April 28, 2012

on cheetah prints

John likes to listen to Focus on the Family. It's pretty cute, if you ask me. Anyhow, we were listening one night and the guest speaker was talking about modesty and her teenage girls. She said shopping was really hard and sometimes there were tears shed by them all in the dressing room. I kind of laughed and breathed a small sigh of relief that I would not have to deal with that. 

Fast forward a few weeks. I was taking a 13-year-old girl, Ashley, shopping for a dress and shoes for her junior high graduation(We met her family through the after school reading program; she lives with her grandma).

We drove to the mall and ended up shopping at Forever 21(F21). That was probably my first mistake.

Ashley then informed me that she liked cheetah print. I kind of died a little inside, but tried my very best to go into cheetah mode. I was on the hunt, my laser eyes scanning each and every rack for any signs of cheetah life.

There were tight cheetahs.
Short cheetahs.
Slinky cheetahs.
Stretchy cheetahs. 

After meandering through the maze that is our F21, we finally headed off to the dressing room, loaded down with our kill of the day.

Ashley tried on dress, after dress, after dress. 

One particular dress stood out to me...in that is was not cheetah print. It was a light coral color in a sea of black and white.

It looked really pretty on her and she seemed to like it. When I asked her if she wanted it, she kind of paused and shook her head "no". She wanted to keep trying things on. Like cheetah things.

We had been there for a while and I started to get really sleepy. Like sit down in the middle of the floor of the dressing room, sleepy. I had lost all dignity at this point.

Finally, Ashley emerged from the dressing room, looking very pleased and confident in her latest selection:
Short.tight.black dress.
With a loosely fitting cheetah shirt over it.
Did I mention the dress was short? And tight? It looked like an outfit for an 18-year-old about to go clubbing.

"Um, Ashley, honey. That dress is a little short, dontcha think?" I asked.

She kind of tugged it down a little and her sister(who came along) said "Oh, it's fine. Look, it's not too short in back".

Ashley had that look on her face. 
I knew that look.
Her heart was set on that outfit! She loved it! She looked so happy. 

I was so tired.
And defeated, sitting on the floor of the dressing room, about to burst into tears. The episode of Focus on the Family comes to mind. The mom and her teenage girls crying in the dressing room. I was not too far off. And I thought this would never be me, bahaha. God has a funny sense of humor.

I knew deep down that we should go to another store to find a longer, more appropriate dress. I was about to drop dead from the exhaustion of it all. 

So, against my better judgement, I reluctantly grabbed the outfit and headed to the register.

Next stop, Payless, for the shoes.

They started oohing and aaahing over some stilettos. 


I practically shouted, "NO! You will trip and fall!"

She finally settled on a pair of black shiny wedge heels. They were still a tad too mature for her, in my opinion, but much better than the stilettos.

I dropped the girls off at Grandma's house and felt a sense of impending doom. Grandma was going to kill me!

My friends tried to console me. But I knew I had just made a big mistake.

At the reading program, I saw Grandma and debated running the other way, ha. Just kidding. I walked up to her and said "The dress? Too short?"

Now, Grandma speaks mainly spanish. But she nodded her head in agreement. "Too short, too tight!" she said. With her hand gesturing waaaaaay up the leg. She was not upset with me, but she was very upset with the choice her grand-daughter had made. 

Oh dear. This was quite the pickle I was in.

She motioned that she wanted a dress to the knees or lower. The black dress was nowhere in the vicinity of the knees. I mean, obvi.

I was of course, completely mortified and insisted on taking Ashley back to exchange the dress for something more appropriate. 

So today we went back to F21(They only do exchanges no refunds. So I thought we'd try for a nicer dress and go elsewhere if need be).

I don't know what happened, but Ashley was a completely different girl--she started picking out very pretty dresses...NONE of them cheetah print. I mean a few times, she pointed too a dress that was too short, but I would quickly shake my head and say "too short!"

