Sunday, 21 October 2012

Grattitude For Twins ~ My Twins... :)

Today I am especially thankful for twins... my twins. :) I'm thankful that Dausen tells our family jokes. And that Devry shows us funny videos. These boys bring SO MUCH fun and LAUGHTER  into our home! :D I'm thankful for their cheerful, pleasant personalities, and calm dispositions. Our family is truly blessed to have them in our lives...

So, YES,  THIS... case you've ever wondered ... was so totally WORTH IT! :D

(Shocking, I know! :o I really didn't get very big with just one baby... but with twins!!!! Whoa!)

This writing may end up being long (there is just so much good to say about them!), but trust me, it will be so intriguing... These are some very unique and amazing individuals!!!! :)  (And, YES... in addition to being a history brief, this IS also a brief brag session! ;) But, No... I'm not at all biased! ;o)

Amazing Birth Story:

Every story has a beginning, and this story starts right out with nothing short of amazing. During childbirth, these little angels caused me only 5 minutes of mild pain, and the entire labor from first contraction to second birth was only 15 - 20 minutes long "short." (I promise... I'm NOT exaggerating. It still amazes me! God tricked me into going to the hospital to have a baby turned (my Dr was at the hospital delivering another baby, so the receptionist sent me to the hospital to see a Dr. there). At the hospital, a nurse "accidentally" (ha ha!) broke my water and put me into labor. Labor was so easy that if I had gone into labor at home I'm sure I would have had them at home with no Dr.). Delivery must have been easy for the babies as well, because neither of them came out crying (maybe they cried for a few seconds). It was incredibly surreal!

You would think that with two babies I would be happy to let their father hold one of them. But to be honest, my arms longed for them both... especially since I only got to hold the first baby for a few seconds before I had to toss him back to the Dr., who tossed him to his dad, so the second baby could be delivered without the first baby being dropped... I'm sure you understand! :o 

Miles holds the first born while I hold the second born... then I get them both! :D

In this photo I am reaching out to hold them both, together, for the first time... :)
Don't worry... Dad eventually got to hold them at the same time, too... :)

By the way, the first born was, at birth, named Dausen, and the second was, at birth, named Devry. But after 3 days I just could not deny that the first seemed like a "Devry" and the second seemed like a "Dausen" (Dausen was more mellow... ) So, I called the hospital and told them to swap names before mailing off their S.S. card and birth certificate applications. Thankfully, they hadn't yet sent the mail off, so there was no fee for changing the names; yes, I would have swapped their names even if it had cost money! :)

At the time of their birth I thought that perhaps the quick and easy delivery might have had something to do with them being born so peacefully; but the calmness continued on...

Dausen - back... Devry - front...
Ages - About 11 and 14
Dausen was especially calm. He was happy whether right side up or upside down! His father and I loved to watch him in the arms of big sister, Mindy. In his little eyes, she could clearly do no wrong. (By the way, they are amazing friends; it way cool! :D) We frequently called Dausen, "Docile Dausen." As he left babyhood his nickname changed to "Awesome Dausen!"
Devry was also very happy, in fact, he got the nick name "Happy "Devry." (You can get away with anything when they are babies! LOL :)

As toddlers the twins would run in huge circles as fast as they could. They had a little friend named Jessica who also did a good deal of running with them. Sliding down the stairs on their bellies was another favorite activity of theirs as toddlers (and great entertainment for their dad! :). They were so cute and entertaining! :D

We got around via bike... this was their very fun "rig!"
THESE BOYS STARTED LIFE AS the cutest little guys and the best of friends! As young kids, they once told me with excitement that they were going to live in a mansion when they grew up (along with some really cool specifics about what their mansion would be like). I asked, "Are you talking about living in the same house?" The reply I received was a confident, "Yeah!" with an attitude of "Gee! Don't you know it?" I broke it to them as gently as I could, "I'm glad you are such good friends, but you will most likely get married, and I don't think your wives would appreciate you living with each other instead of with them...

After a long pause, new plans were immediately made... "We're going to live in mansions right next door to each other." I had to hold back from laughing out loud with delight... I wonder how many other twins dream of living in mansions together, or right next door to each other! :) As teenagers they can sometimes be hard on each other not treat each other with such fondness. But I can see the love they have for each other by the little things they do for each other (and no one else), like making sure each other get their fair share of the food :); I believe they will be best buds again as adults...

