Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome...

...because I am buried under a mountain of wrapping paper, bows and self-adhesive gift tags that aren't so self-adhesive.

I can at least use the excuse that I have adorable little elves that help make the mess.

Just Keepin' It Real!
Merry Grinchmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A suprise visit and the "Ickies"

Uncle Lee and Aunt Gail flew in from North Carolina on the 9th, and left on the 16th. (boo-hoo) I truly miss having them around because they visited, you know, longer than 15 minutes. Have I ever mentioned I love to have company ? Well I do ~ when my house is clean anyway. Call me crazy but growing up in the country, 50 miles from the nearest town or relative makes for some lonely days. My parents probably loved it because they are not really the "social" type but I think I would have liked to have some company every once in a while. So I miss the visits from Lee and Gail.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to visit as much as we hoped because we have taken turns with the stomach flu.

Yes, it felt as bad as it looked.
Matt and I did get to eat lunch at Macayos with Lee & Gail and do some Christmas shopping while my parents watched the kids on Sunday. We missed Grams 90th surprise birthday party *such a bummer due to fevers and such. Lee and Gail were kind enough to spend Monday morning with us before they left. What a nice visit!

I pray they are not stuck at home in North Carolina with a parting gift from the Chinobillys'. We're kind that way you know?

Miss you already Lee & Gail!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please Excuse The Mess...

...while I give myself a bloggy makeover. Since I can't rearrange my living room I think I'll rearrange my blog.
Got a wild hair to really switch things up. I'll be testing out a "minima" template in hopes it will allow for easier makeovers in the future. You know to make things purty-er as my darling Abby would say.
And since I've spent all this time playing around here, I have procrastinated (neglected) doing the laundry, the cleaning, the presents that need to be wrapped, the baking that needs to be done and letting the puppy out.

Here's to procrastination!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

UN-Decking The Halls

This year has been so much fun! I love being able to see life through a child’s eyes…that is MOST of the time anyway. I’ve tried to make our home look a bit more festive than I would have two years ago so I decorated another little Christmas tree in a boot and set it on the hearth in front of the fireplace.

Friday night I was cleaning up the dinner dishes and the house fell suddenly quiet. That is not a good sign in the chinobilly house, as many of you with “little curtain climbers” will agree. So I peaked around the corner of my kitchen into the living room to see the girls UN-decking the cute little Christmas tree.

Oh they are sneaky little creatures. They were plucking the silver balls off of the Christmas tree! Not the entire ornament just the ball.

My guess is their fine motor skills are well developed.

Then they were hiding the “evidence” in the Little People Plane they parked next to the tree earlier that day.

It was one of those moments when I wanted to scream and rant and rave about how hard I work to make things nice but instead I had to laugh (really hard). It was so stinkin’ funny to see their faces when I caught them "silver" handed.

I have since moved the poor little Christmas tree to a higher location. I cannot guarantee how long it will remain safe there either.

Never a dull moment!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What Not To Wear Chinobilly Style:

A few weeks ago I confided to my friend Susie that I want (need) to start looking nicer for my husband. I think I might have slipped a bit too far into the pooped-out-stay-at-home-momma-don’t-care-anymore-look. Susie gladly (maybe a little too gladly) accepted the challenge of helping me out.
One Saturday she showed up at my house ready to raid my closet and do her own version of What Not To Wear: Chinobilly Style. After about an hour of plowing through my clothing and nine bags ready for Good Will later she left me with a weeks worth of clothing. Thank goodness for scrap therapy after that experience! *wink

Susie did promise to help me shop since y’all know how much I loathe clothes shopping. *cringe No really, I HATE, DETEST, ABHOR shopping for clothes. I’m just not model material, nope not at all. Susie on the other hand is “well-made”. She’s got boobs, and no hips…damn her! Hey, MY body’s voluptuous, TOO. It’s just that the voluptuous parts are all in the wrong place. I think the nice big bosom I was MEANT to have wound up on either side of my hips. I’m going to drop a complaint in the suggestion box.
Susie eventually had to drag me kicking and screaming out of the house to update the olchinobilly wardrobe. First stop ~ Applebee’s ~ to get me a little relaxed with a bit of alcohol and give me a full belly (do you think she is out to get me?). Then it was off to the dreaded clothing stores. I practically hyperventilated just walking into Old Navy. No Joke! That place is so…so…well…trendy. I am NOT trendy. That will never be an adjective used to describe me but I’m ok with that. And anyway, we bought one pair of pants. Not the success story I was hoping for. Third stop was Fashion Bug - I guess they were having a great sale - I wouldn't know. I’m in a state of shock by this time and I’m basically letting Sooz take the lead. We ended up spending about 2 hours there. I in the changing room, Susie, gathering anything she thought might work for me.

