Monthly Archives: October 2012

happy halloween

even though we missed dave (away on business), we had a fun time trick-or-treating in jenni’s neighborhood with the philpot AND wood families!




davey was a pretty fabulous BATMAN:


and samantha was a beautiful princess:


and alexandra was an adorable butterfly:


and after an hour (or more?) of trick-or-treating, we loaded back into our car and drove home and the kids went right to bed. they were EXHAUSTED.


she likes

there is a little girl in this house who likes to pick up things off the floor. including headbands (which samantha leaves ALL OVER THE HOUSE). while she will NOT allow anyone else to put a headband on her, she will do it all the time. and she seems to prefer to wear them like this:

at least she’s cute!

almost big enough

samantha has a little obsession with my shoes. especially with my high heels. she chooses a pair a day and walks all around the house in them. (we do have a “no high heels on the stairs” rule in this house). i think my favorite thing about watching her schlep around in my heels is when she says “LOOK MOMMY! THEY ALMOST FIT ME!”


as you all know, however, samantha isn’t the only girl in this house. especially a girl who wants to grow up and do what bigger people do. this little girl found her sister’s backpack one day:


not too fast, girls. don’t grow up too fast. mommy loves you just as you are right now!


over a month ago samantha and i bought some fabric that coordinates with her bedding. we bought one yard so we could recover this nappy, gross, old footstool i found at a garage sale shortly after we moved here. the foot stool was only $1.00 and it had wooden legs and i knew it would be an easy project to recover it. so after getting home with the fabric, i searched the house for TWO WEEKS and could not locate said foot stool.


i gave up and assumed i’d shipped the thing off to Goodwill.


but then, as i was preparing for our own garage sale, there it was – all by itself in a plastic tote on a shelf in the garage! i quickly pulled out the foot stool, staple gun, my hammer (b/c i’m a weakling at actually getting the staple gun to fully attach the staples to whatever base project i’m doing), scissors, felt, glue gun, spray paint and a box.


this is the beauty when i found it at the garage sale:

pretty nasty, huh? yeah. quite gross, in fact. but i’m still glad i bought it.


i unscrewed the legs and then i poked some holes in the box and stuck the screws (still in the legs) into the holes.


next, i gave them (the legs) a few coats of white paint. i forgot to do PRIMER first, which would’ve made them look BETTER but for this project it ultimately didn’t matter.


while the legs were drying outside, i went back inside and pulled off the hardware for the legs (undid 8 screws – two per legs) and cut my fabric down to size. Then i stapled and hammered (the staples) and when i was content with the look of the fabric, i glued a piece of felt to cover the whole bottom so it would look nicer. after the glue dried, i used my fingers to feel for the original holes for the hardware and i reattached the hardware with the original screws. and this is what the top looked like:


and then i went outside to check on the legs. they were still a little sticky so i had to abandon the project for a few hours. but once those legs were dry, i sanded them a bit to make the un-even (and non-primered) paint job look more like it was on purpose instead of it being an accident. then i wiped them down with a cloth (aka: a baby wipe – b/c those are handy for EVERYTHING). after i put the legs back on the foot stool, i carried it up to samantha’s room.


she was elated:

and i think davey was a little jealous. samantha acquired a yellow “side table drawer” and a footstool in the same week! (that reminds me, have i told you about the re-finishing process for that side table drawer? ugh. if not, you might not want to know!)



dear regular grandpa and grandma and great grandpa and grandma and auntie carrilee and family,

dear regular grandpa & grandma,

great grandpa & grandma, and

auntie carrilee & family,


many, MANY thanks for the birthday presents sent in the mail! samantha was able to open them ON her birthday!

we thought you might want to see how she felt about the presents you chose for her and that you shipped a thousand miles away….


many thanks to you, “regular” grandpa & grandma, for these goodies:

as you can see, grandpa & grandma, she LOVED all her presents! the crayons and coloring tablet were opened immediately. and they were used today to help keep her “quiet” when she wanted to run around. the beads are something she is REALLY looking forward to but will have to wait for a day when she feels well enough to skip a nap so it can be a special mommy-samantha project without little alex-hands to get in the way!



dear great grandpa & great grandma,

i am overwhelmed that you never fail to remember a birthday for your children, their spouses, your grandchildren, THEIR spouses and your great-grandchildren! many, MANY thanks for remembering samantha’s 4th birthday and for your gift (she was VERY excited!)!



and dear auntie carrilee,

i am, once again, overwhelmed at your ability to find just the PERFECT gift for one of my children. this book is PERFECT for samantha, who LOVES princesses and LOVES her Bible (story) book. how special that she now has a new one with Bible princess stories! and the watch? matching with Jorja? ADDED BONUS!




so please know, dearest family, you are greatly missed but we are so thankful you were still able to celebrate samantha’s birthday with us ON her birthday! in addition to your gifts, she also was able to open a pink disney princess t-shirt from davey & alex and a pair of boots from daddy & mommy:



i am sad, however, to report that a few hours after going to bed on her birthday, the birthday princess woke up and threw up in her bed. NOT a fun way to celebrate turning four! and the worst part of it all? it was NOT from too much celebrating. she didn’t even eat her requested birthday dinner (a PB&J sandwich) and we did not go out for celebrational fro yo (she asked if we could go another night).