Devry...        &       Dausen...
Devry  and  Dausen
I have to tell you... while thrift shopping the other day, I met a woman who is married to a twin. Her husband and his twin are still the best of friends, as are she and her sister in law. The four of them peacefully own a store together and are incredibly happy to spend their lives running the family business together on a daily basis. I didn't ask her if they live in the same house... :o But I was thrilled to hear that they are all so close, including the wives! :D Twins are so incredibly blessed!!! :)

I'm sure you can already tell, these cute little buddies did the typical "twin stuff," including creating their own language... Unfortunately, they couldn't teach each other to speak English, (since they both spoke "twin." :o)
We have quite a few photos of these
two snuggled asleep together.

So began the exciting journey of speech therapy and early preschool at the age of three (Which, by the way they loved! Their preschool was in a church, and they got to go upstairs in the room with the pretty stained glass for speech therapy! :) Even at four years old the two of them still had their own little language, which could sometimes only be deciphered after careful translation by their sister Mindy. Sometimes Dausen preferred to not speak (just a quiet kind of guy. 

Dausen's lack of desire to do a lot of talking matters most fun for Devry, as Devry could answer questions given to the two of them like, "Which of you is Devry, and which is Dausen?" At only 4 years old, Devry “snowed” the Preschool teachers for an entire day, by telling them he was Dausen.  At the end of the day, Devry looked up at me with a sparkle in his eyes and a very cute crooked but pleased grin on his face... when he overheard me informing the teachers they had been "had." I will never forget the light and delight I clearly witnessed in Devry's eyes... over his own cleverness! :)

In addition to running around together speaking "twin," these boys loved (still love) art with passion, and have always been eager to get their hands on any kind of art or drawing devices. They even participated in a talent show in second grade in which each stood up on a chair and drew a large picture on a large chalk board in front of an amazed audience. It was awesome!!! Devry drew a picture of a seahorse, and Dausen drew a picture of a wizard holding up a wand. The audience "ooed" and "awed..." I don't know where a photo of that is right now, but here is a photo of them drawing in their bedroom just after they turned five years old...
When they were in Preschool, it became a regular thing for their teachers to, (at the end of the day and in amazement…) RUN to greet me, quite eager to show off the extraordinary things these boys created using colored shaped tiles - "with perfect symmetry of shape, size, and color," and with skills "advanced years beyond their peers." (I'm pretty sure the teachers were impressed! ;) Their teachers soon learned to bring cameras to school so they could capture tile art which were simply too good to scoop up and put away without evidence of their having been there. Their father and I were also impressed, but not surprised, for their talents were no secret in our home. Artistic talent was always a big part of their lives (they drew dinosaurs and other creatures when they were only three!). One day when I find the photos these teachers gave to me I will scan and add them to this post.
Teachers always greatly loved these sweet and gentle boys. In preschool, their names were somehow consistently “randomly” drawn as winners to various prizes offered by the school, and the teachers were always fussing over them with delight.

In later years, it was fun to watch these boys reflect on the consistency of their school winnings, and come to the realization on their own that the drawings had to have been rigged in their favor! LOL ~ BTW. I really do not approve of having favorites, but I can understand the teachers’ dilemma; these boys were simply beyond adorable! Not only that, they were well mannered, entertaining, sweet, and brimming with talent! What was there not to love? :D

OK… there was the "egg throwing" thing… :o (Around 2 or 2.5 years old (???), they would throw eggs on the carpets! I kid you NOT!) Once I came down the stairs and spied them hiding behind a chair and giggling. When I peered around the chair to see what they were looking at, I saw broken, raw, eggs… in the carpet; I was shocked and appalled to witness them giggle in anticipation over the huge reaction I was bound to have!
Oh yeah! Again... I kid you NOT! This was a big lesson for me, teaching me to 1. NOT OVER REACT… And 2. LET THEM be the ones to suffer the consequences of their actions!… (Yeah, RIGHT! I had to spend hours on the project after they were done "cleaning" to the best of their toddler abilities, then sweetly and lovingly tucked into bed.  :o ... :)

There were "other" things which they did together that the non-twin kids never did… (I know it was a "twin" thing; it just had to be!) But then again, things like that took place when they were VERY YOUNG, and at home, not at school (thank God!) By the way, having them clean up their own messes didn’t cure them. Neither did time-outs, loss of privileges, or even spankings (which I later decided was a very bad idea). After at least a couple years of struggling to motivate these kids to behave (Honestly, I really should have used more positive approaches; I'm so sorry kids! :o) , I finally discovered ONE thing that actually "worked..." grounding them from each other...

