August 31, 2010

a tutorial of sorts

I was busy cleaning up the family room when I heard Calvin piping up from the front room.
Sitting atop the desk{as is his custom} he said,

"Mommy, I can draw a picture of bird poop".

At first, I thought nothing of his outrageous claim--I was busy cleaning! Then I remembered that they are only little once. So I stopped in my tracks and said, "Oh really? Let's see it!"

Lo and Behold...

And for all you DIYs{do-it-yourselfers} out there, here is a tutorial just for you. Instructions by Calvin, age 5.

1) Color a little black spot

2) Color over your black spot with a white crayon.

It's as simple as that folks! You are now well on your way to making your very own bird poop. Imagine the possibilities. You can totally fake out your husband by coloring it on the front window of his car. No? Alrighty then!

Thank you Calvin Jack, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to enlighten us!

August 29, 2010

finds of the day

Last weekend, my little sister and her husband Jim came up for a visit. Lindsay was in the market for some frames{and maybe fabric} and I was so very excited to be their tour guide around town.

When we saw the following frames, it was a done deal! They came as a set--Lindsay got the green one and bought me the mustard yellow one as an early birthday present. Because she is awesome like that.

That night I immediately took the picture out. Not sure yet what I will replace it with, but I have some ideas.

The yellow part you see is actually velvet.

And we found something else too...

I first laid eyes on this vintage chenille bedspread a few weeks ago, folded neatly in a bag.
It was $30, and I {reluctantly} put it back.

However, since Lindsay was in need of some fabric I hatched an idea. We could split the cost and cut the bedspread in half.

Though it did seem criminal to cut this lovely piece in half. A better person would probably not have done this.

I got over it real quick and snip, snip, snip!

It is in pristine condition and is some of the loveliest vintage fabric I ever saw.

Too many ideas. Pillows, dishtowels, etc. No time right now, but soon enough!

We had SO much fun hanging out with Lin and Jim, celebrating our last brouhaha before the school year officially started. BBQ with carne asada and fresh salsa...YUM.

Oh and Linsday brought me up another "surprise" for my early birthday. Let me explain.

I was shopping for a particular tunic shirt at and decided to go in to my Macys to try to find it. No such luck, they did not even carry the shirt. By the time I got home and went to buy it online, it was sold out in my size. It had gone on sale 50% off.

So, I found a different tunic shirt at I liked the simplicity of this olive green shirt. Plain, like a uniform, I could wear it all the time:

It was long enough to wear with leggings. And I loved that it had short sleeves. Lately I prefer short sleeves to tanks. Plus, I could easily chase boys wearing this outfit.

Off to forever 21 to buy it.

Not at store. Same drill. Went home to buy online and you guessed it. SOLD OUT in my size and color {and sold out in most colors and sizes for that matter}. And this was a new arrival shirt. What??? Who else could possibly want this shirt? How could it sell out so soon?

I called a few other forever 21 stores. They had one is my size, at a distant location, so I put it on hold. I called Lindsay to see if she might be in that area. And she said she could go there that night! And Lindsay is SUCH a dear and bought me the whole outfit for my birthday. It was SO sweet of her. THANKS Lin! I love my "surprise"! (John always makes fun of me for picking out my presents ahead of time).

We had so much fun and I am so happy to have BOTH of my sisters in the same state! We shall get into much trouble together!

August 27, 2010

He really is excited. Honest!

First Day of Kindergarten

First Day of FIRST grade

Our stoical kindergartener

Our stoical FIRST grader

"C'mom mom. We're gonna be laaaaate", he grumbled.

"Not until you smile for me", I replied.

Had to document that toothless grin.

About to enter a whole new world.

We are pensive.

At home he is my big shot. Here...he shrinks into a little pile.

Though he appears indifferent, he REALLY is excited to be in first grade.


And if I am being honest, I had a very rough first week.

John is teaching & coaching, thus getting home late.

And Finn and Calvin have soccer, thus we barely hang out as a family anymore.

Each day seems more exhausting than the next.

Ollie and Twain are not sleeping well.

As I type, I hear them having yet another late-night party in their room.

Thus, they are cranky during the day especially when it is time to cook dinner or get out the door. Or do anything.

And the whining, oh the whining.

I am just beat.


there is always an upside.

Calvin has been simply amazing while Finn is at school.

He takes both Ollie and Twain under his wing, and mentors them...just like big brother Finn mentors him.

It has been the sweetest blessing in the world to see these 3 get along so well.

A little dream come true. Thank you Lord.

