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. 

August 27, 2013

mug swap 2013

I'm alive...but barely. I literally feel like I have been drowning lately...just too much to do, too little time. Just can't do it all.

But I did manage to participate in my very first {acuppakim}mugswap!
Actually this is my very first SWAP of any kind.
I'm always scared to do swaps becuase I'm so picky. I'm afraid I will not like what I get and I'm afraid I will buy the wrong thing for someone else. As my sister Jessica said, "It's a very serious business giving someone a household item". Lol.

My girl was actually pretty easy. She said she LOVED the starbucks city/state mugs.

So I went to Starbucks, expecting to have my pick of any city/state I wanted. Well. NO. That is not how it works. You can only buy your own city/state. Rude.

But it's kind of a thing. Apparently people get all excited trading these Starbucks mugs and collecting them when they visit another state.

I thought our Cali mug looked a smidge unfortunate, but Katy assured me that it would be special since it's from the state I live in.

Now these mug swaps are sorta a big deal and people like to wrap them all pretty. So I decided to make my own wrapping paper. Loriloo gave me the idea of gold dots .

Mmmmmm. Metallic gold paint. Looks so yummy I could lick it.

These sponge doohickies are called 'spouncers'. Bought them at Michaels.

Just about done!

Thought it needed a pom pom so I made one using this tutorial.

I am officially obsessed with yarn as ribbon and think I will wrap my Christmas with it. Cheap. Comes in any color. Big rolls. Win-win-win.

Also added some of my favorite candy from my hometown. People go crazy on these swaps and add ALLLL kinds of extra goodies.

Ready to be shipped of from Cali to Texas, yeehaw! My swap mate Tammy is super friendly and it was a joy getting to know her better!

The same day Tammy got her mug, I got my mug from my girl, Sara, at

I was stoked with my mug!
Except I got super confused and when I tried to thank Sara and tag her on instagram, I accidently tagged the wrong person...a girl in China called
Only I could be so awk as to tag the wrong person....from China no less. Gah!
But with the help of {ACuppa}Kim, I mangaged to hook up with my cute and super talented swap mate!
I had a lot of fun doing this swap! You should join next time if you are up for a little adventure.

August 15, 2013


My Calvin Jack is now 8! 

He used to be my easy-going, laid back child.

He kinda morphed. 

He has {many}opinions. And is stubborn. 

Probably because he has 3 brothers.  And has to keep up.

He's still sweet as pie and spontaneously hugs me every day.

But somewhere along the way he is not so easy-going and laid back anymore. Nope. Gone are those days. And it's throwing this mama for a loop.

But we adore him. 

Happy Birthday Calvin Jack, who don't take smack. 

August 12, 2013

on a whim

It was saturday morning and I was sleeping in til 9. And it was just heavenly. Don't judge. Let me have my one little moment of happiness, because soon, very SOON,  school will start and my life will be OVER. I'm just NOT a morning person, ha.

John said, "Hey let's get Calvin a bike in Ventura from Craigslist for his bday".

"Are you crazy?", I asked.

"No...we could go to the beach after that!"

Sadly, I'm not very good at planning trips. Like ever. What is wrong with me? John plans all of our vacations. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't go anywhere.

So I packed my lil bags and away we went. Weee!

Even got to take my new sandals(from Shi, by Journeys) for a spin.

Twain decided he had to whiz as soon as we got to the beach. "Go in the water!", daddy someone said.

"Ew, that's sick!", I declared. Besides. Twain refused to use the ocean as his toilet. Good boy.

So we had to take a little hike to the potty.

Twain was barefoot and the bathrooms were DISEASED I TELL YOU. Pee all over the seat and floor. I wanted to gag. And Twain was too short to reach the potty. Plus I didn't want his feet to touch the ground.

So I scooped him up and held him sideways and he started whizzing everywhere, oi.

So much for having a boy. I thought that was supposed to be a benefit---they could go standing up. Not this day.

Finally we aimed some into the toilet. And left the place worse than it started. Whoops.

Daddy and the boys found a diseased decapitated bird. Lovely.

When we first got to the beach, I immediately spotted a super cool log...but there were people PARKED on it.

The second they left, I hawked it. It was super grand, like having a sofa. The people across the way kept staring. I'm not sure why. Did they want the log too? Or were we a spectacle? It's hard to say...

It was windy and freezing and I was SOOOO glad I brought my wool hoodie.

The boys didn't seem to mind the cold for the first hour.

Hanging with the birthday boy! Cavin turned 8! (Don't worry, I have since trimmed the wayward bangs).

We even stopped for Foster's donuts and celebrated. Donuts are like my favorite dessert ever, btw...mmmm...sugar donuts, white or pink sprinkle donuts or a chocolate bar. And I like maple bars too but they are kinda sweet. What is your fav donut?

Grooming my boys like a chimp. Always.

Trying to keep warm. Not a bad idea, boys.

Finally the boys were miserably cold and begging to go home. Ollie hid under a towel and kept praying "Jesus please stop this wind!". He probably remembered the story in the bible where Jesus stopped the wind on the sea...

Finally when I could handle the whining and yelping no longer, we threw the boys in the van and drove home.
It's SO fun to get away, but even more fun coming home. What can I say? I must be part hobbit.

August 8, 2013

never thirsty thursday

Most of ya'll know how much I love and support I wrote about them here and here.  I was even willing to act totally awkward for the sake of the cause.