I’ll never forget the first time I told them they were grounded from each other for not helping each other to make better choices. They both FREAKED, and begged me not to ground them from each other, promising that they would “never do it again.” I was totally “wowed!” Never before had any punishment or consequence seemed to faze them!! After that we started talking about how friends (and that includes brothers) help each other to make "good" choices. :) I’m VERY happy to say that they got the concept down as young kids and that as youth they have never encouraged each other to do anything outrageous! Yeah! And whew!!! ;)

Now, a few brief  tidbits about Dausen…
Dausen created many "cool" things of his own design.
He could always draw or create amazing things from
his head - via tile shapes, pencil, Lego's, Bionicles...
(What an amazing visual mind!)
One thing I have always known about Dausen is that he is a very good boy. You could see it in his eyes, right from the start. And you could see it in his attitude and behavior. I used to become overwhelmed with awe as this knowledge rushed over me in the form of a spiritual testimony...  I have been thankful for this knowledge to help me to look for the best in him as he grew older, as he and I are EXACT OPPOSITES in personality (according to Myers and Briggs, every thing I am, he isn't and visa versa - this is in regards to personality - we both have the same standards and value many of the same things.) It is so easy to judge someone who you don't understand; Raising Dausen has taught me not to judge... He is a fabulous teenager, who doesn't give me a lick of trouble! Though he makes his own decisions, which are not always the choices I would make (like not going to Seminary this year... boo hoo!) he has a great head on his shoulders and he is growing to be an honorable man of good character. Dausen is responsible, hard working, honest, and fair, has a great sense of humor, and smiles and laughs often... I love and adore Dausen more than I could ever begin to say!
Dausen, Devry, and their twin neighbor friends
hiking on Tubs Hill a few years ago...
A few words that could describe Dausen include...  calm, quiet, cool, collected, good, mature, and wise (he teaches me all the time). However, even though he is quiet in large groups, he can be nonstop talkative and extremely funny at home among family and close friends. Dausen loves to be home with his family; we have always been his best friends; I love that! But when he takes the time to get to know people he is always very well loved! :o  
As far as personality goes, Dausen has such a masculine way with him... even while playing the comedian and pretending to be a girl (SO FUNNY!!!)... A comedian he is! (I’m really not sure how he does it; he is amazing!)

In his free time, Dausen likes to draw. He started out with just pencil drawings, but now also loves to do computer and z-brush animations. He also enjoys and excels in Photo Shop and Adobe Illustrator, and has done a little clay sculpting… Although he is home-schooled, Dausen went to middle school for a computer and art classes. In both instances he was so far ahead he completed his assignments multiple times over, before the other students finished their first and only project. In the photo to the left, Dausen is drawing his first self portrait (only one SO FAR) at age14...
Here is one of Dausen's drawings.  He's good! He has his father and Heavenly Father to thank for that talent! :) And he can thank himself as well, for the time and effort he spends working at it!!! Way to go Dausen! :D
Dausen started this drawing in 2009 and forgot about it until 2011 when he finished it.

After drawing the above photo, Dausen traced it with Adobe Illustrator then colored it...

