Monday, February 28, 2011

Coiffure Thankfulness

413. Eucharisteo to hang on my kitchen cabinets.

414. Clementine juice running down little arms.

415. Getting the girls down to bed by myself.

416. Having all the ingredients to make lactation cookies.

417. Rain instead of snow.

418. Hadley officially walking.

419. Brynne only getting a black eye when she fell on a sharp toy.

420. Setting up a playdate with Alice.

421. Hearing thanksgiving from people on facebook.

422. New quotes to add to my collection.

423. Duck Tape.

424. Getting dressed in real clothes every day this week.

425. Putting makeup on every day this week.

426. Workouts that make my body feel "the good ache".

427. Snow clinging to tree branches.

428. Safe drive to the ER.

429. Determining that Hadley's finger was not broken in the ER parking lot.

430. Driving away from the ER without having to go inside.

431. Girls wearing their shoes around the house with no tears.

432. Caymus.

433. Conversation over dinner.

434. My husband's 34 years.

435. The girls having a good day with their papa while I was away.

436. Meeting another child just home from Ethiopia.

437. The opportunity to still work in adoption.

438. Being able to give over a foot of hair to Locks of Love.

439. My new do.

440. Using less shampoo to wash my hair.

441. Having a lighter head.

442. Date night!

443. Brynne snuggles at 5:45 A.M.

444. Brynne going back down to sleep for another hour.

445. Brynne handling teething with grace and patience.

446. Brynne getting braver with taking  more steps unassisted.

447. Blood oranges!

448. Sunday afternoon at the park.

449. Hadley, bravely, and after much distraction and deliberation, choosing to go down the slide all by herself.

450. Brynne's swinging joy.

451. Hadley pointing out the ducks taking off into flight.

452. Brynne snuggling with her papa.

453. Brynne's curiosity.

454. A husband who cuts out ugly bushes in the front of our house.

455. Empty spaces to plant--a canvas begging to be painted!

456. Walking around outside with the girls before bed.

457. Candlelit dinner with Brad.

458. Tender ribs just off the grill.

459. Thunderstorms.

460. The smell of warm spring rain.

holy experience

Friday, February 25, 2011

Whatever is Lovely

On Fridays my friend Melissa and I are exploring True Beauty through a series of letters. Join us as we explore Beauty in our lives. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dearest Julia,

Truth is an elusive thing, but not because it is hidden. No, truth is found where it can be plainly seen—

In the word of God,

In studying the nature of things,

In the knitting of things unseen in a womb.

Yes, truth is easily found.

Yet, truth is still elusive in the physical moment it’s needed.

You and I (and probably most women) are prime examples of this elusive truth phenomenon. We know that God created women beautiful. We read it in the Word, we see it in the women around us, we hear it from our husband’s lips.

Somehow in the physical moment of looking in the mirror,

or the moment we open a magazine,

or the moment we enter a swimming pool

the truth, the belief in the known fact that women are beautiful, suddenly becomes elusive. We cannot recall the truth the moment we’re asked to live it.

So what can we do to keep the truth that we were skillfully and beautifully knitted in perfect focus so that we can really live out the implications?

I think you hit on one answer to this question last week: We can place truth in visible places around our homes.

Tape it to our cabinets.

Stencil it to our bedroom walls.

Write it with a dry erase marker on our bathroom mirrors.

Hang art prints above our mantels.

Place sticky notes on our rear view mirrors.

Daily seeing this truth that God’s Beauty resides in us keeps the truth at the forefront of our minds. Therefore, when we’re tempted to deny the truth or act as if it’s not true, we’re able to quickly recall the truth our eyes have soaked on. We’re training ourselves to think and act on the truth.

You know training, Julia. You rise two mornings a week, long before the sun, to attend Boot Camp. You train your body to be strong. But if training your body to be strong is so important, how much more important must it be to train our minds to believe and act upon truth?

Philippians 4:8 give us one way to train our minds:

“Finally, brethren, what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

So how can we make that verse practical? How do we train ourselves to dwell, to think constantly, on this pure, lovely, and excellent truth?

