Sunday, January 31, 2010

a little paint and glaze...


 there was finally a little time to get a few projects done around the house this weekend - the big one i got to cross off my "to do" list was to clean out my closet! but who am i kidding - that wasn't a weekend project; iv'e been tackling that mess since last monday. i followed the "if i haven't worn it in a year, it's outta here".. and i can proudly say i got to break open the two crates of pre-pregnancy clothes and hang all of those back up again - what a sigh of relief there! i should rephrase that and say half of the closet got cleaned as the "other half" still need to tackle his half of the mess. wishful thinking...but i still love him.
 i have my mom's old jewelry box that she gave to me at least ten years ago - it's been stuffed in my closet at each place that we've lived. i have such fond memories of going through her jewerly and trying it all on and asking her where each piece came from. i didn't get the jewerly with the box but love looking at it and remembering those times as a child - the velvet lined drawers still have the same smell that they did when i was a child...

so with a combination of the cleaning of the closet, the discovery of the hidden jewerly box in the closet, and the new addiction to the black glaze, i got busy...

this is the jewelry box from my mom and while i was working on this one...
i remembered i was using another one that i had bought at an estate sale and
had spray-painted it black.

i put the two finished pieces together and this is what i have...

if you are reading today, are you proud mom? and no, i'm sorry, you can't have it back.

playing along with ...

join ME for my first blog party
details HERE   

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I said YES!!!

alright my circle of blogging friends...February begins in 2 days...
 so you have 11 days to get the mushy romantic proposal story/post
written...and don't forget to include pictures too!

Did you immediately say YES?
(or did you make him sweat a bit?)
Were you surprised or was it expected?
Flowing Tears or no tears? 
How did you spread the GOOD NEWS?

click HERE for the blog party details.

Friday, January 29, 2010

pink saturday...

So a week ago, I participated in Pink Saturday and wow -- what a response! 36 comments on my first post, and the most comments I've ever  recieved on a post -- come on, we all have to admit that those comments really make your day & make your time spent blogging well worth  it. These Pink Saturday bloggers aren't playing around - they are very devoted to this blog party and take the time to visit the numerous posts and leave  comments. I honestly think waking up to all of those kind comments last Saturday morning, really made me have a brighter day. ...and to top it off, I just saw tonight that Beverly, the host of the Pink Saturday asked players to feature a blog they visited for the first time, so Grace, from Pink in the City (she is from NY -how cute is that blog name?) featured me! so maybe now i am feeling even a bit brighter! thanks Grace!

so of course i am playing again this Saturday...

this is Guinness. also known as Guinney or Pa-tinners.
Why do we make up such cutesie names for pets?
Guinness is the little one on the far left, you know, the one that looks exactly like the one on the right and the one in the middle.  
He was my dog. my second baby.
 my second dog & my consolation prize for when i was
struggling to get pregnant.
Guinness isn't my dog anymore.
When i succeeded in getting pregnant for the 2nd time, (however with our 3rd child since we had twins the first time around), it was unfortunately time to find a new home for Guinness. 
i had never given away a pet and was devastated by doing so, but it was a decision that i made for him and had to ignore my own selfishness of wanting to keep him just so i wouldn't feel awful and miss him. 
so the weekend that i was in the hospital after giving birth, my husband and mother-in-law arranged for him to be picked up and taken to his new home.
i felt like i had just traded my dog baby for a real baby.
My husband's friend is a Yorkshire Terrier "pro" and we called her to find him a good home -- and it was meant to be because she called and said she'd take him. 
So how do i say no to that. 
i spent my baby blues bawling over Guinness that weekend but when i got home from the hospital, here is the picture that was waiting for me on my email. 

a three pack of burrito-ed yorkies!
the relief i felt when seeing this picture, i can't even describe. i think he traded me in for two new babies! it will be a year in march that he went to his new happy home, but i have kept this picture on my laptop since receiving it so when i miss his little yappy self,  i can look at this and see that he is as happy as can be in that little pink burrito bed!
happy pink saturday!
Be sure to visit How Sweet the Sound to other pink posts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

rain rain don't go away quite yet...

just as i was convinced that the rain had let up out here in California, the pitter patter noise on my skylight here in the kitchen told me otherwise. it's been nice to have a lot of "home time" however, with our full week of nonstop rain last week- i have to say i didn't really get much cabin fever and welcomed the opportunity to clean out some closets, let the girls get their movie time in, play with the twins in their land of pretend, cuddle on the couch with iz and let her fall asleep in my arms, and well, be a bit lazy in our jammies for most of the day..ok, most of the week. the girls got new raincoats from their Nana and were thrilled to put them to work. mia says she loves the sound that the rain makes on her coat when she is standing in the rain - i found that to be so observant for her little 4 year old mind.

