When I was at BYU-Idaho, I had a good roommate who would always use words like "twinners." That word has stuck with me, and I have evidence that my two darling children could be "twinners." Just look and see for yourself.

Benjamin, age 20 months, blackberry jam on his face.

Lydia, 18 months, raspberry jam (with p.b.)

Even their hair (color and style) is exactly the same! Besides the fact that Benjamin is slightly skinnier than Lydia was at the same age, it is an indisputable fact that my children could have been "twinners." Now we know that neither of them were switched at birth.


Happy Birthday America!

I love being able to talk about this great land we live in. There is nothing better than celebrating its birth by having a barbecue, watermelon, ice cream, and topping it all off with some fireworks. (On a side note, the only thing I remember from my high school chemistry class--which was a long time ago--is that the "blue" fireworks are actually purple, because they have been unable to isolate a solid element for fireworks that burns blue...cool, huh?)

But back to America. The fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I echo Brian's mom's sentiments that not enough is done to celebrate the beautiful birth of our nation. So we rigged up some decorations, cleaned up our patio, and invited some people over. We had planned with Brian's parents, sister and her family, and some close friends of ours to come to our house for a barbecue and outdoor fun, then go to the prime spot in our neighborhood to watch the fireworks. Yesterday dawned nice and warm, so I pulled out some Christmas lights, stars, and red garland to decorate our patio. I don't have a picture of it now, but I might take some later.

Due to rain that showed up mid-morning, and lasted off and on until 5:00, we were almost afraid that our Fourth of July celebration would be moved indoors, which would have been a shame. The decorations were already up, and I didn't have time to decorate the inside of my house, so I was praying the whole time that it would stop in time for things to dry off and be ready for a classic American barbecue. Thank goodness that it stopped in time, because our dining room would not have fit ten adults and four children.

Dinner was wonderful and the company was even better. Jeremy and Megan (our friends) brought some sparklers over for the kids. Benjamin actually burned his finger on one because he decided to touch it. Oops! But I guess he will learn to leave hot things alone.

We then went to the park just behind our house to watch fireworks. Last year there was no one there when we drove past and thought: "Now that would be the ultimate place to watch fireworks here in Santa Fe." This year, however, it seemed as if it was the hot place in the neighborhood. It was still lots of fun, and I wish I would have had my camera to take pictures of my cute kids. There were kids swinging on the swings with sparklers, and it seemed like everyone there was shooting off fireworks.

Lately Lydia has been really scared of loud noises, but because Benjamin was so interested in the fireworks, Lydia was actually not scared. Benjamin was running up and down the line of people, tapping on our faces, and saying our names and pointing to the fireworks. It's almost as if he was saying, "Look at how cool this is!" I wanted to tell him, "Benjamin, you are missing it because you are so interested in seeing if everyone else is watching."

So Happy Birthday America! We wish you the very best and hope for many more wonderful celebrations to come. (Also, this is a shout-out to all the men and women past, present and future who give their time, talents, and sometimes lives to ensure that I can enjoy the freedoms that I most-of-the-time take for granted. Thank you for all your hard work!)