I ended up randomly finding a gorgeous flowing blush-colored dress and it fit perfectly. She absolutely LOVED it! Fit for a princess! And we found an adorable pair of cheetah shoes to go with it. VICTORY!!!

On the way home in the car, we got to discuss a range of topics, from drinking/drugs, boyfriends, marriage, teenage pregnancy. You know. The usual.

But the best part was that we got to talk about Jesus. I told her the gospel message, as best as I could. I mean, I was completely awk, of course. But at this point in life, I'm too old to care. As long as she knew Jesus was the most important thing to me, I was happy.

Grandma was THRILLED with the outfit, btw!

This time, my drive home was full of joy. God is so gracious to me. He gave me another chance. The first shopping trip, I totally bombed. But he knew ahead of time that this would happen. And he gave me another chance, so that something even better could happen. Something even better than the perfect dress and shoes. He gave me a chance to tell her about his precious son Jesus. 

April 26, 2012

rickety frame

Remember the rickety ole busted up window frame I was talking about the other day? You know. The one I was going to put those silhouette pictures in? Well the pictures came last week and I put them in the rickety frame. Here it is.

When the cutout pictures came, Calvin and Twain asked, "where is MY picture?" {sniff, snob, sniff}

So, I ordered up some more pics of those two little boys. They shall come tomorrow and I will put them up somewhere. 

That's all for today folks.

April 23, 2012

hippos, ducks and this&that.

Ollie has been learning about plants in {speech}preschool. He proudly informed me that plants need sunshine and rain to grow. Last year, whenever I would ask Ollie what he did in preschool, I was greeted with 



He just did not have the words to tell me what was going on.

At the end of the year he finally said "had fun at school today".

This year has been night and day compared to last year. He talks nonstop and tells me everything he does at school that day, as soon as he bursts through the front door. The other day, he even told me that his teaching was in a training program and and so he had new teachers that day. This is big stuff guys, big stuff.

So pleased with his progress.

Now that Ollie knows about plants, he wanted to water my cactus.

My cacti are still alive. It's a Christmas miracle! Or in this case, an Easter miracle.

It has been over a week since watering them, so I let the boys have at it. Please be brave lil cactus. Don't drown.

Ollie is still carrying around his tiny black kitty, Tux. We lost him today and there were tears for hours.

Finally offered a reward to anyone who could find this little critter--a lollipop. 

You better believe those boys starting scouring every nook and cranny.

Calvin found tiny Tux behind the bathroom door. I really thought I had checked there. Really. I mean, I know I did. 

Twain just woke up from a nap and has a line on his face to prove it.
Getting bigger, but still my squishy. He's very clingy post nap. Cries and won't leave my side. Little hand has to touch me or he will burst into tears. 

I will miss that one day. Because he's starting to get a lot more independent. Every day he announces "I'm detting bid now mommy, so I tan play with Talvin's spinner, right?"(translated: "I'm getting big now mommy, so I can play with Calvin's spinner, right?")

We have all been hanging out at home a lot these days. We have rejected organized sports and activities in favor of playing outside all day with the neighbor kids. It's just more fun for everyone. We still go to church and AWANA though.

The latest activity has been tree climbing. John and I walked outside to this sight the other day.
Those black ladder rungs were fashioned by Finn--He made them out of black sprinkler pipes he found laying around and then he nailed them to the tree. He made quite a few of these rungs to help climb up the tree. And that net was brought by neighbor Jordan. He fastened it to our tree. How kind of him, ha.

It's ok though...SO much better than what all our kids were doing just a few weeks ago: fashioning weapons from pipes and ropes and chains that they all scavenged from their homes. I mean, I was impressed by their resourcefulness and all.

