Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas Y'all

Not much has changed these last 32 Christmases.

Except maybe my hair. And I don't have to wear bars on my shoes anymore. Oh, and I grew up, got married and had 4 kids.

Other than that, the ears look the exact same.

Merry Christmas from the now Akins family. Party of 6.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Attention Coach Richt

Starting linebacker for the '09 Independence Bowl: Buster Boy Akins

Also known as "Hershel Walker the Goal line Stalker" in tiny man formation.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Since you started your journey like this...

And continued through your first year with a few stays here...

I thank my God for each day I have with you. For your healthy lungs. Your somewhat incoherent vocabulary. Your made up songs. Your Tigger-like bounces. Your adventurism. Your high volume decibels. Your snuggles. And, of course, your stinky feet.

You bring into my life





and most especially


Happy 3rd birthday, Buster Boy.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Step in my shoes a moment...

I was reminded tonight after getting prepped for a couple of babysitters (yes, I said COUPLE of 'em) to come over that our schedule, as normal as it seems to us, is kinda crazy to the outsider(s). So I thought I'd write it out, more so for me since this has proved to be a much easier place to keep up with the daily (monthly, yearly) shenanigans of my little squirts. I'm not so good with the baby books.

Also, because schedules change. And this will too. Probably sooner than later. And I'll look back on this at the same time next year and think, "Now that was the life." With one waking up to go to school, the ENTIRE day will look very different, and I may just have to wake up before the sun does...and that's a travesty.

Judge me not on this. I wake up later than most Americans I know. But I also work harder and deserve it so BOOYAH!! Or, at least let me think that I do. Please.

8:00 Buster arrives in my room - we watch Curious George and I get lots of snuggles
8:30 Get out of bed, fix breakfast for big kids, feed babies their morning bottle
9:30 Breakfast for babies, big kids do their chores (get dressed, make beds, brush teeth, take dirty laundry to laundry room)
10:00 Playtime (outdoors if weather permitting)
10:30 Morning nap for babies, I take a shower, big kids watch Bunny Cakes
11:00 Playtime with Mommy
12:30 Lunch for big kids, babies wake up and get bottle #2
1:00 Nap time for Buster, free time for Big Sis
1:30 Lunch for babies
2:00 Babies playtime with Mommy & Big Sis - then school time with Big Sis while babies play together
3:00 Babies afternoon nap, Reading time with Big Sis
3:30 Buster wakes up, afternoon snack for big kids
4:00 Prep for dinner with help from my sous chefs
4:30 Babies wake up and get bottle #3
5:00 Clean up before Daddy gets home
5:30 Daddy gets home and MOMMY SINGS THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS!!!! He jumps on the floor for human jungle gym time with all 4, and I get on dinner duty.
6:00 Babies eat dinner
6:30 Dinner for us
7:15 Get babies bathed, ready for bed and final bottle of the night; Big Kids clean up their room and have reading time together
7:45 Babies go to sleep (in a perfect world) and we bathe big kids
8:15 Big Kids go to bed
8:30 Clean up kitchen
9:00 Fall asleep somewhere
11:30 Wake up from wherever we fell asleep to officially go to bed

You'll note I left out the 15 diaper changes, the multiple times the babies awake to get rocked, and anytime I sit at the computer or crash on the couch midday. That's because I'd like you to continue thinking this house runs perfectly at all times.

Because it does.

That is, until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ism's of the season

Life with 4 under 5 is downright hilarious. I am just as entertained by the conversations I have with the 3 and 4 year old as I am watching the Mighty Duo rockin' on all fours trying desperately to get from point A to point B. They are all inquisitive in their own way!

And now on to the conversations that happen around our house...

Buster: "I want to be Jesus for Christmas!"
Mommy: "Well, Christmas is not like Halloween [to say the least]. We don't dress up in costumes. We're celebrating Jesus' birthday!"
Big Sis: "Do we even have a Jesus costume?"
Buster: "No, but we have dragon so I can be Jesus in a dragon costume."
Mommy: "Did anyone hear what I just said??????"


There was much hustle and bustle behind the wall ledge.
Big Sis: "Where is he?"
Buster: "I don't know. I can't find him."
As the puppet show began, we see a head pop over:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we're going to start the show without Baby Jesus since he wasn't there in the beginning anyway."


