November 1, 2013


This year for Halloween, I thought it would be fun to dress up as hobbits.

My parents read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings(LOTR) to me when I was a kid. I remember playing with my their Lincoln Log homes...while my parents took turns reading. So I just grew up with this stuff.

I got most of their clothes at the Goodwill or Salvation army, with the exception of 2 vests I had to buy. And I just had to make the capes. 

The capes were a little tricky at first because I am lame and do not understand online tutorials at all.  They seemed so vague and/or complicated to me. Plus, I just don't really sew clothes. So I just did the best I could to follow this tutorial. However, I did not understand her method for the hood, so I just traced one of our hoodies at home and sewed it to the cape. Very simple. One day when I have time, I would love to post a simple, clear tutorial for the inexperienced seamstresses out there like me;)

Ollie is cracking me up these days. We have been learning to read(using a book my sister recommended, called Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons). I love love love this book. So simple to follow and it builds up sounds so gradually...Ollie doesn't even realize he's learning to read. When Ollie was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder, we were told that kids with his condition are likely to have trouble learning to read, write and do arithmatic. You know. Basically EVERYTHING in grade school. So I'm just excited that we are using a reading curriculum that doesn't stress us out.

Anyway, I bought some Bob books a while back and decided Ollie should practice with them. After I congratulated him on reading his first Bob book, he looked thoroughly unimpressed and muttered, "but it's not The Hobbit". In time, little halfling, in time.

Hairy feet were a MUST, according to my mama.

I first tried to make hairy feet from yarn, but they were a dismal failure. John said I needed tufts of rabbit fur. So I bought some mulit-colored fur at Joanns and cut it up and hot glued it onto flesh-colored felt. And held the felt in place with their sandal straps. The felt kept slipping around, so I'd recommend attaching it with elastic or something.

Hobbits fleeing the Shire.

One Ring to rule them all...

Joining my halflings in Rivendale.

Remember my jumpsuit? Well, now it's a dress. I just seam-ripped the legs and quickly re-stitched the appropriate sides to make it into a dress. It only took like 10 minutes or so. Nothing fancy. And then I hemmed it.

Bought them "satchels" for their candy at the Goodwill for a few bucks.

Sam and Frodo

Quarreling over the Ring. Ut oh.

At the White City, Minas Tirith.

A hobbit bows to no one--except the One true Lord:) I am training my hobbits to love Jesus.
We had WAY TOO MUCH fun this year. My 3 younger boys just begged to put their costumes back on. So we might be hobbits for a while longer. I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

October 9, 2013

on rug tape

Meet my new friend, rug tape. I bought it at Lowes, in hopes of helping my new rug stick to the carpet...instead of using a rug pad...which I hear doesn't work so hot. 

Let me back up a tad. Remember I told you that I was returning my Urban Outfitters arrowhead rug because the ends were curling and the paint was feeling off? Well I did. Return the rug, that is.

I immediately began looking for a replacement rug.

I searched high and low.
1. I wanted something black and white.
2. With a fun pattern.
3. And a sturdy composition.

Well, turns out that trifecto of criteria did not exist in my neck of the woods. I'm sure it exists somewhere, but I couldn't easily find it in the size I wanted.

I did find a fun black and white-ish rug from Pattern Society though. It was more than I wanted to spend and less sturdy than I desired, but I was tired of looking. So I bought it with some hard earned money.

When I got the rug, I decided to plaster the snot out of it with rug tape, in attempts of making it STAY PUT. I have 4 little boys, people. THIS IS NOT AN EASY feat to accomplish.

 Yup, all those thick grey lines going up and down the rug are RUG TAPE.

I think I used 4 or 5 rolls of rug tape to make this "mock" padding underneath my rug.

Then I turned it over. Plop.

And it has stayed relatively PUT. If like 8 kids(ahem my sister and my kids) converge on it at once, it will rumple and blump a little...but so far I'm pleased.

I occasionally have to straighten it a little here and there(and it still blumps a little here and there), but overall, this set up is actually working MUCH better than the Urban rug, which didn't have rug tape.

So in a few weeks, I will let you know if I am still satisfied. Until then, carry on.

Oh and a little update on being rear-ended in my van...

All-in-all the recovery turned out more exhausting than expected. Finn, Calvin and I had headaches but thankfully those are passing.

Dr. Willis adjusted my back and it feels MUCH better.

But mentally? Ug. What a roller coaster. One minute I'm fine, and the next I'm all skittish.

I no longer like to drive and I now get road rage whenever someone tails me or cuts me off abruptly. Which happens A LOT.

And sleep is a joke. I haven't slept well AT ALL. One night I woke up screaming in terror and was CONVINCED I was about to fly to Jesus. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I felt like blacking out.. and I urgently told John, "I am going to die!"

