Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat 2010

I wish I could've captured on video the girls saying "Trick or Treat!" It changed every time, but got closer and closer. And they were so good about saying "Thank you!" at the end too. So proud of all four kiddos.

Halloween starts early for us. We first run up to the Domrese grandparents. There we trick-or-treat. Then we run out to the Richards parents and trick-or-treat again. THEN, we grab Arby's and head to great-grandma Alice. Visiting the valley great grandparents has been a five-year tradition.

Here's four years of the Domrese greats (the first year Grandpa Lyle took pictures but didn't realize he didn't have in his memory card....hahahahahahahahaha!)



Then we were off to greatma's, another time honored tradition. Here are our past years with greatma on Halloween:



Happy Halloween from the Domrese kids!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rocky Hill Park

Today we attended the dedication and grand opening of Rocky Hill Park. The park holds some deep family significance. The park is located on the homestead of where grandpa Lyle grew up. It was a neat moment. The picnic shelter is actually named for the Domrese family and holds a plaque with the Domrese name. We planned well and put the kids in warm clothes, but the wind was biting. Here are a few pictures and then some good historical information about the park and grandpa Lyle.

Cutting the ribbon to the park:

Here's a portion of what was written about the park and family:

In the early 1940's, the farm was purchased by Louis Domrese.When interviewing his son, Lyle Domrese, for this application he recalled that his father hired a carpenter in 1948 to build the barn. The 1,290 square foot barn, built in a rectangular shape, has a steep roof and one side is much shorter than the other. The interior arrangement of the barn features four stalls on one side of the building and open space on the other. Each stall has a window facing east to what was once a small pasture. A loft above the stalls housed hay for the farm animals.

Lyle explained that his father used the barn to protect the livestock, such as cattle and a horse. He said his father had several milking cows and also raised Hereford Beef Cattle. On the north side of the property near the barn, remnants of the cattle corral still exist. Lyle recalled that his father stored oats, wheat, and alfalfa in the barn before taking them to the mill.

In 1949 Lyle's father hired a contractor to build the modest two-bedroom house that exists today. Lyle's father had the original two story frame house, which was situated next to the rock wall well house, demolished because it was in a state of disrepair and lacked plumbing and possibly electrical.

Lyle Domrese was a teenager during the time his father owned the 310-acre wheat farm. His parents were divorced and Lyle would stay with his father during the summers to work on the farm. In the early 1940's farm laborers were hard to find due to the second world war. Lyle's father needed someone to drive the wheat truck from the farm to the Centennial Mill, located 17 miles away in the City of Spokane, to deliver oats, wheat, and alfalfa. Desperate, his father took fourteen year old Lyle to the police station to see if they would give Lyle a driver's permit. After pleading his case, the officer told Lyle's father that they would look the other way if they saw Lyle driving to the mill.

During the hot summer nights, Lyle slept in the back of the wheat truck to keep cool. When it was break time on the farm, Lyle enjoyed climbing on the Rocky Knoll, which is a hillside that lies directly in front of the barn. Once on top of the hill, he would lie on the grass and watch the clouds go by daydreaming about a life far away from the farm.

According to Lyle, gas was limited to 3 gallons a week during the Second World War. However, because Lyle's father was a farmer, he had access to an unlimited supply. During this time marmots, large ground squirrels, were causing damage to his father's wheat crop. Lyle's father offered him a deal. His father told him that for every marmot tail that Lyle would bring to him, he would get a gallon of gas in return. Lyle chuckled, "I became a pretty good shot."

While on his way to Centennial Mill with a load of wheat in 1945, Lyle Domrese was surprised to see cars stopped all over Appleway Avenue. Lyle recalled, "People were out of their cars dancing in the streets; others were honknig their car horns and flashing car lights." At the time, Lyle was confused about what was going on. While at the mill unloading wheat, he found out that World War II had ended.

According to Lyle, his father never stayed in one spot long and sold the farm in the early to mid-1950's. He had purchased the property for roughly $9,000 and had sold it to an accountant, George Kennett, for approximately $20,000.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preschool Halloween

Today was "Halloween" at preschool. The boys had a Halloween parade with all the classes from preschool. It was soooo cute! Here are a few pictures!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

9 Lives???

Can people have nine lives or is it just cats? Or could Molly really be part cat? This girl used one of her nine lives today and it just makes me so nervous. At some point she's going to run out of luck and we'll be referring to this post.