The lunch conversation.
Big Sis: "Why did Mary have her baby in Bethlehem?"
Mommy: "Because the angel told Mary she would have a baby, and that it would be God's child."
Big Sis: "I know, but why did they have to have him in Bethlehem?"
Mommy: "Because Joseph had to go there to pay his taxes and she was really pregnant when they went so she had to have her baby there."
Big Sis: "But why couldn't she just ride the donkey back to their house?"
Mommy: "Because they were fulfilling prophecy that the baby would be born there and lay in a manger, and that was in Bethlehem." [so I'm using non-4 year old words, so what]
Big Sis: "So the donkey was just too tired to take her back home?"
Mommy: "Well, maybe, but it was already laid out in the Bible how and where Jesus was to be born."
Big Sis: They should've gone home. What about the camels? Why didn't she just ride a camel home if the donkey was too tired?"
Mommy: [with a huff] "Her water broke."
Big Sis: "Oh. Okay."


In reading The Night Before Christmas, Mommy proclaims excitedly:
"A bundle of toys he had flung on his back
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack..."
Cutting me off, Big Sis asks, "What's a peddler?"
Mommy: "Someone who asks for money."
After reading the next passage, the deep in thought 4 year old interrupts again:
"I know!! So the people at Publix are peddlers? They always ask us for our money!"

Yes. Yes, they are.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

I've never really had a hard time with leaving the "Christ" in Christmas. Yes, I'll occasionally, in shorthand, substitute and "X" but find no heresy in that since X is the first letter for Christ in the Greek, an actual symbol for Christos. All good.

It's actually the "me" in Christmas I have a hard time taking out. Ok, so there's not officially an "m" and an "e" together in the word, but there sure as heck is a "me" in my Christmas.

Fear not, I am not about to rant and rave about the awfulness of gift-receiving or last-minute shopping or making Santa requests because goodness knows those 3 things send my adrenaline into overdrive and make me smile every twelfth month of the year.

It's a different kind of mind shift.

And not just in December.

For about the last 10 months, I have spent a considerable amount of time inside my home. For a couple of months I was too large to go into public since the crane wasn't always available to remove me from getting lodged in the front door. After that, I had 2 tiny munchkins, who, along with their 2 siblings, required ENORMOUS amounts of time getting out the door. Though we do get out and about a couple of times a week, it's not near the daily excursions I was used to in bygone years.

So that's left me with a lot of time inside my head. A lot of "How can I maximize my purpose on earth while spending the majority of the next couple of years inside with the same 4 tiny people?" type questions.

I have made a lot of specific goals in regards to my home, my wifely attributes, values I teach my little ones, daily routines, etc. A laundry list really.

But all of this spills out from my main life purpose on this earth: to love Jesus and strive to live a life that exemplifies Him - whether that's to the 4 tiny people I see everyday or to my favorite Publix cashier (and I WILL stand in line an extra 7 minutes just for her) or to a neighbor that drives me bonkers.

It's a mind shift of taking not just the "me" out of Christmas, but taking the "me" out of my life. Because it's not mine. It's Christ's. And when I can fully grasp that this life, this Christmas, is not all about me, it becomes a MISSION to live it for Him.

The Advent Conspiracy we've been talking about this month at church has really opened my eyes to the theme that's been residing in my head for many months now.

I don't at all see it as just a December thing.

to worship fully

to spend less

to give more

to love all

How those 4 things look to each individual is what makes it beautiful. The potential for changed lives - breathtaking.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Look who's sitting up!

7 1/2 month milestone and proud of it! We've been waiting for this for a while, but have to remember that their adjusted preemie age is only 6 months. They're growing up sooooooo fast!

Hunk is still teeter tottering a little bit, but Tiny Miss is strong as an ox. Guess she doesn't have to hold up as much head weight as Chunk.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jesus is the reason for the season

That said, we have ourselves a bit of an issue.

We've hunted high and low for the missing head. Nobody's claiming the SIN on this one, and I can't say that I blame them. I would be scared of the repercussions too.