He patted my head and said "You are fine, go back to sleep honey".

"No, I am dying!", I insisted.

Well, I ended up getting checked out at the ER just in case. It was a thrilling night for sure: An EKG, tons of bloodwork and an xray. They said I was fine...just stress related from accident...massive panic attack and whatnot. Huh? OkeeDokee.

I think I probably had whiplash or maybe even a teeny tiny concussion(possibly) from how I felt all week. Just plain old MEH. But who knows. I've heard stress can mimic the effects of being poisoned.

The thing that has helped me most is my Jesus Calling devotional. It said something like, "Don't despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to me".

And from Precepts we are learning some treasures for God's children in I Peter 1.

"May grace and PEACE be yours in fullest measure" 
I Peter 1:2

Do you hear that? As God's kids we CAN have peace in fullest measure! So every time I start to feel myself get scared, I just start repeating and praying this verse to myself.

Also, another gem I've been praying on all week.
"You, who are protected by the power of God through faith"
I Peter 1:5

God's word is our main defense. He is in charge and we must rest in that. 

So today I felt tired and drained and the kids threw lots of fits...but after I put them to bed, I magically started feeling a LOT better. Imagine that?! KIDS!!!!

I hope you are all leaning on God through this crazy thing called life. 

October 1, 2013

on why i'm wearing an{awesome} jumpsuit.

Monday morning started with quite the bang, literally.

It was 7:20am, time to drive Finny and Cal to school.

I pulled out of our neighborhood, onto a busy street.
I pulled up to a red light and was trying to turn right.
I crept my van forward but at the last minute decided to wait. There was a speeding car coming and I didn't want to cut it off.
In the split second that I made the above decision, I simultaneously heard a loud crash and felt a sharp slap to my lower back.
I had just been rear ended. With all 4 boys in the car.
For a second I could only think of my pain. And then I quickly realized that my boys were strangely quiet.
I quickly turned to them "Are you guys ok???!!!"
"Yes, mommy", they said in shock.
I didn't want to block the intersection, so I drove slowly, waiting for a chance to pull over.
I noticed the other car following.
We eventually pulled into a police station, which was closed til 9am. Bummer.
We both got out of our cars. At this point. I was completely shaken up and could not think clearly at all. I just remember telling her(it was a lady) "My back really hurts.".
The lady kept saying "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry". Followed by "I was running late and was rushing. I should have slowed down. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry". Over and over again.

I looked at her with sympathy and my eyes were trying to tell her "It's ok. Jesus loves you". But my brain wasn't working. And all I could get out was "It's ok. It's ok". I'm sad I didn't tell her "Jesus loves you."

We exchanged info and I drove straight home, to carefully observe my boys for any signs of injury.
Finn was excited and started texting family and friends from his ipod, "We were in an accident!

Of course I had no idea he was doing this and started fielding frantic calls from friends and family.

I called John and was like "Come home! Now! I need to get scanned!" And he was like "I have a whole class here looking at me". I remember saying "I don't really care about your class!"(Whoops, not nice).
I called my sister, who used to work in insurance.
I called Dr. Willis who prescribed aconite for shock and arnica for swelling. She said "Hundreds of people are rear-ended every day. From the speeds you were going, you guys will be ok. Try to get your day back to normal or you will make things worse". I made an appointment to get adjusted, and hung up, feeling somewhat better.
I called the rest of my immediate family.
And then got my day back to normal.

While homeschooling Ollie, I heard a "tap tap" at the door. And whatdoyouknow. Miss Lorieloo was at the door with bright chipper sunflowers for me. I almost cried. That sweet gesture of bringing me flowers helped brighten my day and ease my pain more than medicine ever could. Thanks so much Lorie. Incredibly thoughtful of you. It wouldn't have occurred to me to bring flowers to someone who was just rear-ended.

As they day wore on, the pain in my back came and went. Sometimes it was barely noticeable...other times it felt tight, sore and heavy...for lack of a better description.
That evening I tried some light exercises, thinking it would help loosen things up.
It did NOT help.
When I lay down to sleep that night, my back just felt so bad. In bible study and church we have been learning about suffering. And how to rejoice in suffering. And how we should  run to God in our pain, not from Him. I know this back suffering pales in comparison to what some are going through. But it has been teaching me some things.

Like in precepts we are learning "we should not be surprised by trials, as though something strange was happening to us." I Peter 4:12

In actuality, I was NOT surprised by getting rear-ended this morning. In fact, I had strangely been anticipating it.

And when the pain in my back intensified that night, I was tempted to start worrying about how I would get through the next day. But I was reminded that I should embrace this suffering. I remembered my pastor saying it was all about perspective. When we view suffering correctly, it makes all the difference in the world.

We need to view it as a necessary part of life to grow us more like Jesus and give glory to God.