I’m happy to say we had success and I actually had a good time! Shh…don’t tell Susie I said that. I ended up with several items that I can mix and match and hopefully Matt won’t be ashamed to be seen with me anymore. That is…just as soon as I emerge from the hole into which I’m getting ready to crawl in order to avoid dealing with the whole what goes with what dilemma.
Thank you Susie, for helping me get a bit more fashion sense! You were so much fun to do this with. xoxoxoxo

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thank You Gilbert Family...

for the amazing...

super cool...

FREE swingset!

Our kids are in swingset heaven.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


…After being buried under tons of other things like laundry and cleaning and Thanksgiving dishes and trying to figure out what to do for Christmas cards and more laundry!
Thank you so much for all your kind wishes and your precious prayers during the rough month of sickies that my little family was going through (Abby got the pukes, Bree got a cold, Matt got the flu, I continued to deal with the joys of hormonal imbalance). I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ve all finally scaled the walls and are now on the way to getting much better.
We had a very low-key but grand time with Matt’s family on Thanksgiving. All the married gals in the family take turns hosting Thanksgiving. This year it was Brad’s Jen’s turn. She did a great job with her first turkey and everyone had a relaxing time visiting while the kids ran amuck. The only thing I don't like about going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving is not getting to eat leftovers at midnight when you think you might starve to death due to your stomach being so stretched out. One would think that the 38,000 calories I consumed would hold me for awhile...
Aubrey especially adored her “play dates” with her cousins. The jury is still out with Abby. She is definitely not our social butterfly.
I did not snap a single picture on Thanksgiving. I just didn’t feel very picture snappy that day I guess. Maybe it’s because I had to stir the gravy. It’s a very important job you know; gravy shouldn’t be too thick and not too thin. The meal is entirely centered on the quality and consistency of the gravy. (I really wouldn’t know since I usually skip the gravy but I like to sound like I know what I’m talking about).
I’m in a bit of a euphoric state (hehe) because I started and finished my Christmas shopping for the girls on Friday. Part of the happiness comes from finally, finally, finally getting to shop for toys I KNOW the kids will love AND I didn’t spend a fortune either. Yay! I can’t wait to see their little faces light up with delight on Christmas morning.
We went to the Light Parade last night with some family and friends. It was so much fun! The girls had a ball seeing all the lights and of course Santa was there too! Abby could hardly contain herself waiting for each entry to pass by. She kept telling Ethan (our friends son) “Efan look, more coming! More coming!” So stinkin’ cute.
Well, that's all for now. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Hoo" are you lookin' at?

We have an owl visitor from time to time. Thursday night the owl was dining on grasshoppers while we were dining on the all American favorite ~ hot dogs. Abby was being very funny while she was looking out the window at the owl and talking to it. She said Hi owl, its me Abby. See sissy and my mommy? Want some katsup? Then she would bust out laughing.

Here are a few pictures of Mr. Owl.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanks for all of your prayers! My visit to the doctor yesterday went better than expected thanks to Matt. He decided to go with me this time and I think the doctor finally believed me when I said I was in pain! I’ve been dealing with some intense pain in my lower right side ever since concluding fertility treatments over three years ago. A laparoscopy was done in February of this year and the doctor removed my left ovary and fallopian tube due to endometriosis and a large ovarian cyst. My right ovary is also entangled in endometriosis and has attached itself to the pelvic wall but the doctor said it didn’t look as bad as the left side so he didn’t remove it. The doctor hoped that by removing the worse of the two ovaries the right ovary wouldn’t be “compensating” for the left. Unfortunately, no such luck. I’ve been dreading the inevitable hysterectomy but I’m also very weary of the pain. After a good talk with the doctor we are trying a last ditch effort of a low dose birth control pill to see if the pain is reduced. If so then I will continue taking the pill but if it doesn’t control the pain then it’s back under the knife. Either way I’m looking at being on hormones the rest of my life. Yuck! Isn’t it funny that the doctor put me on birth control pills when I can’t even conceive in the first place? Kind of a cruel joke but I can take it. Fortunately I have been blessed with mamma-hood through the adoption of the two most beautiful, amazing, smart, funny, fantastic girls in the whole world. For them…it’s all worth it!
In other news…
If you are one of my 4 faithful blog followers you will remember the survey I posted a few weeks back about weather I should potty train first or wean from the pacifier. It was a tie, (I guess I need a 5th faithful follower…tap tap tap… anyone out there?) So I had to be a big girl and make my own decision. Well the Lord definitely has a sense of humor and has kindly forced me into, I mean assisted me with, the weaning of the pacifier. Oliver took off with one of the girl’s binkies on Sunday and tore a tiny little hole in it. This made the binky not so wonderful to Abby. She whined and carried on for a good part of the afternoon. As soon as Bree dropped hers I snuck it into the kitchen and gave it a little snip too, you know, to be fair and all. Now the binkies are “bawoken” (broken) and the girls aren’t real happy with them or Oliver. Yeah, that the best part… it was Oliver’s fault not mine! Nighttime hasn’t been so great for Abby but we are getting there. I suspect that Oliver just might conveniently find the binkies angain and I’ll have him bury them in the back yard. Oh Oli boy, where are you? I’ve got a treat for you!!!
Well, I’m off to make oatmeal cookies with the munchkins. Have a good day all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kids say the darndest things!