I hope to get these boys into some fun college courses in the graphic arts program soon; they may have to enroll as Graphic Art students. I’m really excited about them doing this! :D

Now, a bit about just Devry…

Typical image of Devry... I opened a envelop of photos and saw
this one; I figured I need not look further. :) A smile on his face,
a twinkle in his eyes, and adventure on his mind and in his hands! :D
Here, Devry has decided to add "snow" to our tree. I love his happy disposition
Devry is such a happy person. He was born that way. :) We often called him “Happy Devry” when he was just a baby. Even now, he cracks me up with his wonderful and cheerful ways! I know it may sound funny (you may have to see this to appreciate it) but when he gets really excited about something… he sometimes lifts his hands up and down like a little bird flapping it’s wings. J I told you that you would have to see it to appreciate it! LOL Honestly, he is SO HANDSOME (so is his twin... imagine that!  ;) and so masculine (ALL BOY) so it is really quite hilarious to see the hand flap thing (he is so incredibly handsome and cute, too! :D

You already know that Devry draws…
Devry drew this anime on his I-pad about a year ago. Isn't she cute? :) This is a simple sketch. I will scan some other drawings which he has worked harder on and add them too.

Cover to a book Devry
made in Preschool... :)

Devry also likes to play the drums. Though he was a homeschooler, he joined the band in middle school and played percussion's. He lost interest in being in the band at the HS age, but still plays the drums now and then at home while Dausen plays the guitar. 

Another thing Devry has done in huge abundance is catch animals. This interest also took a back seat in the past couple of years (though he did catch several wild mice; DEVRY!!!!). His skills with animals are amazing! He even catches rattle snakes safely. This is because of his talent with animals, his fearless personality, and his love for looking up little facts which give him the safe know-how. He used to do this with books. Now Devry researches on the Internet or with the encyclopedia on his I-Pad. Devry often looks up and shares little facts with the rest of the family. I love it! :D
Devry does a variety of "guy" stuff, like throw knives. I believe he throws for about 30 minutes now without missing (that could be a good skill for a man). Below are videos he made about a year ago.

Devry is adventurous! :) And with his inquisitive and adventurous nature he learns to do all kinds of interesting things... At the age of about 6 he asked me for the bones to a chicken I was cooking so he could figure out how to reassemble it. :o When he was around 14 (maybe younger) he introduced our family to holding fire (safely contained...). While some Missionaries were here visiting, he introduced it to them as well. I wish we had it on video, because it was hilarious! Devry caught a cotton ball on fire (after preparing it to retain fire so we wouldn't get burnt while holding it) then he passed it to the person next to him...  and the fire was passed around the room like a hot potato! :D We all sat around the room laughing - as we tossed fire at each other... See what fun we have thanks to this curious and adventurous young man? (PS. For those of you who are not familiar with this little trick... when you get freaked and drop the fire, it does NOT light the carpet. We even rolled it back and forth on the carpet without any damage or trace of it having been there! :)

 Since Thanksgiving is near, I thought it would be fun to share one of our family traditions with you...

Our family has a tradition of each person doing the same special "something" for Thanksgiving each year. Devry's "thing" is to make a Mayflower out of bread, crackers and tortillas for our Thanksgiving centerpiece. Here are a couple photos of Devry making a Mayflower  as a little boy... :) (Isn't he cute? :D

Dausen's "thing" is to make some kind of finger food to snack on throughout the day (I love the wonderful things he makes!). Last year he did crackers, cheese and meat, and arranged it very nicely I might add! We already have many photos, so you can use your imagination on this one.

OK a quick note or two about the both of them - followed by a note to them, then I will end this post…

About two years ago the boys decided they wanted to start learning to ParKor. We paid for them to have weekly lessons for just one month - not much, but it got them started. They both learned to do front flips really well so we bought a trampoline so they could continue doing flips at home. It has been fun to watch them progress. :)

These boys are also both very good swimmers. I’m hoping they will both one day start doing triathlons with me (imagine the eyes blinking here boys!!! :D); I think they would be really good at it. They also have talents to share with me... Devry has agreed to teach me to use my I-pod (please don’t laugh at me; I honestly haven't even taken even one minute to try! :o) Dausen has agreed to teach me to do a flip on the trampoline next summer, and also teaches me things with Photo Shop now and then. In addition to their other cool talents, they are incredibly honest, hardworking, and persistent! (I could go on and on with a list of good qualities.)

And now, a note to my marvelous twins (the first note that I have written to the both of them; usually my notes are written to just one at a time, but for a blog I think this works better).