And when we are tested and tempted to question God's goodness we need to pray, "Lord, I know you are good but I don't feel it. Give me eyes to believe. Increase my faith."

For whatever reason, this shift in thinking helped snap me out of my anxiety. Instead of worrying about the pain that will come tomorrow, I just embraced the suffering and tried to take joy in my little trial.
On a lighter note, let's talk about Halloween costumes!

My 4 boys are going to be hobbits and I could not be more excited! I initially bought a store-bought Hobbit costume but even John thought it was too chintzy for the price. So I went to the Salvation army and Goodwill and scoured out some more authentic looking Hobbit clothes:
white dress shirts
and I'm making them cloaks from fabric I bought at Joann's.
Of course hairy feet are a must.

While perusing the Goodwill, I came across this fabulously hideous "Arwen" costume for $9.99.  I mean, how could I NOT buy it???!!!

My sister Jessica said the pants were practical for climbing trees. Ya know. When battling orcs and such.

I bought the costume, determined to change the pants into a skirt. Somehow.

John said I had to take a picture of the jumpsuit(I think he likes it) before altering it, so here I am!

I had Finn snap a few pics in the front yard because it was too dark in the backyard. Pretty much all our  neighbor friends ended up seeing me, adults included. Because I'm awkward like that.

Here is a neighbor dad coming to collect his son, Paul. And here I am.. in my jumpsuit.

Paul then ran inside his house and said "Mommy, mommy! Miss Davi is outside in a beautiful Arwen gown! You have to come see her!" So his mother came out to see me as well. Baha.

I looked quite the spectacle. But that's ok. The children were all delighted. I do what I can to bring neighborhood cheer(wink). Besides. I was just rear-ended, so I figured I was given a free pass that day. 

September 27, 2013

what's picture day like at your house?

It's that time of year again.

When the holidays are just around the corner and life gets crazy festive whacko. 

So I thought it would be a great idea to do our family photos early this year. Lorieloo agreed to take us on, bless her heart. We are a squirrely crew, with 4 boys and all. 

Around a week before photo time, I realized that my boys' shirts were getting all worn out(and didn't match with my stuff, lol), so I decided to order some new tees on etsy. I knew we were cutting it close with shipping and all.

The day before my shoot with Lorie, my package did not come. Stress. I started tracking the package and it was stuck somewhere in Goleta, CA, with little chance of arriving on time. I was bummed but decided not to stress. I didn't want to turn this whole photoshoot into an idol, if you know what I mean. Lorie said she could shoot us later, if need be. Seriously, she is the sweetest. 

But morning of, my package miraculously arrived and we were ON! Wahoo!

I normally have clothes selected ahead of time, but this year I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants. I had a last minute wardrobe change myself and drove to Forever 21 to buy a new top. I highly recommend picking out your clothes at least a day or 2 in advance, if not even sooner. But whatevs. All is well that ends well.

A few days later, Loriloo texts me the following:

Because that's what real friends do: they photoshop your zits, ha.

And how cute is Lorie with her photo disk packaging?! Thanks dearest Loo. I'm so grateful for your talents!

So what is photo day like at your house? Do you get clothes ahead of time or the day of? Is it relaxed or crazy?

In other news, John made some honeycomb shelves for my bday, from A Beautiful Mess blog. They were harder than anticipated but my stud of a husband worked it out.

I have a few things to say about this photo.

1. I moved the blue couch to another room because it was clashing with everything. I did a little couch switcheroo.

2. The rug. Oh the rug. The ends of the rug would NOT STOP CURLING UP. And the black arrowheads were peeling off. So I returned it to Urban Outfitters today for store credit. In the market for a new rug...

3. Um. Twain and Ollie thought their kitties added a nice touch to my shelves. What do you think?

4. We hung the shelves but I'm still looking for things to put on them. I have trouble decorating large shelves. They overwhelm me. But I do love these honeycomb shelves and will look for some cheap nick-nacks at a thrift store. When everything is situated, I will show you a proper-like photo. Right now this room still in limbo.

Finally, I try not to go on and on about Ollie's schooling, so as to not bore you to tears. But I was SO stoked to take a whole week to perfect the little "e", since it's in Ollie's name...and was so hard for him to write.

We practiced with shaving cream and sand. I love sand. Shaving cream...notsomuch.

Ollie made this cute little robot the other day. I especially love that it can carry tabby(ies) and their gameboys.

Ollie is thriving and each day feels very fulfilled. I fall into bed exhausted from it all, yet have trouble sleeping.
I got adjusted by Dr. W and she said I'm clenching my teeth like a maniac, which was causing my sinus troubles. So I think I am still feeling underlying stress/anxiety, which stinks. I hate that feeling. I know God doesn't want me to live this way, so I am praying that I can learn to fully cast all my cares upon Him. And a personality change would be nice too. I wish I was more laid back. 