Just months ago I watched her fly from my dad's arms and knock her head repeatedly against the cement. Nothing. I mean, a broken elbow, but in contrast to what my eyes saw, it was nothing.

Today was no different. All the kids were playing nicely, I was cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready for my dad's 68th birthday party when I heard the crash. Knowing the sound of breaking glass and the scream from Molly, I immediately yelled an expletive that I'm pretty sure the boys have never heard and better not ever repeat.

I turned the corner to the hallway to see Molly pinned under our full-length (?) mirror, the top of the mirror pressing against her head. I could see the glass, I could see the shards. Barefoot I ran over it all and pulled her out.

Immediately all kids knew there was a contamination zone and to stay away from there. Thankfully, due to poop in the bath incidents, they are pretty good with firm direction. I ran my hands over Molly over and over. She was more concerned about the broken mirror than anything else and wouldn't settle until I put it back up against the wall.

That girl has not even a scratch. No bump. No bruise. And that mirror is heavy! I can barely barely lift it on my own! My feet are also fine. Not a piece of glass in either of us. Amazing.

Great to come out on top, but wondering if we're just saving up for a good one? Please no...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Connection So Strong...

It brings tears to our eyes watching the connections between our kids. We expected a strong connection between the twins themselves. Thomas and Joshua have always been close and share many of those super neat twin traits (twinspeak, etc). When Joshua got stitches (you'll have to look back to March for that post, not sure how to make a link), it became very clear that the boys were connected in a major way.

We never thought the connection between the four kids (technically quadruplets since conceived on the same day) would be so strong.


 Katie has the strongest connection emotionally to everyone by far. If someone is crying, she will run over to them with big eyes, rub their back and then hold them (or hug them) until they are ok. This show of emotion is more effective than if mommy or daddy were to do the same thing. They take care of each other and it's amazing to see. The same is true if Katie is hurt. Everyone will run to her and give her a hug and it makes everything better instantly. We are in awe.

These children are connecting so deeply we are moved beyond belief. Who knew that this bond would be so strong? We love them so.

2010 Birthdays Complete

All household birthdays are complete for 2010. Hooray! We have officially survived!

The boys celebrated their fifth birthday tonight with family. Such a great time!

Joshua got to choose the theme for this party. The theme became Toy Story.

The boys had a blast and loved playing with cousins.

A shot of most of the kids at the kids table.

The boys getting sung "Happy Birthday"

Happy birthday big boys!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

18 Months

The girls turned 18 months today. After a nice long nap, we had a great time at the park. I've been failing lately and not given them much more than outside time in the yard. They were very thrilled to be at the park. So much fun!

Katie is so much fun right now. She is so good at nodding her head yes or no in response to questions (and always answers honestly). It's so much fun! She's learning to be more social and is really adventurous. If a brother is hurt or crying, she will run over and rub their back until they sit up and then give them a hug. It's the most endearing thing ever. She loves LOVES chocolate milk.

Molly is a little ham. She will wave to anyone and everyone. She is learning new words every day and communicating more and more clearly. She has begun to throw fits and includes banging her head on a solid hard surface at the same time. Soon, hopefully, she will learn that this hurts! She has a baby mullet, that is cute but...

5-Year Vaccinations

Just as the boys turn five, the girls hit a milestone of their own- 18 months! We started off in style and took the boys in for their vaccinations. Dan had the "privledge" of joining us as I was nervous to do it alone. Turns out I called it completely wrong. Joshua, who was totally psyched about it and excited was sorely mistaken and felt betrayed. Thomas, who didn't want to leave the house this morning, prepared himself well and didn't even cry. Here are their stats:

Weight- 40 pounds(50%) WOO HOO, HE FINALLY HIT 40!!!
Height- 45" (90%)

Weight- 35 pounds(10%) He actually lost weight from the last time we were there. WHOOPS!
Height- 42 3/4" (50%)

As I look at this point in our lives, having 2 five year olds and 2 18 month olds I am filled with a feeling. I am not sad that my babies are growing up (ok a little). Instead, I feel hope. These four futures are filled with such hope. The boys show sparks of brilliance every single day. The girls are growing and learning new words every single day, they show more and more personality!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Preschool Fieldtrip to the Pumpkin Patch

The boys' preschool field trip was today to the pumpkin patch. If you'll recall last year, we were unable to go. You don't recall? Let me remind you.