But we will take tree climbing any day.
Libby is always running around with the neighborhood boy crew. She fits right in and joins in with all the weapon making and climbing. Seriously, she is quite the good sport.
Hi Calvin! This kid has always been and will always be my little sweetheart. 
 My look alikes There are always bikes scattered everywhere on my front porch. And when it's too hot inside, sometimes the kids sneak inside for a few minutes, til I kick them all back out. Little buddy Ty. 
Finn was outside picking flowers today, when all of a sudden he was stung by a bee. He came flying inside, with a look of terror on his face. Libby came running in after, very concerned. Finn looked like he was gonna cry, so I sent Libby home so he could save face. But he held it together and never ended up crying...even when I had to dig around his sting with a pin to make sure the stinger was all the way out. It was his first bee sting. He made me this bracelet from the flowers he gathered. I treasure it, knowing all he went through to get these flowers.

In fact, it's one of the loveliest bracelets I've ever seen. 

April 16, 2012


so i have this window frame thingy...of sorts. i've been hanging onto it for quite a while, and have been meaning to do something with it.

i like it because it's falling apart and rickety.
john hates it because it's falling apart and rickety.

we played this game for a while.
i'd bring it into the house.
he'd sneak it back up to the garage or attic.
this went on for months.

it has three viable glass panes. the other 3 are busted out.
which i kinda like.
so....what to do with the 3 remaining glass panes, huh?
gimme some ideas. NOW.

HAHA. ok, so I was looking for some neato prints to put in them. there was this cool llama pic from urban's print shop...but yah. what else do i put besides a llama?
nothing was calling my name.
i found lots of potential ideas. but nothing that seemed me.

so i thought i'd just throw some family photos in the windows for now and if I ever found the right print, i'd replace them.
so that is the plan.

and i was messing around with the artistic photoshop cutouts and turned my pictures into...well..cutouts.
for lack of a better word.

this filter works better on some photos than others.
for example, i like the simpler silhouette side views best.

ollie came out best in my opinion.

i actually prefer the above pic in horizontal landscape to add more detail.john's tie looks nice and the mexico blanket cracks me up a little.

here is an example that did not work as well--so i did not print it. twain's mouth looks funny to me. and it's not really a silhouette. sooo.

speaking of mouths...mine completely disappeared here. but my belt looks cool and that's all that matters.

i kinda liked this one as a cartoon but i kinda look like i'm expecting...which i'm NOT.

another cartoon, appropriate for light sabers.

alriiiiiiiighty then.
thanks for amusing me.
and for playing along. you are such good sports.

p.s. i will be reading your blogs from google reader for now, so that's why my link list side bar is gone. sorry if this causes you any trouble. but i'm sure you will manage:)

April 9, 2012

easter 2012

(the children, covered the yard in crepe paper)

This mama was feeling a bit minimalist this Easter, so our baskets were a little sparse. This was the year of Ninjago for Finn and Calvin.

Ninjago whowhenwhat?

Don't feel bad. If you are not a boy between the ages of 5 and 10, you are most likely clueless. A month or 2 ago I did not even know how to pronounce this Ninjago business.

There's a Ninjago movie my boys watch. The main stars are 4 young ninjas--Kai, Cole, Jay and Zane. These names crack me up, for whatever reason.

And there are Ninjago toys to buy--one of which is a game of spinjitzu, where the players try to knock the minifigure off the spinners. They are the bomb. Hot ticket item that flew off the shelves this year. I was lucky to get Kai and Jay.

Since Ollie and Twain are still into kitties{YAY!}, I bought them some tiny little stuffed kitties from Only Hearts Club--My sister Jessica told me about these teensy critters that rule her household...and now rule mine.

Twain and Ollie love their new Tux and Tabby. We have already lost and found them over 12437883 times. Cool.

For myself. I bought an easter lily of sorts...I saw them here and fell in love.

Let's see how long it takes me to kill them.

Then we headed up to my parent's house for easter and had the most lovely time. Hanging out. Eating. Talking. Drinking cream soda.

And of course, reflecting on our risen Savior. Who rescued us HELPLESS sinners. Even the most independent self-sufficient of us, could do NOTHING to save ourselves. For this I am forever grateful.

For some, this earth will be the closest they ever get to hell.
For some, this earth will be the closest they ever get to heaven.
-Quote by Lori Astle
(Mom from our church who lost her son in a motorcycle accident)

Which category do you fall in, hm?