September 23, 2013

a mint wall

Dear Sweet Blog.

Um hi.

I've missed you.  I didn't mean to take such a long break, honest, but

I told some people I would do some stuff for them, and I felt like I had to fulfill all of my responsibilities before coming back here. Priorities and such. It doesn't mean I don't love you. I just felt guilty playing here when I had all these deadlines looming over me. It's hard being a grown-up.

And to be quite honest, this mama has been literally drowning in work and barely came up for air the last few weeks. Has that ever happened to you? Where your "to-do" list, seems to grow in your sleep? And you just can't get on top of it all, no matter how hard you try?

Work work work, 24/7! And the boys have been realllllllllly demanding. And I got a head/sinus cold and I'm beat and overwhelmed and stressed...but God has been my helper. Amen, don't know where I would be without Him.

Despite all this, I{meaning John} did manage to paint a wall and that is something to celebrate, eh?

I mean, it only took me a week of deliberating before I FINALLY settled on a shade of mint. I used Behr Winter Fresh, 25% darker.

I was SO excited when bday present arrived on the FedEx eames-style white rocker--it's a knock-off, of course. But it's so much fun and my favorite chair in the house. The boys and kitties love it too. Hi Peach!

flower print and wooden cubby from urban outfitters
arrow sign(and chevron box) from target
lil deer head from land of nod
goose-neck lamp and tiny globe from etsy or ebay.

My little sis was doing face-time with me, trying to help me decorate this wall. When all of a sudden I let out a loud SHRIEK. John {accidentally}dropped that arrow pic on my little deer...and one of its antlers broke right off. It was a sad little moment.

After some minor surgery with super glue, it's as good as new{Don't look too close, wink}.

This above wall used to be my piano wall--we ended up moving the piano under the front window. It's always fun switching things up and looking at things in a fresh new way. The boys get all excited too. Weeee!

August 30, 2013

kids' desk area

My dear friend Barbie texted me a picture of an old double desk...and she offered to give it to Twain and Ollie!

I just had a sneaking suspicion that it would look perfect under this {once}empty window.

Picture above from instagram--I'm davirebecca, if you care to be insta friends:)

John picked up the desk from Barbie's house and the next day I was very motivated to find lil chairs. I dragged Ollie and Twain to 3 different antique stores til I found any kid chairs. 

As soon as loaded them into my car, I noticed rust. Ug. Hate that. 

So the next few days were spend scrubbing off any surface rust. It was a most arduous task and finally John took over. Thankgoodness. Little boys were going absolutely mad with anticipation waiting for their little chairs. 

John wanted to spray paint the metal parts of the chair. And I came thisclose to complying. But I liked the natural worn patina, so he ended up just spraying them with a clear satin finish. 

He also put on new metal feet. Aren't they pretty and shiny?

Then the fun part! Accessorizing! A while ago, Loriloo got the Oliver Twist and Mark Twain books as gifts for my Oilver and Twain.  These books have been patiently sitting on the boys' bookshelf,  just waiting for their grand debut. 

And I was SUPER stoked to finally have a home for these metal bookends. 
(Side story. I bought these metal book ends YEARS ago...then sold them back to the antique dealer for PENNIES I TELL YOU...only to buy them back from him AGAIN a year or 2 later, sheesh.)

And not sure if this banner will remain, but it makes the place chipper for now!

And darlings Megan and Barbie got me these awesome metal file cabinets to store Ollie's curriculum. I'm now obsessed with curriculum--because when you have lousy material it makes you want to gouge your eyes out. 

I originally set out to homeschool just Ollie.

>Partly because our kindergarten shifted to all-day, rather than half-day.
 I was fairly certain that both Ollie and his teacher would both go crazy from each other by the end of the day. 
>Partly because I suspected Ollie would need a lil extra help. Which he does. Especially with handwriting.

I did not anticipate teaching Twain(age 4). But he insists upon it. 

It's been fun teaching them, so I have been pleasantly surprised.
Ollie and Twain cannot believe their good fortune that mommy now sits and reads to them and does activities with them all morning rather than cleaning the house. 

My house. My poooooor house. It's a mess. Stress! I crave order!
It's been a tough adjustment for me because I'm used to cleaning, doing chores and running errands all morning. I'm still trying to figure it all out.

God is patiently teaching me what I NEED to do vs. what I need to let go of...
And it's been tough for me to let go. I didn't realize I had such a deathgrip on my schedule and "to-do" list. Since I have less time for my "stuff", I'm S-L-O-W-L-Y learning to be more disciplined and to prioritize. I still mess up and waste time and have a long way to go. 

I rewarded myself with sushi for lunch on surviving the first week. I scarfed the other 6 sushi rolls before snapping this picture. I think it should be a weekly ritual.