Dear Devry and Dausen,

Thanks so much, to each of you, for being YOU! I love each of you individually and every bit as much as I love the other, but no more than I love the other;)!! I wouldn't trade you two for all the tea in China... (How am I doing? :) I hope that when you are grown and gone you will think of me often, visit me constantly, and hug me tons! :D (I know... I can be demanding... Please imagine me batting my eyes right about now for good measures). And most of all, please remember how much I absolutely  LOVE and ADORE you! (you know I do!) Thanks a million times over for always being willing to help me when I need it, and for being the really great people that you are! :)
Love, forever and always… MOM :D

OK, that’s enough mush and bragging for now. I will present you with more recent photos of these wonderful boys soon. Until another day!

Corine :D

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Visiting Family - Part One...

This weekend our family went on a little trip to visit some family. It was SO SHORT, but SO WORTH IT! :D

The first visit we had was at a nursing home where Miles' father lives. The time here was short (compared to visiting in his home in past years) but very sweet... Miles sister, Liz, warned us that he doesn't always remember people, including his own kids. Since we haven't been there for a while we knew it might happen to us, especially with kids who change so quickly.

But to our delight - he remembered us ALL. He did ask where Levi was, and was surprised to find out that Levi had grown and changed so much, but he remembered him! :) And he was so happy to see us! :D And we were so happy to see him. He was so sweet. The one heart breaking thing was hearing him ask me if we added onto our house yet so he could move in with us. My heart sank. Years ago when Rose Mary was alive, we spoke of adding on to the house or purchasing another home right next to another for Ray and Rose Mary to live in next door to us, but finances have not permitted either. I think families belong together, and this is hard for me. I would take care of Ray if I could. Enough of that. Moving on to our great visit...

It seems that old age is bringing out the best in Ray as far as personality and disposition go. However, there is that one item... LOL Liz had that little gleam in her eye that told us she had something fun or funny to share, then she said to me and my family, "watch this..." She turned to Ray and asked him, "Where did you get your hat?" He very mater-of-factly, and with incredible sweetness about him replied, "I stole it." :)  LOL Shocked... we all laughed. Dad was NOT a thief, until dementia set in. Liz told us that he used to steal all the flowers and take them to his room. His room was filled with flowers! They had to take the flowers back out of his room to return them to the halls where they belonged. I wish I had known; I would have bought a bunch of flowers for him. I think I will send him some right away. :)

Anyhow, we visited as a family the day we arrived, then Miles returned to visit his father the following day with just his siblings. I think it is great that they were all there and am so glad Miles called his sister and asked her to arrange for all the kids to visit their dad together. I'm so happy that they all made it! :D Here are a few photos...

I like this one because All 4 of the kids are smiling. :)

 We had a short visit with my family and a short trip to the beach as well - both of which were as sweet as they were short - but so worth while!!!!  I LOVE FAMILY! :)

While I visited my family (Sunday after church) Miles went back to visit his dad again, this time with his siblings. After their visit the four of them came back to my family gathering so they could see the kids and I. Again, way short, but sweet.

I have to get going, so I will document the rest of the trip later.

I hope you are having an awesome day! :D

UPDATE: More photos to add! :D

I'm not much of a "lap sitter" but Miles was starting to cry, and I couldn't handle it so I sat on his lap to comfort him.

Smile Miles and Devry...
That's better... :)
(Ta ta for now! ;)
 Corine :D

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

September Blessings...

I have a new blessing to remember. A friend in my ward, who I never even get together with but would love to...  just stopped by my house and brought me these beautiful flowers...

I held back the tears when April gave this to me then lost it the moment she left. How totally and completely unexpected! I was humbled to find myself asking myself, "why? why me? People don't do things like this for me." But they do...  I can't explain how much this means to me...


There are other blessings worth mentioning as well. During the last week of September our family was been INCREDIBLY blessed. I'm no show off, nor do I mean to brag, but I would be foolish not to celebrate or do something to help me to remember. And I would love to publicly thank God for blessing us so much...