Friday 11-7-08
I went grocery shopping at our local Safeway on Friday. There is a payday loan place right next door to the market. They had one of those inflatable characters set up outside. You know the kind with the wiggly man that dance around as the wind tosses him too and fro. Well, the girls were, of course, scared of him and wanted to go in another direction. Unfortunately the wiggly man was set up practically at the entrance to Safeway. I tried to calm the girls by telling them it was just a funny man dancing in the wind. Bree replied very seriously by saying…. Are you ready for this?
Mamma, that man is doing the pee-pee dance!”
Oh my stinkin’ heck they are so funny!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Celebrating the chaos

Ever tried keeping up with twins AND a puppy while you’re not feeling too good? I think the past week has made me tougher or just plain crazy (it's a hung jury)
But I like to call it celebrating the chaos. It sounds so much nicer than freaking out does, doesn’t it?
It’s been a very demanding 4-5 days, what with maintaining some sense of order in our home, endless puppy messes, futile attempts to get the girls to eat anything healthy …(yep, I totally SuperNanny to come live at our house)
So I’m so sorry, my friends, if I’ve been missing in action lately. I’ve been missing you too! But you know what happens when real life takes you by the collar, right? You stop whatever it is you’re playing with and you come running. (When did I start using puppy analagies for everything?)
But I’m back! Tonight anyway, and I’ll be visiting the doctor on Wednesday so I’ll post more on that later. But for now I could use a little prayer.
A friend of mine told me something the other day I think is totally beautiful. She said, God’s weakness is in prayer and our strength is in prayer.
Isn’t that so true? God grows all soft when we pray to Him, and we on the other hand gather strength from Him when we pray.
So. I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things and organize my thoughts and priorities. I do have so much to share with you just not the energy to put the words together. It’s hard to think the seasons are quickly changing and Christmas lights are starting to blink all around! I’m just not ready well…maybe for some turkey and pumpkin pie!
I’ll post again soon my friends!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Welcome Oliver

The chinobilly barn grew another 4 feet…4 very big, adorable, black feet. Our little lab pup is 11 weeks old and completely full of spunk yet very gentle. The girls are crazy about him ~ most of the time anyway.
Oliver joined our family on Sunday after our niece, Nettie, called us from Safeway. She told me that someone was selling lab puppies for $10.00 so I rushed down to Safeway as fast as legally possible to find the seller. Funny thing is that I sort of know the gal because she takes her kiddos to toddler story time at the library too. AND she has twins that are 8 months older than our twins! Since we sort of know each other she let me have one of the pups for free. *yay
Oli is going to the vet today for a complete physical and anything else the vet can dream up to suck what little money we have from our wallets. So I guess that $25 a week we were “saving” from no more weekly diaper trips will now be redistributed to pet care. Oh and for those of you breathing a sigh of relief about the lack of potty talk, think again, you might need to find a rock to crawl under for a while. *grin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Potty Boot Camp: Day 8

Wow-A week ago I was posting an entry in tears and now I'm beaming with pride. Potty training has gone really, really great. The girls are doing so well in going to the potty all by themselves. I just can't believe they learned this so quickly and that I was so afraid life would be over as I knew it. We've been out of the house 4 times now with not a single accident either. Tomorrow I'm going to be really risky and take them to the square to romp in the leaves. We've been learning about how trees grow in our preschool lessons so now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the fall weather. If any of you are interested in the program I am using to potty train the twins please visit this website. I can't believe I have just blogged 4 times about potty training!! So just in case there’s one remaining reader who didn’t completely abandon ship after reading the word potty, or panties, or accidents in any of the posts, I won’t delve into it any deeper. Too bad you won't be seeing any more pictures like this floating around here.

Yes, things quickley fell apart around here after seeing this.

I'm glad to tell you we've cleaned up our act! Good thing you all have me to police these kinds of antics. It's hard work you know. I shall now take a deep breath for tommorow they will shout "Let the chaos ensue!"

Good night!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freeman Farms

We went to the "punkin barn" on Sunday...

with our good friends The Williams.

The kids had a good time playing in the pumpkin patch, riding the train, eating roasted corn on the cob and playing with baby animals.

It's never easy getting great pictures of these two little pumpkins. They are always going in 49 different directions. Good thing I took about 120 pictures. Maybe I'll find enough to pull together a cute digi-layout for all of you blog readers.

