Sunday, December 26, 2010

Helping Daddy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Silly Practice

In the previous post, I mentioned that Gracie wanted to practice her Christmas musical songs several times a day.  Here is one such practice session that the twins joined in on:
(I can't recall why they don't have any clothes on...)

A Merry Little Christmas Performance

Gracie had a solo in the Christmas musical at church on Sunday.  My little girl is so musical and loves singing.  She wanted to practice her songs multiple times a day. 

There were two performances, one in the morning and one at night.  All of the kids really hung in there and did a wonderful job.  I am so proud of Gracie.  She doesn't have an ounce of self-consciousness yet, and just loves to sing for Jesus. 

Here is a video of her solo song. 
The first two verses are her alone and the second two verses she does with one other boy as a duet. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

There's a Wolf in the Couch

Apparently there's a wolf in my house and he's living in my couch. 
And he wants to eat all sorts of household items! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Private (Parts) Post

It's fun stuff like this I couldn't post on a public blog:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shutterfly is Worth Postponing a Privacy Setting For!

I've got a little business to take care of before withdrawing from the world...

Did you know that as a blogger, you can get 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly?!  All you have to do is blog about it, including a few links to your favorite products and promoting your post on Facebook or Twitter!  You know my 50 free will get put to good use, but not until I pull every last strand of hair out getting the "perfect" photo...see last year's marathon photo session here...

So anywho, I've been perusing Shutterfly's amazing catalog of Christmas cards and I've found the cutest designs here:

I'm thinking this card...

...would work out well with this photo (giggle!):

It would be great if I could manage something classy like this card,

but I'm thinking with my unruly bunch, it probably would never materialize and I'd have to ship my kids off to China in frustration.  So we'll probably end up going with this sweet card:

and this photo:

'cause, you know, we're jolly like that. 
 Besides, I imagine shipping a collective 70 pounds off to China would be pretty expensive.

I'm also planning on making some calendars to give as gifts:  The wall calendars are my favorite because you can customize them in such cute ways, like put a picture of the whoever's birthday it is right in the date square of that particular month! 

The cool thing about doing this blog promotion is that now I see how easy it is to use Shutterfly and how many fun things there are to create.  I'm probably going to make the kids' birthday invitations on Shutterfly from now on.  Cutest selection EVER:  Check it out.

Fellow bloggers, hop on the bandwagon and get your 50 free Christmas cards too! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Undergoing Some Changes

I'm in the process of a little blog facelift. 
Some winter cheer is in order! 
More changes to come.
While we still spend the majority of our time in and around the kitchen, the title Kitchen With Kids may not accurately reflect our family's focus anymore.  Or the focus of this blog.  Re-evaluating all that takes time.  Making sense of what exactly I'm doing here and who I'm doing it for takes a little bit of self-reflection. 

Also, after some statcounter creepiness, followed by some parental uneasiness, topped with some mild queasiness, I thought I'd try my hand at being the author of a private blog.  The world is so much smaller when you're online, and I found I was becoming hesitant to post certain pictures and video.  Statcounter is fun, but also an eye-opener. 

I've made some beautiful connections and lasting friendships
in the blogging community and don't want to lose that.
So if you'd like to continue following our joyful mess,
please leave your email address in comments. 

Comment moderation will be turned on so your email addresses will be for my eyes only.

♥ Elle Bee
1 Peter 4:8

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reflections on my Family

October 2003, I started to doubt I'd ever be able to have children. 

I couldn't hear God's voice whispering "Just wait on me. I will bless you beyond what you are even hoping for.  Just wait and see, my beautifully flawed and doubting child.  Those socks you're wearing?  They're about to get blessed off of you". 

For years, I despaired.  I cried on my knees. 

And then one day, while driving home from work, I decided I'd rather not hold on so tight.  I decided I'd rather experience some peace for a change.  I prayed a prayer seeking God's will for my life, trying my always-falling-short-best to not fear relinquishing control to the One who loves me more than I could ever fathom (isn't that so devastatingly human to resist the One who has plans to prosper us?).  Just weeks later, I found out I was to be Bug's mom.  That was in the late summer of 2005.