Hopefully by Christmas morning, we'll have the important things sewn back into place since He didn't show up until December 25th anyway. Whew. Makes me feel a little less blasphemous at least.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009


Here's a few pics from the holidays with the grandparents. There may or may not have been a really cool family photo taken in the cotton field that may or may not end up as our Christmas card so therefore cannot be shown henceforth. Yes, quite.

A view of their backyard at sunset.

Tiny Miss getting ready for her stroll through the cotton fields.

Everything is edible on the farm, right?

Sing it with me now, "The touch. The feel. The fabric of our lives."

Who needs entertainment when this is the front yard.

And finally, Thanksgiving dinner. Their first. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash. YUMMY!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Date Nights

We climbed into the bunk beds of the big kids the other night. Carter on the top bunk with The Girl, me on the bottom bunk with Buster. We're snuggling and telling secrets when I hear, "Daddy, I've got to ask you something."

"Ok, what is it," he says. My ears are peeled.

"Will you go out on a date with me?"


I lean over, look up top, and ask, "Daddy, are you weeping yet?"

After a moment, "Yes."

So we've made a new tradition in our family (I am ALL ABOUT some traditions!!). We are going to take each of our kids out on an intentional solo date, of which we hope to continue until they get married (of which my boys will not get married because they're not gonna wanna leave their mama and that will be just fine by me as long as they start paying for our dates when they get real jobs of which they probably won't have real jobs if they're still living at home with mama which will again be the reason they're not married because apparently some girls don't like it when boys live with their mamas until they're 42. I'm just sayin.)

First date of the weekend: Buster Boy and me! As much as I tried to coax him into some fancy dining, the pull of Chick-fil-A lemonade and the potential of a balloon was too great.

After dinner at Chick, we hopped back in the van to head to Tar-jay for some Christmas shopping. As I cranked the car, I noticed our song was playing on the radio. That may not seem the typical song for a soon to be 3 year old, but my boy knows good music when he comes by it. He sang wholeheartedly at the top of his lungs no where near the right key.

And it was beautiful.

And then I cried.

My mind has a tendency to do that. Get caught up in a really cool moment and then it fast-forwards to him walking across the stage at high school graduation. So I lose it. And it's annoying.

Dang hormones.

We ended the night with a little Christmas shopping. Each of our kids drew names and Buster Boy drew his little bro's name so after playing with EVERY SINGLE TOY in the entire store, we settled on a Shamu carseat hanging toy thingy. Under $10. Which was good considering the majority of toys Buster picked out were about $49.99. And coincidentally, toys made for 3-4 year old boys.

"I think Hunka Chunk REALLY wants this skateboard Mommy!"

Really? Really?

Smart kid.

The Girl chose a breakfast date and had her outfit (and her Daddy's) all picked out the night before, making sure they would both match.

They enjoyed a large breakfast buffet at Grandy's, followed by Christmas shopping. The Girl came home with a similar toy for her lil sis and I gave Carter the "Way to talk her into the least expensive toy in there" wink.

The funniest part of both dates were the cell phone calls home. Buster called his sis from Target because he just needed to check on her. Sis called Buster from Target because she just needed to check on him. You'd think they were the twins!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bunker

I have decided not to call our house a house anymore. That gives off illusions of grandeur. And while this house seemed a mighty perfect "starter home", with the addition of four little mites, it has shrunk considerably.


Instead, I prefer to call it our cottage. That gives it a beachy feel (hey we're 15 minutes from it, that counts, right?), and a small homey feel which sounds better than cramped tiny house.

So thank you, housing market, for allowing us to stay here about 4 years longer than planned. Let's not make it 10.

So we're having to make constant adjustments.


We built an addition while preggers with The Duo and that has served to be one of the best decisions we've ever made (besides, of course, getting married, starting a family, blah blah blah). We call the addition "The Bunker". It's a step down from the now-extended kitchen and has another den, play room, and guest nook (there's no door so it's more of our "guest quarters" - again, giving off illusions of grandeur).

Now that The Duo is (are?) rolling all over the entire house, it became adjustment time. They needed to be contained. After walking all over the Bunker with clipboard in hand, drawing all kinds of renderings of what we could do, I finally figured it out.

However, I've been given only one rule by the Husb. I must sleep on all decisions before one ounce of furniture gets moved. I think this is more so because I have my best creativity and "I WANT THIS DONE NOW" moments at about 11:30pm when he is about to drop dead from exhaustion.

