "tricks" and all of the love and joy that comes with parenting. A year ago I was praying that I would be able to carry them as long as possible, now I'm praying we don't have any major injury. Billy is fearless and uses his head to explore the world and to "break" his falls. This ends in lots of tears. Bekah also has her share of the falls around the house. They have discovered that they can pull up on anything and everything and that they can walk from one thing to another if they can still reach. This results in quite a few of the falls but they continue to venture.

We have to get gates up soon. So far they haven't even ventured towards the stairs, but it won't be long. When they have clothing on their knees they love to crawl on the kitchen floor because they can go very fast, just dragging their legs behind. The kitchen has become a not so safe area. This morning Billy pinced his fingers in the cupboard door when he used it to pull up on and it closed with a finger inside. We are going to get gates and other safety stuff tomorrow. They both have ventured towards the dog dishes. Now, I know that dog food probably won't hurt them, but I'm more afraid of them choking on the food. We are looking for gates that have easy open doors for us. We have a normal gate, but it is annoying to step over and to take down everytime Kaylee wants in the kitchen.

I have 11 days with my students left and then a few work days. I can't believe that this year is almost over. I have worked at my school now for over 2 years. I will be starting my 3rd year of teaching this fall. I have learned so much about myself, teaching and life in the past few years.

A few weeks ago we attended baby dedication class at our church. The same day we attended membership class and applied for membership. It is nice feeling that we have a place that we belong. It has been very hard leaving our church in MI (KMC we miss you), but we know that God has plans for us here. It was hard for us to step out of our comfort zones and to seek a new church home. It has been a long jorney looking for a church, but we feel led to our new church home. Thanks to all of our friends and family that have been praying for us on this jorney.

Please pray for us concerning Billy. The kids stopped their axid reflux at 6 months old. When Billy was on the meds and now that he is off, his amount of spitting up has not decreased. Bekah pretty much grew out of it. She may spit up once a week or something but nothing like Billy. The drs tell us that they want to wait till he is a year old and see how he is then. They don't think he needs to go back on his medicine (didn't notice a differnce with the spit up) so now we just wait and see. Pray that we know what to do and if we should seek a second opinion.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Billy was very sleepy and daddy was ready to take him upstairs to bed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mommy's new toy!

For Mother's Day, Daddy and kids spoiled mommy rotten. I have been getting very frustrated with our camera and my wonderful husband noted my comments. He went out and got me a wonderful Canon Rebel XSi and a zoom lense. I love it and I'm learning some of the many features it has to offer. I now know what will take up most of my summer. (camera+kids=fun). Here are just a few of the new shots. Please take it easy on me, I'm still learning.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

8 month old fun!!!

Our fun times sure have changed. We are teething and each have our bottom left tooth. We chew on everything even moving things like mommy and daddy. Pulling up in the crib is a blast, so is climbing on mommy and daddy. The chairs are fun to pull up on too. We miss everyone, hope to see ya soon.

Bekah has her first bottom tooth and the second is almost through, I'd give it a day or two. She waves bye with her right arm. Her face lights up the room when she smiles. We find her sleeping in some of the strangest positions in her crib. 

Billy also has his first bottom tooth, it showed up about 4 days after sisters'. His next bottom tooth isn't far behind. He is pulling up like a pro. He started  out with just going up to his knees, now he makes it all the way standing without problems. 

The favorite new toy of the house is the spring door stop (one in hall and one in kitchen) and the cords to daddy's electronics. Pretty much everthing they shouldn't play with, including daddy's game cases.

Bill and I look at them in awe and wonder where the time has gone. We went to our church memebership class last sunday and applied for membership. We also went to the baby dedication class for Bekah and Billy's dedication on May 24th. We are very excited and for thoes of you that won't be able to be there we will provide you with the link to our church's website that will have it up to watch the video. 

We miss everyone and please keep praying for us. Both of our jobs are trying to stay secure and we are both taking pay cuts. It is very hard to do with raising twins, but we are so thankful that we didn't lose our jobs or have lay offs. God Bless.

Many of the pictures have captions, be sure to read.