Fast forward to February 2008, to an appointment with our reproductive endocrinologist.  An ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy with interestingly high hcg numbers.  On the grainy black and white screen I remember immediately seeing two. Two. Two!  Two.  Me giggling, Jay laughing.  Our doctor smiling and shaking her head, saying "oh boy...".   What happiness!  

There was fear too.  But that was just me, being devastatingly human again, and underestimating God's provision. 

I remember those things with the clarity of yesterday.  Which makes questions like these bewilder me today:

  How does this sweet baby...

...become this heartbreaking boy? 

How does this precious thing...

become this beautiful thing? 

It must be the same way empty arms and an empty heart get filled up:  by the blessings of a merciful God.

You see, my children's lives started in a laboratory.  
(They were so breathtaking even at 5 days old). 

But their existence was planned by God before He even hung the stars in the sky.


He knew it would unfold this way.  And while, in my finite wisdom, I don't understand it (or most things of this world), God, in his infinite wisdom, is smiling.  Because this is good.  It's all so very good!

So I'm reflecting on 2 years of my twins today and our family's journey.

I remember when people would find out I was carrying twins, sometimes they'd say things like "I'm glad it's you and not me!"

 And in my head I'd think "Me too".

 Now, that's not to say that life with twins has been easy.  I have processed a lot of negative feelings over the past two years.  Resentment (directed at who, I don't know) when I couldn't give one or more of the children the attention they deserved.  Guilt.  Exasperation.  The feeling of being constantly overwhlemed.  Disappointment in myself.  The feeling that things were not "fair".  For the kids.  For me. 

But God is in control of this, not me.  He's humbling me.  He's teaching me.  He's stretching me.  And I'm so grateful for it!  Where I, in my weakness, say "God, this is too much for me", He answers, "You can do all things through me, who gives you strength".

And then God gives me a glimpse of this and I wouldn't trade it for the world:
It's called Love. 
It's called None Of Those Negative Feelings Matter When You See God's Love Reflected In These Faces.

It's called Blessing.  It's called Joy. 
 It's called This Is What It's All About.

I'm celebrating my twins today.

 And I'm celebrating a full quiver.

It's unbelievable, the blessings that have rained down on us the last few years.
When I spoke impossibilities in my heart, God said, "Watch this".

I'm watching now, Lord.  I'm watching, I'm smiling and I'm praising you
for being bigger than I give you credit for.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"2" T-Shirt Continuation

 Dee baby.

 Bexy Bee.


Crazy Bee Babies.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Nicest Thing

The nicest thing happened to me yesterday, in the form of a little mailbox love. 

You all know how wonderful it is to receive packages in the mail.  Well this one had a couple unexpected extras!

Do you remember the gorgeous tile necklaces Traveling Longhorns made for Dandy?  I adored them, especially this one:

 So she made me one!!!  And sent it to me!!  She is so kind and generous.  You see, she believes that moms need shiny things too, when it's their babies' special days.  So in honor of the twins' upcoming 2nd birthdays, she sent me this beautiful piece.  I just love it.  I have at least 5 different outfits in my head that I've paired it with. 

Now on to the two little surprises:

 She also sent me these shirts she made!
So cute and crafty!
I was so impressed by her savvy sizing smarts too.
She somehow knew Dee needed a 24 month size and Bex
needed 2T.  I guess fellow moms just know.

Dee's 2 has watermelons on it.  Watermelons!!
Juicy, cute, perfectly pink watermelons!

Bexy's has flames.  And they're flickering up out of the pocket too!
So totally clever. 
I love these shirts, and the necklace tile, and the fact that they were made with love by a sister in Christ that I've never even met. 
The connections I make in the blogosphere never cease to amaze me.
Thank you so much Traveling Longhorns!

And.  As fellow moms would also know, the previous photos of the twins are only 3 of about 53.
I can't not post the following.
It's a glimpse into the journey we took to get to the above photos!

I said "can you love each other?" And this is what I got:

 They're just warming up here.

Then we had to notice the clouds. 
"Cowds!  Mommy!!!  Cowds.  MOM.  MOM.  COWDS."

 Those were some amazing clouds.

Then they remembered they had really fascinating bellies.
 And belly buttons.

Believe it or not, that's not all of the photos in this journey.  But right now Blogger will only take me to a troubleshooting page when I try to upload more.  So I'll publish this for now and be back later!