Enjoy this great fall weather!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Potty Boot Camp Day 3

I'm sure I've made you all a bit crazy with the potty training talk lately so I promise this will be the last post I make on the subject...for a while...

We had another good day. It is really beginning to "click" with the girls and I can't be more proud of them. I realize we still have a lot to work on but that's ok. We'll take this one day at a time just like everything else. Daddy gets to be involved tomorrow and I get a little (well-deserved) break to go grocery shopping. Yay! Diapers won't be on that list!

Thanks again for putting up with all this potty talk! Your reward...some photos as promised:

Day 1
During breakfast:
Mommy: Today is going to be a big day for you girls. You are going to be big girls and wear big girl underwear. No more diapers...diapers are for babies.
Abby: No mommy, I stay your yitty bitty baby...pleeeeeeez.
Mommy: Peaches, you will always be my "yitty bitty baby" but you can't wear diapers forever.
Abby: Okay mama (pouty lip out)
Mommy: (to herself) That was easy.

Aubrey: I can wear Tinkerbell panties now? (her favorite and she's been waiting a long time to get to wear them)

Mommy: what you think this is some kind of trick?

What?! Do you see what I see? The kid goes for the Hello Kitty panties? After days of "I wanna wear Tinkerbell"

Yes, that's it, the left foot goes in the left hole, good, now the right foot goes in the right hole, perfect...

now up you go! Total panties (Oh gracious! ~ I've been watching way too much Upside Down Show, shoot me now!)

Mama, are you serious?

Day 3

Oh yeah, stickers, candy and charts! Oh my!

They're great for counting lessons too!

Amen...and good night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Potty Boot Camp Day 2

Today potty boot camp went much better for all of us! I am so proud of our girls.
We only had a few accidents today so I think it is beginning to click. *sigh
Both girls woke from their naps dry as can be! Abby even went to the bathroom all by herself as I was tending to Bree. Bree also had a fairly successful day but she has yet to tell me she has to go unless I remind her. So we will focus more on that tomorrow.
As for nighttime ~ Bree had a “dry” night with only one visit to the bathroom…yay. Abby had just one accident so I was pleased (I was prepared for 10!) and I’m hopeful for a dry night from both girls tonight. Tomorrow will be our third day of potty boot camp (the program I'm following is a 3-day program) so hopefully both will have even more success! I realize we have a lot to learn yet but it feels so good to see the girls achievements and NO MORE DIAPERS!
But for now, I’m going to try to get some much needed cleaning done around the house before I collapse into bed. I’ll try to post some pictures soon, just haven’t had time…

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Potty Boot Camp Day 1

Today the chinobillies entered potty boot camp. The girls were issued big girl panties this morning after breakfast and all the diapers were removed from the house and the diaper bag. Considering this was the first day of being out of diapers the girls did really well although every single pair of underwear in the drawer has been soiled (no joke!)
Bree was off to a great start and made it to the potty every time until after her nap then she had only a few accidents. I think she was on an M&M and sticker high for most of the day. That type of reward system definitely works for her.
Poor Abby didn’t fair so well today. I’m fairly convinced that she is desensitized to being wet because wetting her panties didn’t seem to faze her. By the end of the day though she was feeling very defeated by all the praise Bree got and my heart is broken for her. I need to come up with something that will really speak her language. I would really love to see what you all think might help her.
I keep reminding myself this was our first day of potty boot camp and we are all learning something new. I will keep my chin up and do whatever it takes to see these girls to potty victory.
I plan on posting again every evening...that is if I don't collapse into bed first.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Soft Molasses Cookies

½ c butter, softened
½ c solid vegetable shortening (not margarine)
1½ c sugar
½ c molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 c flour
½ tsp salt
2¼ tsp baking soda
2¼ tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light colored and fluffy.
2. Beat in molasses and eggs; set mixture aside.
3. In another large bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly with wire whisk.
4. Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until dough is blended and smooth.
5. Roll dough into 1½” balls.
6. Dip tops in granulated sugar.
7. Place 2½” apart on greased cookie sheet.
8. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes. Do not over bake.
9. Cool on wire rack. Store in tightly covered container to maintain softness.

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies.

Monday, October 6, 2008

So how was your weekend?

Ours was a tiny bit emotional as our girls transitioned into "big-girl" beds. I don't want to jinx it but...so far so good. Next step...hmm...not sure...getting rid of the pacifiers or potty training...
Oh what is a girl to do? OOOhh OOOhh I know. I let you all decide! I have added a poll on the right side of the screen. PLEASE cast your vote so I don't have to decide. It's just too hard. And by the way, no one has called me on that potion for keeping little girls babies yet either. What the heck? We're in a crisis here folks, they are growing up waaay too fast.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I turn my back for two stinkin' seconds

And this is what happens. Geesh!

Thank goodness for washable crayons...