Thankfully, I heeded his advice and slept on the latest decision (which would have included doing away with our guest area, rearranging all 3 rooms of the bunker and somehow figuring out storage - of which we have none - for large pieces of furniture).

Instead, I opted for a simple moving around of the playroom to split it up giving The Duo some contained free-for-all rolling space.

I gave the Big Kids one rule: You can't go in Baby Quarters.

That was such a painful rule to them. I guess because it's new and they wanted to squeeze in there with them. Who knows. So they did the next best thing. They pulled up their chairs, got some books, and read to their little caged friends.

I think this is going to work out just fine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Killer Whales and Hat Tricks

It has been quite a season for the hot pink Killer Whales. Carter took the Big Girl (who is the smallest and youngest on the team) to her first soccer practice ever back in September and we really thought this whole soccer thing was not going to work out. She had never been under the authority of anyone other than us and her teachers at church, and especially never under a male coach with a booming voice. She was intimidated to say the least, but eventually let go of Carter's leg to join the team, though very timidly. It was touch and go for the first few practices and then something clicked after the first game. She ran her little heart out, never once touching the ball, and was amazed at the roaring of the crowd, many times hearing her name.

It was her 'AHA!' moment.

Then it was practicing "step ups" at home every day. Counting down the days on her new calendar until Thursday practice. Then counting down days until Saturday game days. Always making sure her proper attire was laid out the night before in an orderly manner. Drinking plenty of water starting on Wednesday so as not to be dehydrated Thursday - Saturday because those were critical days.

To date, I've had my proudest parent moment with her on the soccer field. It was about her 6th game. Rarely having ever touched the ball, she somehow found herself wide open with the soccer ball screaming towards her. As if the spirit of Pele was upon her, she owned the ball and dribbled down field with the most serious face I've ever seen. She dribbled straight into the goal and immediately turned around, face red as fire, beaming ear to ear, looking for a reaction from her family.

And boy, did we give it. Screaming, hollering, going nuts on the sidelines and looking at each other saying, "Did that just happen?"


Fast forward to today's game. The last of the season. She came into it with guns drawn and took over, scoring THREE GOALS! Mind you, she'd only scored 1 goal in the previous 9 games. I was attempting to click the digital camera, get some video footage on the camcorder, hold a baby and remain wrapped in a blanket, all the while screaming my head off because, YES, I AM A SOCCER MOM AND PROUD OF IT!!

AND MY GIRL JUST DOMINATED AND WHIPPED OUT A HAT TRICK! (That's 3 consecutive goals for you non soccer folk).

A proud parent moment.

She's already talking about the spring season and how many months she has to wait to start again. We're hoping to have the exact same team with the same coach because he is incredible!

An awesome way to start her soccer career!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Panel of Judges

"Check out the double axel YaYa just stunted on the swingset."

"Yeah, I give it an 8.5 out of 10. She coulda added a flip for effects."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trickin and Treatin

It's amazing what one can do with $0, a sharpie marker and a pair of scissors. Our church had a Pirate & Princess Party on Friday night, and while I thought I would make 2 of each, I quickly realized my mad sewing skillz would prevent me from the DIY princess costumes. So we went with 2 pirates and 2 piratesses. No tulle required.

Then we headed to the Robersons for Halloween. There were a total of 10 youngins but somewhere between the following picture and all of the group shots, I lost my camera. That is also why there is no proof of our Minnie Mouse and UGA football player who sat in the stroller, mad as hornets, that we required them to go trick-or-treating at their bedtime. You'll just have to trust me that they were adorable too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Punkins and what nots

Poppell Farms is one of my most favorite trips of the year. It's so festive and always has the old favorites as well as some big new kid feature each year. This time we got to go with our good friends, the Lee family. The kids had a blast with their buddies and we enjoyed the occassional extra set of arms to pass babies around!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The 6 Month Stats

A happy (belated) half-birthday to the Dynamic Duo. They have been on the outside world for a brief 6 months and have managed to turn our world upside down in such little time!

I KNOW every parent thinks their kids are the cutest on the planet, but HELLO, I get to stare at 2 little precious, adorable, crazy babesy cakes everyday. There is no shortage of cuddles to be had and that's a good thing because knowing they're the final babies to come through this house, I am smothering them with lovins all the day long!

