Monday, August 19, 2013

Long Time No Blog...

I first want to apologize to my friends and family for not keeping up with this blog. Life has caught me at midstream and I did not realize how many people love to receive these little blogs about how the girls are doing. I find that we always have a busy life, always had one, and I need to make time for the things that will be remembered and enjoyed later in life by my girls and others.

Olivia and Juliana

Through these past months the girls have grown into amazing little girls. Life in our house is so different than when they were babies. We actually have conversations with these little beings. I am very happy to say that we have made it through the tantrum stage. It really only lasted about a month. Discipline was mainly time out, but there was an occasional spanking that came along. Amazingly Olivia does not respond to spankings. She just rubs her leg and then looks at you. I am not a fan of spanking as it is so I resorted to timeout and taking an item away or privilege away, which this works for Juliana too. After the learning curve for all of us, the girls settled down and for the most part, listen to us. The challenge now is to get them to listen the first time. I found that if I turn it into the game of who can line up the fastest or sit down the fastest wins, they move really quick. Pulling out the teacher ideas now.

Along the lines of teaching, Mike and I have decided that we will be homeschooling our girls. With both of us teachers and experience with little ones, we feel that we can give them the best education currently. We will evaluate this every year making sure it is the best route for our girls. This past Wednesday was our first day of preschool. Yes, they are only 3 1/2 years old, but they have shown an amazing interest in school and wanting to learn. Another indicator was when I put a book on CD in the player, the girls sat and colored for 2 hours while listening to the book. After each book was read, I asked them what it was about and they both told me the main idea. Not bad. If they could keep their attention span on an item for 2 hours I thought that I could try them out in school this year. Fortunately we do not have to sign up under an umbrella school until they are in Kindergarten.

School right now for the girls consists of waking up at 7AM and having breakfast and getting dressed. Yes, I do dress them. I have found in the past that getting dressed for the day makes me and my children more productive and awake. After breakfast we go upstairs to the girls' classroom. We start our day off with quiet time. This allows me to gather myself if I don't have a chance to before the girls wake up. During this time the girls have an activity book and a coloring page. Once they complete these, they move to our circle time corner for their Bible lesson and activity. After Bible we go through our circle time which includes: counting, ABCs, Number of the Week, Word of the Day, Sign of the Day, Letter of the Week, Months of the Year and Days of the week. After Circle time we move to their desks where I instruct them on writing the letter of the week. We first write it in the air and then on their dry erase board. Once finished with handwriting we move to Phonics. This is usually a couple work pages. Then its time to play. I let the girls play for a half an hour to relax their brains. When we get back into our day we work on the number of the week by singing some songs and doing some work pages. Usually art or music will follow and then its time for lunch. That would be a less detailed description of our day. We finish school at noon. The rest of the day is for nap and play or running errands with Mama.



Our trips into town have become a lot easier. They can climb into and out of their seats with no problem and even unbuckle the top portion of their car seats. We are recently potty trained during the day. For the most part the girls remain dry. We have a few accidents maybe once or twice a week. They do exceptionally well when we go into town and tell me they have to use the potty. Finally the purchase of diapers is getting less and less. Unfortunately we need to wait a little longer to get the night training down. I believe that will come with their development. Some of our trips into town involve a stop at the track to run. Tuesday and Thursday we join a friend for a short run. Afterwards, the girls have a chance to run. This can range from 1/2 a mile to a full mile. This depends on how much energy they have in the morning. The girls joined me for a local race. Even though they could not run the 5K, they had a mock kids triathlon. Juliana did it 4 times. LOL She got a medal for each time she completed it. I too won a medal for first place in my age division. Such a great moment to share it with my family.

Along the lines of development, the girls have really developed in the area of music. This has been amazing to watch as I have never seen the girls excel so quickly in any area. Mike and I decided that when Juli and Livi turned 3 we would put them in some kind of activity. They were already in Kindermusik and loved that so much. We decided to continue them in that this fall, but we needed something through the summer. We decided that we would try the girls in violin. Mainly because a friend of the family invited us to a toddler intro class and thought the girls would like it. It turned out that they LOVED it. We chose to continue violin lessons which the girls are in now. Their teacher is Mr. Daniel. He is amazing with little kids and does really well with keeping them engaged in music. They are in a class of their own. Mostly because they are breezing through the material that Mr. Daniel gives them. At home, we practice 10-15 minutes a day or every other day. Depending on how the girls are. If they are tired, I don't push it. I want this to be enjoyable and fun. We are hoping they will get their actual violins soon. They are currently learning different rhythms. They have most of the rhythms but we will learn on memorization of them.

Girls with Mr. Daniel



As you can see we have been running around a lot and growing a lot. I will do my very best to keep you all updated. I hope this helps with what is going on in our lives. Have a blessed week.

Picking green beans from our garden.