*FINANCES - Miles got an awesome job doing what he loves (mentoring youth) with a local company who wants to work with his schedule so he can continue to work his sailing business during the summer (this is mostly a winter job, which is exactly what Miles wanted and needed; Wow! We have needed this SO BADLY for the last 9 years!  I'm SO THANKFUL to Miles for preparing himself and applying for this job; and so thankful to Heavenly Father for making it all possible! :) 

*TEMPORAL NEEDS - We were INCREDIBLY BLESSED with a used suburban in awesome condition. I'm so happy for Miles... :) We were also blessed with a bookshelf and new comfy chair. :)

*SPIRITUAL NEEDS - Miles and I went to the temple together and got to do something especially cool there.

*BUILDING MEMORIES - Mindy was given two tickets to Silverwood Theme Park, so she took me with her and we had an awesome mother/daughter day! :D

...taken while on the Ferris Wheel (which was a total baby ride, so we decided to get on the "Panic Plunge" next... :)

Mindy and I we were both a little nervous about riding the Panic Plunge for the first time. While in line discussing the ride, three young men began talking to us about the ride and our anticipation of it. They gave us tips about how to position ourselves and told us of their experiences. And since we got on the ride before they did, they watched us intently as we came down screaming and laughing... :) It WAS SO MUCH FUN! :D I think these men had almost as much fun watching our reactions, as we had reacting to the ride. :o When the ride ended the employee running the ride asked the onlookers who had the "best" expression. The three men (and a few others) all pointed to me and yelled, "she did! Over here, it was her!" That made me laugh again, especially as they checked my seat to be sure it was dry!  (OF COURSE IT WAS DRY! :o) I suppose it isn't common for a woman of my age to be so new at these things... :o

Mindy and I were pretty shocked to realize how high that ride went. WE were also pretty proud of ourselves for doing something that BRAVE. LOL (...yeah, well, we haven't been to amusement parks very many times in our lives. :o)
Anyhow, we only walked for about 30 seconds when we knew - we HAD to do it again! - AND NOW!

So we did. :D

It was a whole different experience the second time. The view was different since we were looking another direction - what an amazing difference the view makes! But as you can see from the look on the face of the guy who sat next to me... I was still entertaining everyone - doing this strange mixture (undoubtedly impressive ;)) of screaming and laughing all the way down! I think I should have gotten a prize for providing such great entertainment to not only the onlookers from below, but also to the participants who you would think would be fully focused on their own experience! LOL!
Here's the proof... :)

Since everyone seemed to enjoy watching me on my way down the first time, I handed the camera over to an employee with a thankful  request that he get my expression as I came down again. :)
Mindy and I also tried to go to the Women’s Broadcast together, but due to our awesome experience and difficulty leaving Silverwood, we showed up at the conference right before the closing prayer. We tried to watch it on the net when we got home but there were technical difficulties – probably due to the fact that it had only just ended. We are excited to watch it together right away and have another great experience together. By the way... we actually enjoyed being at the stake center together even though we missed the conference. The spirit felt SO GOOD. And it was cool to see the service project in the cultural hall. Mindy and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ SO MUCH and were very sorry to have missed this experience. We LOVE being part of the Relief Society of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! We are sure to plan better in the future...

*TIME OUT FOR FUN, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY - This was earlier in the month (not in the last week of September like most of the rest of these blessings), but our family went to Jamms one night with friends after spending FHE on Tubs Hill together. Sometimes life gets so routine, and it's nice to do get together with like minded friends and do something different. Here is a photo of a couple of the kids talking. I REALLY like the quote on the back of Levi's friend's shirt.

"I trade sweat for strength,
I trade doubt for belief,
I trade cheer for nothing!"

I am SO thankful for positive people and positive words. I think I'll find me a shirt like that. :D

*KIDS GROWING UP – It is FUN watching one of my sons start dating. :) It is FUN to hear another son ask for pencils and see him get back into developing his amazing artistic talents again. It is FUN to watch my kids bring friends over to the house to socialize with. It is FUN to watch my youngest be so faithful in seminary, school, service, and church activities. He is always the last one to leave after church on Sundays because he is taking down chairs and removing trash etc. I LOVE his willingness to serve. :)

ME LEARNING AND GROWING - I love learning. And I have a lot to share. But this post is already too long. Just know that it's been a great month of learning and I'm really happy about that! :D

Well, that's enough rambling about blessings and learning.
Have an awesome day! :D

Corine :D