Speaking of dreams...we recently potty-trained Ollie and he is doing better than I ever dared hope or imagine. Double Thank you Lord!

And our carpool is awesome.{Thank you Sara!!!!}

So there you have it. Things are tough, but God has sprinkled in huge blessings along the way.

We will adjust.

August 20, 2010

our wee tree

A few weeks ago we bought our very first tree(And by first tree, I mean the first tree we ever picked out and bought by our ourselves. Our front yard has 2 trees that came with the house and the back yard has 1 potted tree given us by John's dad). Whew, glad I got all that off my chest.

A little while ago, our awesome Black&Decker toaster oven bit the dust. I'm sure you are wondering "what on earth does a toaster oven have to do with a tree?" Trust me. It has everything in the world to do with a tree.

John and I were at our wits end trying to find a replacement toaster oven. The newer models operate on a dial/timer system that take for-e-ver to cook your toast(This does not bode well for 4 hungry catepillers each morning). So we decided that we would have to settle for a regular(but quicker) toaster, rather than a toaster oven.

He wanted the cheaper white one on sale at Target for $17.99.

I wanted the cute retro silver one for $29.99.

And none of us would budge.

We decided to shop for a small tree instead. We had been scoping out trees for some time and kept coming back to the beautiful Olive tree: small-ish, stylish, ornamental, multi-trunk. Yep, it fit the bill for what we were looking for as our very FIRST tree to nestle in the little raised corner in our backyard.

John found a baby Olive tree(I'm using the term tree loosely here) at Lowes for just $25. He thought it would be the perfect baby tree to raise up and train with our family.

It was small alright. Seriously it was as skinny as my pinkie. It looked more like a weed than a tree. It was too piddly for words. After waiting 7 years for a tree, I wanted something with a little more of a bang. But the bigger Olive trees were just too costly. "I would rather have no tree at all", I declared.

So back to square one.

No toaster.

No tree.

John decided it was time to negotiate. "I'll let you pick the toaster if you let me choose the tree" he said.

Hm. Interesting proposition.

As I reached my hand out to shake his hand to seal the deal, I had a vivid flashback to my lavender Nordstrom sweater set and a certain PC computer.

"Not so quick", I said, quickly retracting my hand so as not to seal this fishy deal.

Oh no. Not this time. I learned my lesson.

Way back in college, John and I were debating over our new computer purchase. I wanted a Mac, he wanted a PC. And I have no idea who initiated what transpired next, but before I knew it, we made a deal: If John let me buy the lavender Nordstrom sweater set, he got to pick the computer. And in one fell swoop, I sold my vote for the sweater set. A decision I came to regret each time I sat at our {not so} lovely new PC.

You don't think I would forget to show you my hot sweater set, did you? Not a chance! I dug it out of my archives just for your viewing.

We are in Vegas. My sister Jessica, baby Tacy and my mom. With my favorite lavender sweater set(I think the dragon in the background brings out the color of my sweater nicely, don't you think?). And we are not, under any circumstances going to mock my highlights...

Flash forward to the present. I am older and wiser and by golly I was NOT going to sell my vote this time. We bought the ugly white toaster that John wanted(which I now love, btw).

And I'm sure you are dying to know what tree we JOINTLY decided on. You've suffered enough at my ramblings, so I will torture you no longer...Here she is folks!

The Brazilian pepper tree!

She is so cute and actually bears some resemblance to a tree! We are so very excited.

Nestled in her little corner.

And can you believe all the neighbors' trees in the background, trying to steal the thunder from my baby tree? So rude, I know!

And while we are in the backyard, come look at our completed trellis!

John and my dad started building this trellis a while ago and John finally finished it.

John really wanted to grow something to climb the trellis and brought home these orange trumpet vines the same day he picked up our tree.

Our lone orange trumpet, making it's grand debut.

Photos of our little babies together. Grow, grow, little ones!

August 11, 2010

brought to you by our little band of brothers.

While the rest of the general population was putting on swimsuits and jumping into seas of water, we were gearing up in full bodysuits and jumping into seas of pillows:

And fighting crime.

Saving the planet

One kitty{and killer whale} at a time.

Don't be fooled by our puppy dog eyes.


Flash-Calvin doing his famous "canyon" ball

Green Lantern Finn usurping his force field to travel through inhospitable environments

and entering hyperspace

Spidy-Ollie can scale the tallest of buildings{and babies}

Our Super-baby can fly like the wind.

If you need help, just call on your local band of brothers.