Wednesday, December 16, 2009

power of story

i am a strong believer in the power of story. it does so much to make sense of the world, invoke emotion and action, and draw people together. to countdown to christmas this year i wrapped up 25 christmas books and numbered them. each night the boys open one of the packages and we read the story together. it has been really fun and our basket of gifts is getting pretty sparse meaning christmas is coming!
sonny also likes to get a book a bit beyond ari's level and read him a chapter a night. it has proved to be a very special time for them and (as you can see above) noah tries to sneak in on the action whenever possible. usually he lasts a few minutes and then gets bored and i put him to bed. this particular night he fell asleep to the sound of sonny's voice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

happy sinterklaas day!

december 6th is the day set aside to celebrate st. nicholas of myra. last year i gave you a bit of history into this holiday and its traditions. we have fun celebrating it each year with wooden shoes full of goodies, secret missions to friends' homes dropping off gifts before they see us peel out of their driveways, and an evening of opening presents, reading about st. nicholas, and enjoying each other. this year was no different. take a peek...

ari with his "rocks and minerals" book to add to his scientific study

noah looking forward to watching a new 3-2-1 penguins dvd
(notice the powdered sugar on his mouth leftover from dinner? he and ari chose our menu: corn dogs, goldfish crackers, black olives, and powdered sugar donettes....yum yum!)
sonny received his favorite chocolate covered cherries and a steering wheel cover for the corolla so the flakes from his original steering wheel stop sticking to his hands. practical gift, but he liked it:)
ari was overjoyed (as you can see) with his new "learn math" ds game. strange child, but we love him!

may we all honor the memory of sinterklaas and the Christ he served with a spirit of giving and serving those who are "the least of these".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


for a boy who doesn't know his dribble from his drivel, ari is doing remarkably well as a part of the 1st grade basketball team. at their first game they slaughtered the competition 6-2...go cyclones!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

ornament wreath

when i saw these wreathes in bloggyland i thought they were GORE-GEOUS. i never imagined they'd be so easy to put together. seriously. you can't mess them up. this requires NO creativity whatsoever. i promise.
click here for the post with the best instructions i found. follow her simple rules and let me add one more....don't buy your bulbs at the dollar tree. you don't save much (over a big pack at michael's or hoblob with a sale or coupon) and the hangers crack and then you're wreathmaking is not so merry anymore.
as you can see below, even with my overexposed photo and dollar tree ornaments, it still turned out beautiful. today i added a big silver bow and it looks even more amazing. you really need to do this. wouldn't this be an awesome gift for any woman? scope the stores for bulb deals, find the cheapest wire hanger possible, and rev up your glue gun! add some beauty to your life:)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

tribute to the 80's

noah HATES haircuts. despises, fears, loathes, and dreads them. he chose sonny to cut his hair over the high priced kids salon with video monitors and suckers. o-kay. so sonny started buzzing. he paused in the middle, let noah calm his screaming, wipe the tears and snap a pic. this is noah circa 1988.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

amazing combination

little house on the prairie+musical+melissa gilbert=one happy me!
my friend tonya was so kind to invite me in her husband's stead to the little house on the prairie musical! i don't understand why alan didn't want to use the ticket, but his loss was definitely my gain:) it was the heartwarming adventure of laura ingalls plus beautiful music AND melissa gilbert played ma!
sometimes it was hard to hear laura's voice playing caroline's part, but it also helped bring me back to the set of little house on the prairie i know and love.
what a great way to spend an afternoon...thank you tonya!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

God's tools in my life

my friend nicolette insisted (ok, she didn't have to twist my arm TOO hard) that i drop noah off at her house today so i could get the house ready for our social worker visit tomorrow. not only did she bless me, encourage me, but she facilitated amazing play for my son AND videotaped it. it's already up on her blog here. God is ministering to me today and he's doing it through nicolette.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

aren't you certified yet?