 Olivia and Juliana

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quick Update

I don't want to give too much away as I will be blogging in a month for the girls' 3rd birthday. But I do want everyone to know that we have been having a blessed and exciting year. The girls have grown so much and are currently going through a growth spurt. We were in size 24 mos-2T for quite a few months and all of a sudden, nothing fits and they are always hungry! They could have a full meal and an hour later, "Mama, I'm hungry". We have finally bought some 3T clothes and a lot more groceries.

The girls personalities are just blooming now. They are adding facial expressions and talking like any other kid I know. Juliana is still a little more reserved than Olivia and Olivia still tends to be more dominant. The one interesting this is that Olivia has come to be more affectionate than Juliana. She likes to curl my hair around her fingers when she is going to sleep or she rubs her face against ours when she wants love. I did not expect that as she is the most spicy of the two.

Another great observation we found within our girls is their sense of rhythm. We have been taking our girls to Kindermusik for music instruction and movement. So far they have learned about fast and slow music and how to tap to the beat. The girls are usually on the beat and moving their instruments (bells or sticks) to the music. They also carry a good tune for the music. We sat after class one evening with a teacher and she asked their age. We told her they were almost 3. She told us that they were advanced for their age. The way they were moving their instruments was usually not developed until 3 1/2 years. Of course, this made us proud parents. It is always nice to hear that your child is doing really well.

Last month we had the opportunity to drive to Kissimmee, FL for Daddy's work conference. It was such a blast. Even though daddy had to work most of the time the girls and I had a chance to chill out at our villa, go to Universal Studios. We did take a day with daddy and took the girls to Disney World. It was so amazing and so crowded. Our goal there was to see the characters. We spent most of the day in lines and taking pictures. A great experience for them and such a great moment to see their faces light up when they saw Minnie and Daisy. Over the weekend we were able to visit Aunt Cindy and her family. What a great time we had. The girls loved their cousins and talked about them all the way home. We can't wait to be able to see them again.

 The girls having a snack with Logan and Max, their cousins.

 Logan and Aunt Cindy helping Olivia.

As I bring this short blog to an end, I hope you will enjoy the pictures and look forward to reading about the girls' third birthday. Love from our family to yours.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a crazy last couple months and we hope that your holidays were as crazy and fun as ours was. In this blog, I am putting our family newsletter for those that would like to read it. I will follow the blog a little later with our adventure to Michigan to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Hope you enjoy it:

Merry Chirstmas!

What is Christmas to you? Is it the tree, lights, maybe the Christmas music in the stores or in your home? What does this mean for you?
For our family, Christmas means a time of giving and sharing and celebrating the birth of Jesus. It's not the gifts or Santa that brings cheer, its knowing that you can give a little more and spend more time doing the things that bring you together as a family. Sure! This should be done all year round, but in reality, our lives are too busy, our schedules too full, and our days too short we tend to miss out on the things that matter. So why not take this Christmas and the Christmas' to come to share it with the people you love and care about? Make the holidays shine with the joy that God gave each one of us. Have a Merry Christmas from our little family to yours.

New Home!

As many of you know our little home on Sweetgrass was just that, little. With two growing girls and not a lot of storage space, we needed a bigger place to live. In May of this year we moved into our new home on AA Deakins. We have been so blessed to be able to move into a bigger space with additional room to grow. We plan on finishing the basement sometime next year, which will add an additional family room, full bath, and bedroom. Plenty of room for guests, so come by and visit us sometime.



Our family has been blessed with so many things, nothing can compare to the blessings we have with friends. Throughout our trials and celebrations there has always been a friend by our side encouraging us, strengthening us, or laughing with us.  Without these people, our lives would be incomplete. These people are special blessings given to us as a gift from God to make this world a little better. Thank you to all of our friends. You mean the world to us and we wish you a blessed Christmas.

Christmas Spirit

Do you remember when you were a kid? What was Christmas like for you? This year we made a couple traditions.
1) A train around the tree.
2) Picking out a real Christmas tree.  (Tree in picture is not actual size of family tree.)


Adventures with J&O

It has been another amazing year with our identical twin girls, Juliana and Olivia. They are growing quickly and have just recently turned 32 months (2 1/2 years + 2 months.) As everyday passes they are talking more, moving more and absorbing everything.
While Daddy is at work, Mama and the girls spend lots of time together, playing, learning, cooking, and shopping, which all little girls should learn to do. Some of the girls favorite things to do are: eat, cook with Mama, play with puzzles, trains, and buckles.
Our world would not be this fulfilled without our angels. They have brought us so much joy and love. What a true blessing they are.

We tell our girls how much we love them several times out of the day. It is really amazing to see how this transfers back to us when we least expect it. A kiss, a hug, an "I Love You", lets us know what real love is.


What's Going On?!