i am happy to participate in Watery Wednesday

for the first time. below are some pictures taken by a family friend, Phil, while the girls were curiously splishing and splashing in the puddles...


i admire their love for rain. having grown up in the midwest myself, i think we saw our fair share of the rain year round and the excitement just wasn't there - unless the backyard flooded which warranted putting on the swimsuits and playing.

i loved the picture of the chalk which i added to my blog header. the girls accidentally left the chalk tub out in the rain which was appealing to them. they liked how dark the colors became and now call it "cheesy chalk." i think if cheese really had that texture it would cure my love for cheese, but i will let them call it what they want! and i guess it's one less thing i have to nag them about putting away.

have a great "hump day" -  i remember my dad always putting little notes in my lunch, even throughout high school and i always had a "happy hump day" on wednesdays and a "TGIF" note on Fridays. that memory makes me smile.

Monday, January 25, 2010

new beginnings...

It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood today! My next door neighbor and friend, Kim, and her husband, legally adopted the little girl that they've had as a foster child for 3 years now. I was honored to attend the adoption ceremony at the court house with the family. I certainly didn't have to search for photo opportunities while there.
Such a wonderful experience and I love a happy ending!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I found a new blog party link – wooohooo!
I do love these link up parties – it’s such a great way to find new bloggers
and to discover new purposes for why people are blogging.
 I found PINK SATURDAY at Beverly's How Sweet the Sound blog:

Here is my pink contribution:

While trying to find a clever quote for my collage, I came across a few facts about pink.
It’s not a difficult color to find in our household with three little girls !
These fun facts come from Sensational Color
Pink is the color of happiness and is sometimes seen as lighthearted.

the pink ribbon is an internationally recognized symbol of
hope and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.

Bright pinks, like the color red, stimulate energy and can increase
the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate.
They also encourage action and confidence.

Pink has been used in prison holding cells to effectively reduce erratic behavior.

In 1947, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced the
color "hot pink" to western fashion. She dubbed the shade "Shocking Pink,"
 though today the color is more well-known as "magenta."

please join me in  my first blog party:

happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a frugalicous mantel-y friday...

I found my way to Michaels once again this week. I'm never sure how I end up there but I think it's borderline addiction my wanting to go in there and see what they have. My husband and I joked when we first moved here that my only two friends were Micheal and JoAnne. Those were two expensive friendships so I am sure glad I moved on to meet some new girlfriends. Mia unknowingly calls it the "crap store" rather than the craft store and we just leave it at that rather than correcting her, because really, how much more "crap" can I bring home from there???

well...a few crap things came home with me this week
..all of which create more for me to add to my "to-do" list....

those dollar bins went down to 4 for $1.00 so I stocked up on some notecards which I cover up the fronts with scrapbook paper and create regular notecards or birthday cards - a lot cheaper than buying the boxes of notecards that are blank...i plan to use these for valentine's cards.

and my twins have decided to have a Candyland themed 5th birthday party so these will help with invitations and favor boxes, with a little work added to them...

and some snowflake decorations for "snowflake lake" when that party actually occurs... 20 cents for 4 snowflakes.

so i have a few crafts up my sleeve with those thrifty purchases

on to the mantel party at The Stories A 2  Z...

I had two very opinionated helpers today - one wanted balloons, one didn't; one wanted purple, the other didn't; one wanted to do it her way, the other could care less -
all in all, all three of us were smiling once it was completed.

Maddie tried so hard to form a heart with the beads hanging on the
fireplace's just the special touch I was looking for.

while i've got you in the mood, please check out my first blog party and join in on FEBRUARY 12

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Evan Almighty in my life...

here is how i was introduced to the world of blogging - not as a writer of a blog, but as a first time reader...
i was searching for a new sewing machine back in 2007 and for some odd reason,  the first link that popped up on my search was for someone's blog. i had never read a blog before and suddenly felt nosey for digging in to this person's journal-like website. however, as i read more about her sewing creations, another topic appeared in her post - Chemo Angels. i quickly forgot about the sewing machine and became engrossed in reading about the purpose of this group - here is the description from the website:

"Chemo Angels is a volunteer organization dedicated to adding a ray of sunshine to the lives of those undergoing IV chemo treatment. We believe people going through the physical, emotional and mental rigors of chemotherapy deserve some encouragement... Our common denominator is a desire to brighten the lives of cancer patients while they are going through this challenging time."

missing my days of teaching special education, i welcomed the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. i eagerly signed up as i still loved the hobby of sending notes and cards through the good old snail mail and it gave me motivation for making the handmade notecards that i at the time seemed to make quite often. the commitment required sending weekly cards or small gifts to a person with cancer. how difficult could it be to show love and support and a few kind words and rays of sunshine for a stranger? my aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months before so the shock of cancer affecting a family was suddenly close to home to us.