You’ve already taught us one: write it on the door frames.

But what are some other ways that we can soak on the truth that beauty resides in us?

1. Memorize Scripture Truth. Committing scripture to memory changes your perspective in those moments you’re tempted to act or respond like truth isn’t real. It also lets you minister to others, giving hope in a moment of need. You won’t need to carry the Bible when its Words are already hidden in your heart. Amy’s recent post has a concise list of some of the scriptures regarding beauty.

2. Talk about Truth. How often is our talk with other women idle? We gossip or we talk about a great product or a fabulous sale. This talk profits our hearts nothing. When we share what we are learning we build up each others' hearts. We challenge each other to grow to be more like Christ.

3. Say Thank You. First, say thank you to God that He made you beautiful. Then, say thank you humbly each time your husband (or a friend) states this truth. Don’t argue, don’t blaspheme, just express humble gratitude.

4. Celebrate. Yes, celebrate that first time you successfully recite that verse. Celebrate that lovely conversation you had with a friend. Celebrate that moment you first said “Thank you” to your husband rather than denying the truth that he so lovingly points out. Call a friend and celebrate verbally. Give yourself a pedicure or a chocolate kiss. Make a big check mark on a list. Celebrate each grace-filled triumph; celebration keeps motivation high. Celebration caused joy to abound.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lil Rinser Giveaway

If you've been reading my blog recently, I have, on two occasions, mentioned the Lil Rinser. It's my new favorite mama must-have!

Our Hadley had such a hard time letting us rinse the shampoo out of her hair. We would try to keep the water out of her eyes with a washcloth, or our hands, but that didn't work very well. Most baths ended in tears. I found the Lil Rinser here, and placed the order--hoping it was going to make bathtime better.

It arrived just in time for bath night! Here's my daughter, Brynne testing it out.

That first bath with the Lil Rinser was amazing! Hadley didn't fight us when it came time to rinse the shampoo out of her hair. She didn't get any water in her eyes. And, best of all, there were no tears. It. Was Awesome. The girls had fun splashing and playing in the tub, and there was no drama!

Lil Rinser, Your Shampooing Solution-lil rinser, little rinser, shampoo, bath time

You can see how it works--it forms a seal, so that no water gets into the eyes, and channels all the water out the back. Hair is rinsed, and everyone's happy!

I emailed the little family-owned company that invented the Lil Rinser to tell them how much I liked their product, and how it had made bathtime with our girls a pleasant experience. They emailed me back, and graciously offered to give away six Lil Rinsers to my readers!

Win one for your family, or to give away as a gift. Spread the word, tell your friends. I'm so excited to be able to share the Lil Rinser love with you!

Here's how to win:

*Please leave a separate comment below for each thing completed (you can enter multiple times)--be sure to include your email address and what color you would like (see above--green, purple, yellow or turquoise).

1. Like Lil Rinser facebook page, and leave them a comment telling them that I sent you.

2. Visit Pontifications of a Twin Mom on facebook and tell me one thing that you're thankful for today.

3. I collect quotes, and would love some new ones to add to my collection! Leave me a comment below with your favorite quote.

4. Do you Twitter? Join Lil Rinser on Twitter, then leave me a comment letting me know.

**I would be honored if you choose to "like" Pontifications of a Twin Mom on facebook, or become a follower of this blog, but it is not necessary to win.

Thanks for playing!

Winners will be randomly selected on Wednesday, March 9th.

Duck Tape is the Most Amazing Invention Ever

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not always up on things. But--once I discover the greatness of ____________ (fill in the blank), I'm all in.

For instance, I just discovered how amazing eBay was last year. The competitive bear that hibernates in me (most of the time) came out to play. I sat on the couch refreshing my computer every few minutes as the time ticked down to the end of the sale. I just HAD to win the must-have baby product. Once I won, I posted my triumph proudly as my facebook status. And someone commented, "Welcome to 1998".


I won, so there.