If you don't know about Love-Water, let me quickly catch you up to speed.

Millions of people(including children) in developing countries are getting sick/dying from dirty drinking water.
And it's completely preventable. 
Love-Water is helping provide clean water by the use of bio-sand filters and drilling wells.
Only $1 per day gives person clean drinking water for a year! Incredible!
Love-Water is seeking to expand their reach to these people but needs YOUR help to get the word out to all your friends!

Head over to @lovewater on instagram to help launch their giveaway NEVER THIRSTY AGAIN!
Just follow instructions on picture below. Plus you can win some cool stuff!

Thanks a bunch! May the Lord bless your efforts to look after the "least of these".

Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

August 7, 2013

hello august

We reinstalled a new hard drive and my computer is now fixed! Hooray!

Then I realized that my entire list of Christmas addresses was GONE. And I about cried. So if you want a Christmas card{in December}, send me your address, mkay?

1. The end of July was horrid and I'm happy to welcome August. Not too sure what to share here at present. Let's just say that I was caught off guard by a situation and felt God telling me to FLEE. He said RUN 100 different ways...Anyhow, for whatever reason, I was having a VERY hard time obeying.
Partly because I was trying to be a people pleaser, and wanted to avoid any awkward encounters.
Partly because I was believing lies by the enemy that said "Oh it's not a big deal. You are fine and strong enough to handle this."
Partly because I'm hard-headed, stubborn and sinful.

I just begged God to help and He dragged me out of the situation and saved me. Because I was too weak to do it myself. And for this I'm so thankful. He enabled me to make the right choice, even though I was initially VERY SLOW at obeying. I can give Him all glory.

Through it all, I have become a different person.
Less judgemental. More merciful.
Yet more sure of what is right and true than ever. Because when I don't follow God's just makes my bones ache and misery ensues.

2. This weekend I went out of town to visit my little sister Lindsay, and to take pictures of her twinsies, James and Savannah.

We got to our location and started to set things up. James ended up taking a tumble and his face got all scratched up/bloody and his clothes were all dirty.

I snapped a few pictures of Savannah, hoping that James would rebound. But really, we were all too upset to continue, because James wasn't acting himself. It was just awful. So we headed to the urgent care instead, just to make sure he was ok. Thankfully, he was. So we will try to take twinsie shots again soon. Here are a few of Savannah.

This auntie is smitten by this baby girl.

She did not want to be by herself and reached out for auntie's hand. I, of course, melted. Can not resist her.

Looking worried without her buddy, James.

3. I spent the night at Lindsay's house and we went shopping the next day, to buy a particular sign.
Here's the story. My older sister Jessica bought this map sign.

My younger sister Lindsay saw Jessica's sign, and bought one for herself the next day.
I saw Linsday's sign at her house this weekend and then bought one for myself the next day.(Lindsay chipped in for my early bday present).

Only sisters can get away with such madness.

Not 100% where it's going yet. Maybe over my front room piano...Maybe not. We shall see.

4. I went back-to-school shopping.
For myself, of course.
Mama can't show up to the bus stop in rags, now, can she?
Boys don't even care about clothes. So.

I'm pretty sure every shirt I bought has some sort of metal stud. Gold dots. Drool.

I bought my first ever colored skinny jeans, so that is pretty exciting. I had been looking for coral/peach colored skinnies for AGES(at least a few days). I tried these coral/peachy jeans on at Forever 21 and fell in love. ( I've decided that it's called Forever 21 because it literally takes FOREVER to find what you want in that mongo huge store).

Then I took a picture of myself at home with weird lighting, and the pants looked flesh-colored. Horror! In short, I looked nekked.

I asked John and he said they looked fine....not nekked at all. It must have been the funky lighting. So they get to stay. Weeee! (You would not believe how hard it is to find a pair of coral/peach/orange colored skinnies when you are as short as I am).

I know it's ridiculous to buy sandals in August. But we still have warm weather here til November. And they were on sale. Could you resist? I could not.

5. I have been feverishly doing my exercises every day. Slowly I feel myself improving.

I cannot BELIEVE how much time/energy it takes to stay in shape. In the past, I gave up because my knees would get stingy.
Now that I stablilize my knees with tape, they feel SO MUCH better.
That tape is like $24. Yikes. So sometimes I keep it on, while running errands, so as to save money.
You would not believe the questions I get.
"Are your knees injured?"
"Did you just have surgery?"
And the stares. I'm like "Hello people. Look up HERE at my EYES! Not my knees". I mean, I finally know what it's like for all those busty girls;)

6. I've decided to homeschool Ollie this year(Finn and Calvin will continue at our elementary school).
Why am I homeschooling Ollie?
Because I feel like it's best for him. Not necessarily best for me, lol, but I just have that gut feeling telling me to give it a try.
Our elementary school just switched to all-day kindergarten and I just don't think Ollie and his teacher will survive each other. That's just a LONG day.
So I signed up with a great charter school to homeschool and they literally sent me home with boxes of curriculum.
I need something to store all of Ollie's school stuff.
I remember seeing some cool mustard-colored vintage metal file cabinets at our antique store!!! Must buy!

It's sad that I'm more excited about Ollie's school decor than I am in the curriculum itself--I feel like the black sheep of all home-schooling moms. But once we start, I'm sure I will get more interested in curriculum...