i'm sure most of you are thinking...why is she talking about being certified as foster parents? didn't they finish that a couple of months ago? well, we finished our fourty some hours of training and turned in literally hundreds of pages of documents and had a three hour home inspection and interview several months ago, but we've been waiting for the agency to do their part, and that has proved to be a little more difficult. they've had staff turnover and transfers (which is more often the case than not) and say we just got lost in the shuffle. every time i called or emailed they said we were so close and it should be any day. well, a few weeks ago i got the hint. it wasn't going to be any day and i needed to turn up the heat a bit. the trick is to turn up the heat just enough to get what you need but not enough to get labeled. you want the workers to like you so they'll call you so you'll get a placement. our social worker told us she had picked up the phone and dialed another family's number to take noah four years ago, but then hung up because we had just called her the day before lamenting how we'd had two botched placements. so she called us! and we got a son! craziness. so, i continue to dance on eggshells and push just hard enough without cracking any.
i tell you all this because so many of you have expressed genuine care and interest and for that i say a huge thank you. it means so much that you want to know how the process is going and are rooting for us. unfortunately once we do get certified the dance doesn't end, the stakes just get higher. we'll continue to give it our best. calling when we think we should, refraining from calling (or storming someone's office) when we think that's best.
thursday we have a second home visit scheduled and after that we will need a third one. we are also waiting on the social worker to compile hundreds of documents into one fat file and check off each one. once those three things happen we will be done! (i hope:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

now i can see!!!

i am being EXTREMELY vulnerable in sharing the following pictures, but i am just so EXCITED about the results of my lasik surgery and the lack of contacts or glasses in my life (or maybe it's the aftereffects of the drugs they gave me:)
this is me, the happy, go-lucky, no corrective lense 5-year-old
this is me (pretending to be happy) at disney world only inhibited by the large, mauve, face-covering eyewear on my face.
a family photo, christmas time, supposed to be looking great with my floral pants, but overshadowed by the again, monster lenses on my face.
what's bigger? my 80's bangs or the glasses that go from my forehead to chin?

i finally graduated to contact lenses a few years later, but still was plaqued by dry eyes, lost contacts, glasses in the evening and morning, blindess as i grope in the dark for midnight feedings, and years of inconvenience. it is all over. a few slices, a little burning by a laser, and some eye drops and I CAN SEE!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


i don't know where you are on the comfortability with repurposing continuum, but a year ago i was on the very uncomfortable side. i am moving more and more to the comfort zone and man, is it fun! it is also frugal (saving money is good these days) and oh-so-green which is in vogue these days. i don't care so much about being in fashion but i do like the idea of making something beautiful and useful that would otherwise be sitting in a dump being not so beautiful or useful. i think the best way to move yourself toward the comfort area is to see other people do it and say to yourself: "self, i could do something like that." it doesn't have to be the same, as a matter of fact, it WON'T be the same. it will be your own personal creation. can i tell you i get so much more satisfaction walking past something i re-purposed in my home as opposed to the thing everyone picked up at target and has on their shelf?
enough chatting already. here we go....
i saw this at my local goodwill. now, you need to look at the shape and lines of something...NOT the color. gold. ewww. but i liked the chunkiness and curves of this piece. a dollar later she was mine.

then i saw this little lady. kinda lonely and a lot dusty, but you cannot pass up glass cloches or apothecary jars. total faux pas in the repurposing world. another dollar later she came home.
this is what now sits on a ledge in my home. i lOVE it! and it was so very easy. i just dusted off the glass, spray painted the base and threw some pears i already had in there. spraypainting may seem overwhelming, but you can't really mess it up. that's why i love it. i didn't sand, or prime or anything. i just shook the can, sprayed and the gold was gone. now see? YOU CAN do this! if you need me to come hold your hand and take you to goodwill or a yard sale, i will! i betcha we could start in your garage and find great stuff. go ahead...try somethin new today!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

okc thunder

ari and sonny got a very unique opportunity to tour the training facility of our nba team the oklahoma city thunder. not only is it equipped with a practice gym and weights, exercise equipment, and locker room, but also a carwash, barber shop, and full-functioning kitchen with chefs to make the perfect food for an athlete.

ari holding Kevin Durant's shoe
some of the equipment the players work out on
ari in front of Kevin Durant's locker (#35)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

an apple a day...

this is a common scene. in fact it plays every night at our house. you counted right. seven apples. SEVEN! ari takes the "apple a day keeps the doctor away" very seriously and thinks a few extra couldn't hurt. i don't know what he loves more...eating apples, reading berenstain bear books, or hanging out in his undies:)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

do you wish bob and jillian were your trainers?