We had the swine flu. All five of us. Where was Dan? Gone, on military training. For all of it. It was the worst period of my life. Ever. The boys missed the field trip. Were sick on their 4th birthday. Spent the majority of the days at the doctor's office or crying...or both. Miserable.

But on to the field trip. We had so much fun! An amazing grandma Patti stayed at home with sick girls. Not swine flu sick mind you, just this darn cold! The boys got some full-on, much-needed mommy time. Hooray! And mommy got to visit with other preschool mommies...hooray!

After last night's birthday party, there wasn't a lot of energy. Five minutes into being there and Thomas said, "I'm done. Can we go home and rest?" Oops! Mommy fail. Guess a party pre-field trip plus a cold isn't what I was suppose to do! Here's the energetic boys on the hay ride.

They were tired? What? Couldn't even muster a smile? It just gets better and better. The happy boys (and trust me, they actually WERE happy, just no energy to smile!) getting apples:

 What? Still tired? Bright sun? A wonderful picture with mommy! (In their defense---and mine---it was super bright. I have incredibly sensitive eyes and was having issues, apparently the boys take after mommy)
One more try on the haystack. No? Let's go home. And get a treat on the way. :)

Chuck E Cheese Here We Come

More about the party in a moment. Enjoy this new memory in the making. A parent from the school that I use to teach at, does this fabulous thing for her kids and I totally stole it (but here's the credit to Robin Hallenius!). She makes them pancakes in the number that they now are. So I made the boys "5" pancakes. They were so happy!!! I love this idea and will do it for every birthday (even Dan's) from here on out!

The boys celebrated their 5th birthday in style, at Chuck E Cheese! It was so much fun! It was a great mix of friends from our Mommy & Me Group, friends from preschool, and family friends. What a great celebration for these fabulous boys! Thanks to all of our friends for making this day such a special day!

Thomas got to choose the theme for this party and he chose soccer. Here is his soccer cake:

Joshua got to see his "best friend Anna" after nearly a year and a half. This boy is loyal. It's a great trait he has. Whenever they see each other, they run and hug, and that's it. They barely speak the rest of the time. I did manage to get this shot though!
I love this look of joy. It reminds me that even though I was busy running around and was so busy. This look of joy makes me happy. It's what a Chuck E Cheese party is all about.

Katie even enjoyed the party. Molly too!

Chuck E Cheese and the birthday boys

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Thomas & Joshua

We yearned for a child. We worked hard to get pregnant. The road was not easy and was full of ups and downs. All we wanted was to start a family. Instead of one baby, we were blessed with two. I cannot imagine a life without these boys. They are best friends, mommy's little helpers, and the best big brothers ever!
Five years ago, I was Amber. Just plain Amber. Wife to one. Sister to another. Daughter to yet another. And then, I became mommy. And my life changed in the best way possible.

Five years ago, October 19, 2001, Thomas and Joshua blessed us with their presence, forever beginning our family and making our hopes and dreams come true. Every birthday before this one has been such a celebration. This is the first birthday that I am teary. Sad. I'm losing my little boys and watching them grow into such big kids. This is a hard one for me! Where did my babies go?

October 18, 2001

October 19, 2001
2006 (1 YEAR OLD)

2007 (2 YEARS OLD)

2008 (3 YEARS OLD)

2009 (4 YEARS OLD)

2010 (5 YEARS OLD)

Definitely the older brother. Thomas likes to take charge and keep things moving. He loves sports (but mostly soccer and baseball). He is just starting to learn how to read. He loves to snuggle still (phew!) and can be the most tenderhearted little guy!
Definitely the youngest boy. Sensitive, dramatic, and so much fun! Joshua is a great dancer and singer. He pays attention to detail and likes things done correctly. Definitely a mini-Dan! :) He is currently enrolled in ballet, but aspires to also do gymnastics and ice skating. Anything non-competitive is Joshua's style. He is in the very beginning stages of reading and is loving it! This social butterfly is a total mama's boy and will snuggle almost anytime. However, he is constantly talking so if you're with Joshua, it's not quiet!