We had a great 6 month checkup and our worries about Hunka Chunk's stiffness from his early months are gone! He's getting more malleable by the day.

Big Boy weighs 16 pounds while Little Bit weighs 13 pounds with a 2-inch difference (25 in and 23 in), and they are very healthy. And besides a little eczema on the cankles, they are golden and don't have to go back for 3 more months. With 4 children, we could create our own room at the pediatrician's office, so hopefully we'll get some good time away from there!

They've started having conversations in their special twin language and it's ridiculously cute. Baby Girl has even started inflecting her voice high and low and I truly believe they know what the other is talking about.

"Did you like that oatmeal we had for breakfast?"

"No, but Mom thinks she's making us all healthy and junk so we won't tell her we found the oreo remnants from Buster and YaYa on our playmat."

Their little secrets.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We had the babies dedicated at church today in a very sweet service. Carter shared why we've chosen to dedicate them at The Chapel and then asked the congregation to help be our "village" in raising them. Then Jay, after putting oil on their heads (which baby Girl was not too thrilled about!) prayed for them and for our family as a whole.

Baby Girl wore a 32 year old dress and looked straight off of Little House on the Prairie. It was too cute. The dress was given to me as a baby by my grandmother and after a little Oxy Clean, it looked pretty good, even 32 years later!

I'm still amazed when I see pictures of our complete family. Who would have ever thought we'd have 4 itty bitties?

We're so thankful all of the grandparents, one great grandmother and Aunt Laura were all able to come be a part of this special day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The last couple of days

Here's a picture of my HANDSOME men. I'm the luckiest lady alive to be surrounded by these 3!

Went to NashVegas this weekend to visit the grandparents. These are the toys they pull out for the grandkids to play with. No tonka trucks for our kiddos!! It's better than Disneyworld.

And a BIG day for Sis and Buster who went to the dentist for the first time. It was an say the least. Sis was boohooing before we even left the house and Buster was "Yippeee, let's go to the dentist!!!" Two different worlds. We all survived, they got their pictures taken, got autographs of the dental staff and walked away with oodles of prizes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Christmas came early

Hunka Chunk wins!

And seriously, those eyes? They'll make ya melt.

In the meantime, Little Bit's just gonna suck the life outta those fingers until her teefies come in. Yum yum!

No menu this week. We're fasting.

Ok, so maybe that's not a good idea with toddlers.

Not a big eventful week for food...going for the basics and that's just not as fun to publish. Happy eating to you anyway!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturdays in the Fall

The Akins boys bringing Athens to Brunswick.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu 09/28/09 week

Welcome to what we like to call The "It's the end of the month and we're going to eat out of the pantry and freezer to avoid buying anymore food with the money that somehow got used up at the first of the month buying fancy cheeses, organic nonsense and namebrand juices" week.

MONDAY - Chicken Fried Rice

TUESDAY - Steak Wraps, potato fries

WEDNESDAY - Spaghetti, bread

THURSDAY - Potato Soup, Grilled cheese sandwiches

FRIDAY - Turkey Burgers, corn on the cob

SATURDAY - Chicken Pot Pie

SUNDAY - Whatever breakfasty items we can find that haven't turned green or smell too funky

If you want to share your menu so we can swip swap ideas, just leave it in my comments section or post a link to your blog if that's easier. Happy eating!

*Image courtesy of

Friday, September 25, 2009

If you've got 5 minutes...

...and want to see some reality, then check out this video.

October 17, 7pm - 7am
The Chapel
Brunswick, GA

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Love me some babies

The Duo is now 5 months old and have reached my favorite stage...thus far. They laugh with mouths wide open all the time, roll over, play with their feet, and smile when they wake up from THEIR 12 HOURS OF SLEEP AT NIGHT! Oh yes, that is why this is my favorite stage!!

These pictures were taken by my friend Amanda Holt of Oliver Twist Photography. I could not believe how easy the photo session went and how wonderfully she was able to capture their cuteness. Because let me tell you, getting 2 babies photographed with multiple outfit changes is a challenge. Especially keeping the spit-up and poo off the outfits. But we managed and now I have the picture memories forever.