Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: June, 2012

Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: School’s Out – Do Good With Your Kids!

School's Out

Summer is here…yes!  For us, having school-age children, it means a nice break from the routine of the school day, homework and after school activities.  Summer brings a welcome freedom for kids and a great opportunity to grow & learn in the “morals & values” department!  We have lots of fun things planned this summer from camp to vacations, but during some care free time, we like to teach our kids the importance of helping others and being thankful.  We have some great ideas to try whether you have a pre-schooler or college age student.  Spending time together doing good is very bonding and helps create those lasting memories that children will take with them into adulthood.

* Volunteer together. We went to the local food pantry and bagged groceries.  As we put cans of veggies, soups, tuna fish and pb&j into bags, we talked about the smiles families would have when they came to pick up their food and all of the satisfying meals they could make.

* Make a memory book.  We love to scrapbook, and what a great way to preserve all of your summer time memories while spending time together on a fun project. If someone in your family is not that crafty, have them in charge of the picture-taking.  Everyone will enjoy looking at the book when it’s finished & talking about the photos!

* Have family bonding time. We take walks, ride bikes, play made-up games in the pool and have dinner outside together.  Sunday night fire pits and homemade ice cream (or running for the neighborhood ice cream truck!) are all things that create those loving memories and teach our kids to be truly thankful for family & remind us all to be thankful for each other.

What are your ideas on spending quality time doing good with your kids this summer?

Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: Support a Charity!

There are a lot of different charitable organizations out there and this week we are focusing on a few that are near and dear to our hearts. Some we donate to, others we give of our time and still others we would like to bring awareness to.  In choosing which organization to support, usually we are familiar with them in some form or another. For example, while feeding a stray cat in the backyard, it was decided that the animal should be spayed and vaccinated. That led to finding Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, NY where there is a wonderful, low-cost program for spaying/neutering and tagging strays. Other larger causes that receive a donation and/or our time are two fundraising walk-a-thons we participated in this past year. The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research had a huge turnout for their 3K at Jones Beach as did the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s walk through Great Strides, held locally. Globally, four illnesses that deserve a hearty mention in which research is ongoing and need tons of support are Parkinson’s Disease, Ovarian Cancer, Childhood Cancer & the Multiple Myleoma Research Foundation. Autism Speaks is an organization dedicated to finding a cure and educating the public about autism. In Queens Village there is a wonderful facility called Little Sisters of the Poor. It is run by nuns who minister to the elderly poor and provide them with food, a place to live and love. Lastly, the American Lung Association, which provides lots of education and research to fight chronic lung disease (asthma is in both of our homes) is a very worthwhile charity to support.  Please google any of these organizations to find out more about them and what you can do, whether it is a fundraiser, a walk or a prayer. There are so many worthwhile causes, please share yours!

Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: Happy Father’s Day!

This weekend is Father’s Day & we would like to wish our dad, as well as all of the dads out there celebrating, a happy one! We will be taking our dad out to dinner, one of his favorite pastimes! Sometimes fathers can be hard to shop for, but ours, being a busy provider and always working while we were growing up, really appreciates the gift of our time.  We hope however you celebrate, whether it’s remembering your dad, acknowledging a father figure in your life or appreciating the father you have (including our husbands who are terrific dads!) that you have a joyful day!  Happy Father’s Day Dad!  We love you!!!

A Father’s Day Tribute….

F ulfilling endless obligations quietly

A huge sports fan

T ruly unique individual

H ome is a comforting place to enjoy good company

E njoys fine dining

R egards family as the most important thing in the world

Love, H & H

Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: FAQ’s of Twins!

We are devoting this week’s blog to dispelling some myths and stereotypes about twins. As identical twins, we have had a lot of curious and funny encounters with people over the years. When we were kids, people staring at us always seemed strange but then sometimes we would see a set of identical twins and stare as well! We get that identical twins are a bit of an anomaly and the media sure can hype it up: good vs. evil, creepy or glued at the hip without any individuality. We do have a bunch of “coincidental things” that have happened…once when we were about 5, we were eating spare ribs and complained that we had a piece of meat stuck in our teeth. Our mom helped us with the floss and thought it was hysterical that we had the same hunk of meat caught in the exact same tooth!  So here is a list of some of our most frequently asked questions.  We hope this helps de-mystify myths about twins through our experiences. Hopefully we don’t wind up perpetuating the stereotype!

Q: When you look in the mirror, do you think you’re looking at her?

A: We never think that! But we have to say when we look at childhood pictures of the two of us together, sometimes we can’t tell who’s who.

Q:  What’s it like to be a twin?

A: We don’t know any differently. To us it feels just like having a sibling, we only have each other; this is all we know.

Q: If one of you gets punched in the arm, does the other say oww?

A: No!  Don’t try to kick me; trust me it won’t hurt her!

Q: Do you dress alike?

A: Our mom dressed us alike when we were little but as soon as we were old enough to pick out our own clothes we always picked different things. Once in high school we went into our separate rooms to get dressed and when we came out we were wearing the exact same things.  We yelled at each other,  “You change!”… “No you!”

Q: Did you ever fool people or play pranks?

A: A couple of times.  We switched classes on April fools day in high school, but only our friends laughed because none of the teachers noticed.  In college once (yes we went to the same university!) a girl Holly had a class with, not knowing she had a twin sister, came up to Heather in the cafe and started up a friendly conversation.  Heather, knowing full well she probably knew Holly, played dumb and said “Who are you? I’ve never seen you before in my life.”  The girl was so scared and thought Holly had amnesia!

Q: What about with guys?

A: When we were younger, we could never fool a boyfriend in person, but we did trick them over the phone. Our voices sound exactly alike. That was always good for a laugh, they would get so frustrated!

Q: Do you have the same friends?

A: Currently we live in different towns so we have a lot of different friends, but growing up we had many of the the same friends. Birthday sleepovers were always enormous! Note to parents with kids going to a party for twins: a gift for each is better than 1 to share! 😉

Q: Do you get along or fight? Are you close?

A: We are best friends!

Q: Do you have the same thoughts? Can you read each other’s minds? Do you have esp?

A: No, but sometimes we will be strongly thinking about each other and will call to see if all is ok.  Sometimes something big is going on and sometimes it’s nothing. Emotionally, there is an instant reaction when the first “hello” is said, we can tell if something is wrong.

One last thing we’ll tell you, we both married men named James!  Do you a have a “twin” question for us?

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