how hard could it be? WOAH!!! ok, i thought i would get a woman, most likely in her 50's or older; someone who was older,  stronger, and wiser than me and who, despite cancer, she was going about her daily life as though this was just a temporary fork in the road. why i assumed this, i have no idea! when i was accepted as a chemo angel, i was assigned to a precious 5 year old boy with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma! when i got his information sheet, i was an instant puddle...for days.  i really wanted to quit before i even started, i admit, i wanted to wimp out. i had one year old twin girls at the time and reading about another child's struggles on his caring bridge site and linking to his various little friends' websites who were stricken with this same illness, i just became an emotional wreck each night as i got online to check on this little guy.

but i toughened up, and let me tell you, this little boy, EVAN,  has made a big dent, for the better, in my life! the letters began, the cards were sent, the family Christmas cards were exchanged in which i received my first letter from his mother with so many enlightening details on his progress and challenges, and a chicken-scratched colored picture from the little kindergartner. BUT the best gift, and so unexpected when beginning this experience, i got to meet my little hero that following summer in '08 when his family came from Alabama for a California vacation. AND then again in '09 when they returned for yet another vacation. his mom and i would be fast friends if we were neighbors - we could gab for hours, and when we first met, it felt so good to be able to ask her the questions that lingered in my mind each day 
"how do you go to sleep each night?"
"how do you keep your faith?"
"how do you explain to evan when his little friends lose their battle?"
how do you cope, hope, stay strong, believe, breath...etc, etc....
they sound like such blunt questions, but it was heart warming to be able to get to know her in this way and to allow her to be the mom who has to bear all of this for her child. i just can't imagine the strength it must require.

evan is now a third grader, is living in his "home-home" as they call it, meaning he is not having to live in the homes provided at st. jude's hospital where he spent much of his time in the first year. he is silliest kid you've ever met and not the least bit shy! he had his make-a-wish wish come true to "be a star in my own tv show" and if you want to see this little boy, grab a chair and watch  his tv debut - it's a hoot!

is there any room for any more cuteness in this kid?

a few pics from our visit this past summer in san diego...

the girls hanging out, watching the seals, with their friends evan and adam in la jolla

and even little iz gets some love from evan...

the most admirable mother ever, melissa...

and in this picture, i pray that we were looking deep into evan's happy and healthy future!

i really just wanted to introduce you to this powerful kid i've fortunately crossed paths with and i am not intending to plug Chemo Angels, but I am sure they can use many of you creative people who love to make, create, sew, draw, write (hmmmm....that pretty much means all of you bloggers), paint, shop (and if you are female, that too pretty much means all of you), spend time showing some love and support -- you get the point - believe me, it's a pretty remarkable experience. you sign up thinking you are going to make the difference for someone, but watch out, these fighters will be the ones making a difference in YOUR life!
if you get the bug to sign up, please let me know - i'd love to know all about your journey!
...and say an extra prayer for Evan tonight too please.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lots of Love For the SIL...

The shower was a great success this week – Jackie, my sister-in-law felt loved and was definitely showered with lots of pink and more pink! I was amazed that four of us managed to pull off planning a shower all over email – I guess that shouldn’t be so surprising but sometimes you think that phone calls just have to be made – nope! We divided up our tasks and came together that morning and created quite a cute room for the celebration.

Here's the Mama -To-Be

and sharing a familiar experience with one of very best friends from childhood,
who also has a world of pink awaiting her!

and a few of the pinkalicious decorations...

And I will note that I do not take credit for any of these cute things - wish I could fib and say "why yes, I made them all" but that's not the case. I did throw together the flower centerpieces using clearanced Christmas ornaments. How cute is that cake? I will clarify so that no one thinks we are the cruelest hostesses ever, Jackie has an elephant theme for her baby's nursery - we were by no means comparing her tummy to that of an elephant.

I will HOWEVER take all credit for these little attendees who came to their aunt's shower...
here is the sequence for the following three pictures...
1. puppy dogs eyes begging to eat her cookie before she eats the meal
2. a thrilled child munching on her cookie because the mom gave in
3. the sugar high that followed.

...and the other daughter rolled and rolled and rolled throughout the entire gift-opening.
(mental note - I MUST enroll this child in gymnastics)

rolling with her baby sister...

rolling right into the camera...

and the baby entertained with her walking and was quite curious about all of those baby gifts...

and i thought my bucket of baby gifts was good?
doesn't every baby own their own ipod?
i think there's a lot of spoilin' going on!

33 more days to go!

Linking up today to Silly Little Sparrow’s Toot your own horn party - I love that she is wanting to highlight the everyday things that we should be proud of – not just our crafty habits. It’s not that I need a pat on the back for hosting my sister-in-law’s baby shower, but I will admit that I left with a smile knowing that I had helped in making her feel loved and ready for this little being to arrive!