I have just discovered Duck Tape. I never realized just how spectacular Duck Tape is. I just bought my first roll of it this past week. It makes me feel like this:

 Superheroines Wonder Woman (Linda Carter from the 1970's TV series "Wonder Woman") - Female Super Heroes 2
(with a few more clothes on)

Did you know that Duck Tape comes in all kinds of colors and prints now?! I had no idea! I thought it was all just boring grey. This is the one I bought:

The girls have been loving on their books, so I've done a little repair work.

And my ring keeps tearing holes in the mat I use as a changing pad. We're already on our second one, so I decided to fix it myself.

Duck Tape was invented in 1942, so I'm just a few decades behind.

I don't care---I think the stuff rocks.

And now you know.

In completely unrelated news. Last week a lovely lady, Branson (isn't that just such a cool name?), at My Reflection of Something, chose my post, How Do I Love Thee?, as one of her picks for the week of February 18th. I'm honored, and flattered, Branson. Thank you.

My Reflection of Something

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Five Things

Just a quick five things for your Wednesday morning.

1. I just want to tell you (again) how much I love our Lil Rinser

Lil Rinser, Your Shampooing Solution-lil rinser, little rinser, shampoo, bath time

Once Hadley could sit up well she would fight us if we would try to tip her back to rinse out her hair. So--we would try to put a washcloth or our hands over her eyes, but she would still fight us. Almost every bath ended in tears for her. Now--that's all changed.

No water gets in her eyes. She doesn't fight us when it comes time to rinse her hair. Baths don't end in tears.

Wonderful product. Worth. Every. Penny.

2. Just in case you were beginning to think that I am the best mama in the whole world. Brynne has a shiner.

Yup, face planted on a toy. Mere inches from my arms, and I didn't catch her. Boo.

3. Hadley's hair is starting to resemble Justin Bieber's hair.

Justin Bieber

And, yes, I am slightly embarrassed that I just Googled Justin Bieber pictures. Can you go to jail for that?

4. So, we just got some Baltic amber necklaces for the girls. Brad calls them the girls' "amber waves of grain". I'm not really sure why, but it makes me laugh. Anyway, I told the people over on my facebook page that I would keep them posted the effectiveness of the necklaces on the girls' teething pain. I would have to say that the verdict is still out. I will tell you this though--we've used less Motrin and fewer teething tablets since the girls started wearing them on Saturday. All of this has been in the midst of Hadley popping another tooth on Monday, and Brynne's being gums super swollen, because she's cutting her one year molars.

So---take that for what it's worth. I want to give it a bit more time before I officially proclaim them to be the magic cure. Even if they don't work--they are pretty cute, right?!

5. And finally, a friend emailed this to me today. I wanted to share the love.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Fever Thankfulness

Each Monday I list the things I'm thankful for, and link up with this lovely lady over here. Her challenge to us is to list 1,000 things you're thankful for, a concept she made into a  life-changing book, I urge you all to check out.

I had been cataloguing my thankfulness list in my head or jotting a few notes down here in blogger numbers 1-378. This past week I began actually keeping a gratitude journal.

I can't tell you all how delightful it is to find things to be thankful for, to find things or moments that I want to etch into my head and my heart, because they are wonderful and bless my life. I write them down and/or take a picture, so that I can remember.

Sometimes it's easier to give thanks and to catalogue my list than others. This week---the weather was unseasonably warm, which caused my heart to soar, bursting with joy and thanks---the list came easily, as did the smile on my face and in my heart. Other weeks, when it's cold and dreary, the girls are fussy with teething pain, and I feel lonely and overwhelmed--it's harder to find joy, to write down my gifts, and to give thanks. That is the challenge. To find joy and thanks in all circumstances. I would encourage everyone to give it a shot, and if you do, I pray it blesses your life, as it has blessed mine.

379. Walk with Laila and Nori.

380. Laughter at getting out strollers stuck in the snow.

381. Crazy-warm temperatures.

382. Taking a walk through the garden.

383. Green peeking through the bones of last year's growth.

384. Swelling buds on the hydrangeas.

385. The promise of spring drawing near.

386. Playing volleyball.

387. Winning the match in two games with only four players.

388. Family meal.

389. Girls that enjoy eating spicy food.

390. Hadley bravely taking a few steps on her own.

391. Brynne being so proud of herself when she lets go and stands on her own.

392. Going for a walk with my girls.

393. Hadley smiles through the stroller window.

394. Mud instead of snow.

395. Snow to wash off the mud from the stroller tires.

396. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinth emerging in the garden.