While Jenn enjoys staying home with the girls, she has also started her running up again. As of 4 months ago, she started running with Juliana and Olivia. The family just did their first 5K race together this December. In May/June of 2013, Jenn will begin to train for her first classic triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 4 mile run.)
Mike is doing well as a Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual. His business has kept him active in the community. He just recently hired on staff to help him continue to be productive and was also featured in the Columns business magazine for his success with Northwestern. He enjoys working closely with his clients and their families.


This is the time of year that brings great happiness, but a sadness too as we miss those that are no longer here with us. Jenn's mom was a special part of our lives and will always hold a special place in our hearts. As every Christmas, our tree is decorated in angels in memory of her. Please take time in your busy lives to think about those that have passed away, but remain in our hearts. Remember how they made a difference and hold on to those memories this holiday season.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dynamic Duo

It just occurred to me that I missed lasts months post about the girls. Life has really gotten away from us and we are trying desperately to chase it down. With the holidays quickly approaching we have had little time to relax. Well, I suppose you would love to hear what the girls have been up to these last couple months. Here is a timeline of our past events. Hope you enjoy it.

Juliana and Olivia 

October 4- Daddy's Birthday. On that weekend we had a group of our friends come over and spend the time celebrating Daddy's 31st birthday. The girls had a blast kicking balloons around, eating chili, and showing off for our friends. Not to forget they helped daddy blow out his candles. This was also the day after the girls turned 2 1/2 years old. Daddy's birthday is Juliana and Olivia's half birthday. Oh how fun to be able to share something special with daddy.

 October 8-19- There is no specific event that happened through this time but I wanted to share with you what the girls and I have been doing during our normal week. Mondays usually are recoup days from the weekend and we take the time relaxing at home or making errands to ready us for the week. One fun adventure the girls get to experience is grocery shopping. Sometimes this is hard to do with two little girls that are growing everyday. I run out of space in my shopping cart and they are squished and so is anything soft under their feet. Tuesdays and Thursdays the girls and I have been running with a friend of mine, Shea, who also has twins. We push our girls in running strollers in a somewhat hilly subdivision. This gives both Mamas and babies time to get some fresh air and restore the sanity to our crazy but enjoyable lives. Fridays are clean up days and baking days. We take the time to do our baking or cooking together. This is a much loved time for both Mama and girls.

 Shea and her girls

 Mama and her girls

 Juliana's first hair cut.

 Olivia's first hair cut.

 Making donuts with Mama.

Mama's helpers.



October 20- The girls had their first cookout. They roasted their own hot dogs and made and ate their first s'mores. It was one of our best family times together. Nice cool air sitting around the fire with our girls. Such a great feeling.

 Olivia eating her first s'more.

Juliana and her s'more.

October 21- Juliana and Olivia had the opportunity to see Mama and Miss Shea race in the Susan G. Komen 5k race.  There were around 5000 people there and lots of hype to support those with breast cancer and honor those that lost the fight. I ran this race to support my friend Kay Gonel. She is winning her battle and I was so honored to run on her behalf. The girls had a great time and needless to say were exhausted when it was all over.

 My little supporters.

Mama and Kay

October 28- We decided as a family we were going to take the time and go apple picking. We drove to Sky Top Orchard. This was our first time visiting this place. Juliana and Olivia loved it. We walked down with our wagon and picked a bunch of Granny Smith apples. They had fun filling up the baskets. Once we got back to the main building, we got hot apple cider and fresh hot donuts. That was worth the trip right there. After spending some time on the orchard's playground we decided that it was time to go. The weather was turning cold and sprinkles were coming down. Once we got into our car it began to rain. Perfect timing. We didn't get to go on a hayride, but we will save that for next year. What a great time we had.



 Little Apple Pickers

Playing at the playground.

October 31- Our family doesn't really believe in the whole Halloween concept but we have a lot of churches in our area that host trunk or treat and walkthroughs with a festival at the end. We decided that we would dress the girls as sock monkeys and visit these few places. What a fun time we had. We saw some friends but the main event of it all was the donkey and cows they had at the trunk or treat. We were there for about 10 minutes. The girls loved petting them. They tried to get close to a calf, but it was too scared to come see the girls. Really neat and a great experience.

Olivia and Juliana

It is now November and we are already scheduling our calendar. This coming weekend the girls and Daddy will be joining Mama in their first 5k. Although the girls won't be running, I will be pushing them with Mike running along side. We would like to make this an annual event as this is the Speedway in Lights 5k. The Bristol Motor Speedway decorates the race track and surrounding area with Christmas lights. This is one of the most fun runs I have done. Nothing like Christmas lights to get you in the mood for the holidays.

The week after the girls will be in the Kingsport Christmas Parade. Our twins club we are apart of will be walking in it to pass out flyers for our club and just show off our amazing kids. Right after the parade we have a couple days and then we will be headed to see Daddy's family in Georgia for Thanksgiving. This will be a great time to catch up and make more memories with family.

As this Thanksgiving approaches, our little Colburn family wants to wish you all the best and most thankful Thanksgiving yet. Many blessings from our little home to yours.