do you watch biggest loser? sonny and i do. we're not so much into the drama, but way into seeing peoples' lives changed. in a matter of weeks. super amazing. my weight watchers leader watches it too. she's always talking about this quote that she sees on the wall of the gym at the ranch, but she never can catch all of it. since sonny and i watch online i was able to pause and get it for her. i just had to make it into a little signage and here's what came out...
i really like the second line. it's hard to trust the process when you feel like you've been doing what you're supposed to be doing, but you're not seeing numbers go down on the scale. i think i have this problem in a lot of areas of my life. i know what is right (in habits, how i raise my kids, how i treat people, etc) but if i don't see instant positive feedback i'm throwing in the towel, the baby AND the bathwater. whatever i can find....i throw it in, out, and beyond. i want to see results! i don't want to sacrifice and get nothing for it. sacrifice with no guarantees....hmm....sounds like parenting, huh? guess i'll keep eating my veggies and showing patience to my children. no matter what. not very exciting in the day to day....but looking back on a lifetime....huge.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

halloween '09

it all began sunday night with the fall festival at church. games, bouncy houses, prizes and of course...CANDY.

then, we had a pumpkin carving party with friends. lunch, pumpkins, goody bags, and yes....CANDY.

thursday noah went to mother's day out and "trick-r-treated" the offices at church and also got a goody bag from each classmate. guess what he came home with....a backpack full of CANDY.

ari's class celebrated friday with a costume parade, cookies, punch, balloons, and yes....somehow his backpack filled with, you guessed it, CANDY.
saturday morning we were invited to a home halloween carnival with a duck pond, bounce house, ghost bean bag toss, bowling, face painting, cookie decorating and CANDY at every single station. plus several goody bags on the way out....stuffed with CANDY.

saturday night finally rolled around and we actually went trick-er-treating where the end goal of course...MORE CANDY.
despite my disdain for all the sweet stuff, the boys really had a great time. what a fun-filled week! thanks to everyone who coordinated all of these wonderful events for us to enjoy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

chalkboard love

have you ever played with chalkboard paint? the possibilities are ENDLESS! you can pain your cupboard, the outside of bins, tubs, etc so you can label them, you can even paint the glass in a frame like i did! since i can't paint anything permanent (we're renters) i thought these two $1/piece frames from goodwill could make nice message boards for our kitchen. i spray painted the wooden frames to go with our kitchen. i then spray painted the glass inserts with chalkboard paint. it worked! it was amazing! i followed the directions on the can, wrote on it with regular chalk and look what happened! i attached a little black and white ribbon and wa-la!here are some women more brilliant than i who have taken chalkboard to a whole new level. it's not just for the classroom anyore! (ok, i just had to say it:)
a tired silver platter? how beautiful!
a chunky frame with space to remind you of what's important. and you can change the verse/quote as often as you like!
and my personal favorite. a headboard re-purposed! spraypaint it white and and then chalkboard paint the center and look at this one-of-a-kind piece you have! absolutely stunning. and how fun to write messages to your family, your honey, or let the kids be creative. i hope you try it on something lying around your house, attic, garage or goodwill soon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the b-i-b-l-e

all of the first graders are presented with their very own bible at a special ceremony. this is ari with Mr. Bright (headmaster of casady) and Fr. Blizzard (chaplain).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

mad scientist party part two

just in case you're interested, i thought i'd include a few more details of the party and the great resources i found when planning our science shin-dig.

free invitations and other ideas from livinglocurto... love this blog!
remember the cake i slaved over and forgot to take a picture of? well, here's the idea from familyfun and i'm sure mine looked just as great:)

using the stamps i bought for the party i created a periodic table/science themed thank you

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the little party that could

despite overwhelming odds, this party finally happened today (originally scheduled on the OU/TX game day. utter foolishness, i tell you). it was a blast. ari is blessed with some really special friends who all came to make him feel celebrated. we had a great time doing just that, along with a few experiments along the way. come take a peek...

mad scientists stamps

periodic table decor

making slime
some scientific calculations

we did an experiment with "disappearing water" using the powder that works like the stuffing in diapers; my volunteer was prepared to get wet, but was surprised when the cup turned over on top of his head leaked nothing
next we made lava lamps with oil and colored water. they naturally separate, but when you add an alkaseltzer the colored water bubbles up into the oil looking very cool

i made a beaker cake with cotton candy smoke coming out of it, but forgot to take a picture.
"happy birthday, dear Ari!"
decorating your own cupcakes is much fun!
the more candy the better!!

Ari with his masterpiece
we played "burst the molecule" with balloons on everyone's ankle while they tried to stomp and pop the others'
we also did the infamous mentos in diet coke eruption, but i was too busy running from the geyser to take a picture

everyone went home with a goody bag full of test tubes filled with skittles, mad scientist rubber duckies, puzzle cubes, magnifying glasses, and marshmellow eyeballs filled with jelly