397. Playing outside in February.

398. Babies' hair blowing in the breeze.

399. The smell of spring in the air.

400. Full moon on a winter night that feels like spring.

401. Sleeping with the windows open two nights in a row.

402. Our Lil Rinser arriving in the mail just in time for bath night.

403. Being able to rinse Hadley's hair without her fussing or squirming. 

404. Organizing the girls' baby clothes.

405. The girls "helping" me organize.

406. Baltic amber necklaces arriving in the mail.

407. Ordering the girls' first pair of shoes.

408. Sunday afternoon working in the garden.

409. Another Sunday afternoon at the park.

410. My little "foodies" enjoying tuna steak with a ginger-shiitake cream sauce.

411. Wearing flip flops.

412. Holding hands while watching a movie.

holy experience

Friday, February 18, 2011

Write It On The Doorframes: True Beauty Conversations

My friend Melissa and I are continuing our conversation about True Beauty through a series of letters on Fridays. Join us as we continue to explore and embrace beauty in our lives.

Dearest Melissa,

You are so right! God's Beauty dwells in and among us.

It is easy for me to see God when I gaze at the faces of my daughters. I mean, really?! How could you not?!

And your girls?! Just look at those eyes!

It's even easy for me to see His Beauty in the face of others.

I see Beauty in you, Melissa.

My struggle is this:


Hop on over to Melissa's blog to read the rest.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've Got a Feva...

...and the only prescription is more cowbell. 


I make way too many SNL references.
I really do have a feva--Spring feva, that is. Although--you can never go wrong with a little cowbell....

I took my girls out walking yesterday. We got stuck in the snow more than once. Good thing they think it's funny that I tip the stroller violently to get unstuck.

I am just sick with it. It was almost 70 degrees here for the last two days!
Things in my garden are starting to grow, and that makes me exceedingly happy. I know, I know---those fragile little green sprouts are just daring the frost to get them. BUT seeing the green against the bones from last year's growth makes me happy anyway.
I mean, come on---doesn't that make you smile?! Just a little bit?!
I know, that rodent that came out and saw his shadow said six more weeks of winter, not two---I get it. But this weather---what a tease! 

 So, whatever, Phil--I don't care what you say, I have my windows open, and I'm dreaming of my garden. 

So--since I've got the feva, I thought I'd cough on you guys, just in case you don't already have it too.

I love perennials. I have a huge garden full of perennials. I can't be bothered with replanting flowers every year. Most of these thrive best in full sun. I thought I would share some of my favorites.
  1. Agastache (pronounced a-guh-stack-ee) "Golden Jubilee". Both the leaves and the flower have a divine minty smell--making it a wonderful cut flower. It blooms almost all summer long.

2. Daylilies. I love them. They are easy to grow and come in almost any color imaginable.

3. Hybiscus. They emmerge from the ground late--sometimes not until May, but once they start blooming? They won't quit until frost. Gorgeous! Hummingbirds love them, and they smell heavenly! These blooms are about 10 inches across!

4. Echinacea, commonly called Cone Flower. These are pink, but they come in lots of colors. They are tough flowers, drought tolerant. Easy to grow.

5. Shasta Daisies. These are so super easy to grow. If you know someone that has some, they will probably share some with you---they spread and fill in quickly. 


7. Chives. Yes, they smell like onion, but they are great to cook with, and aren't they pretty?! Cut them back after they bloom, and they keep on blooming from spring till frost.

8. Evergreen Candytuft. This is one of the first things to bloom in my garden, which makes my heart sing! The white flowers emerge in March/April, and stay for over a month. It's drought tolerant, and stays green all the time, hence the name. The green in the garden of brown makes me smile all winter.

So--do you feel that feva setting in? 

Flowers are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.
~Luther Burbank