family gardening in more ways than one….

tuesday was an extra special day after school. dave, samantha, alexandra and i all walked to davey’s school. we were armed with some gloves and trowels and dirt scratchers. it was kindergarten family gardening day AT the kindergarten play ground.


it was crazy. we’re talking KIDS EVERYWHERE chaos. EVERYWHERE. and parents, too.


but we got some seeds from davey’s teacher (corn)


we eventually found a spot

(where tomatoes were supposed to be planted)

to dig a few holes



drop in some seeds.


we let samantha enjoy some planting, too.

and we used tongue depressors


sharpies to “label” our plants.



and then we watered the plants.

we used a plastic “build-a-sand-castle” toy


filled it with water from the water fountains on the K play ground.


and then we were finished.


and then we walked home.

and we were so hot we went swimming in our COLD pool.



but our yard work continued through this week….

earlier today, our backyard became a CRAZY EMPTY SLATE! all existing grass has been removed. all gravel has been MOVED to areas where we WANT to have gravel. the existing irrigation system has been removed. there are orange lines spray painted on our dirt. we’re adding a concrete border around the yard. and pavers. and all new sod. and an all new irrigation system. and a lemon tree and a lime tree. and our existing palm trees are getting trimmed. and our front yard will be tidied and trimmed and prettified. and we’re adding a fence to separate the backyard from the pool area.


and by “we’re adding” i mean “we’re paying someone else to do the work for us.”


and all this will all be finished by next week thursday.


just in the nick-of-time, right?


because samantha’s party (princess and candy theme) will be two days later.


no one can tell me that God doesn’t care about the small details of our lives. b/c orchestrating the yard and the fence to be started AND completed in time for samantha’s party was no small feat.

because all the fence contractors were 2-3 weeks out for the install.

and i was calling them 13 days before the party.




but then one guy called his boss. and explained the situation. (that we were having a birthday party with FOUR-YEAR OLDS and a new yard and a new POOL and no separation between the two…..).

and now i have a fence that will be installed two days before the party.

that means only 11 days from when i made the call.


5 weeks from start to finish…

here’s a complete look at the transformation of one third of our backyard).


THIS is what our yard looked like about two weeks after we moved in (so around August 25-ish):



and finally on wednesday, August 29th, the first piece of equipment rolled in and removed some grass (and half of the sprinkler system):


and it was TWO VERY LONG DAYS before they came back and started actually DIGGING THE POOL:


but at least they finished that in one day:


next up was plumbing…

which didn’t start until september 6th


the next day (september 7th) they started to install the rebar (forming and shaping the pool AND giving the concrete and plaster the strength it needs):


but it DOWN POURED that day. a lot. so much that my neighbor’s yard looked like this:


and because there was an awful lot of thunder and LIGHTNING, the workers didn’t think that laying, bending, molding and otherwise handling REBAR in the middle of a LIGHTNING storm was a good idea, they abandoned our pool for the safety of their trucks and eventually their own homes b/c it rained ALL. MORNING!

and it was a Friday so they had to abandon us for the whole weekend. but they were back bright and early on Monday morning (September 10) to finish up the job.


on september 12 the next crew arrived and set up some barriers and sprayed the concrete-type product into our dirt hole:


and THIS is what it looked like at the end of that day:

we have a pool!!!!!



for some unknown reason, i do not have (or simply cannot find) a photo of them putting the special finish on the deck (which looked like this on september 18:


the special finish is Shasta’s version of “cool decking” which will make the concrete approximately 10* cooler than regular concrete will be in the heat of the summer – totally important around here!. but just imagine that there’s a photo here showing you that special finish.


and then it was time for TILE placement. again, i’m not sure why there’s no photo of this step of the process, but there’s not. i guess i couldn’t capture everything.


then they had to come and put in the pieces for the self-cleaning system we have AND they had to install (“place?”) our wok pots (our water feature which is DESPERATELY needed here in the summer to help “cool down” the pool water). the placement of the wok pots caused some drama. well, a LOT of drama for me. ugh. #firstworldproblems, hands down. dave and i thought we chose a light grey decking color. after finding our original paperwork and addendums and then driving TO THE SHOW ROOM, it turned out we CHOSE a tan color b/c it’s “cooler” in the summer on your feet. deep sigh. unfortunately, we didn’t realize it was as TAN as it is. and we chose CHARCOAL GREY wok pots. it looked (looks) awful together. and they can’t take them back and re-use them so we would have to simply buy new ones. and have them installed. we’re still not sure what we’re going to do (long term) but for now, the tan & charcoal combination will remain. b/c who wants to spend an extra $400-$500 on concrete bowls by their pool?!  :)


friday, september 28 (10 whole days later? why the delay?) they came and PLASTERED OUR POOL!!!!!

doesn’t she look SO PRETTY?


and IMMEDIATELY after they plastered the pool, it was time to start adding the water (it helps cure the plaster). Our pool is over 14,000 gallons and it was estimated that it would take 30 HOURS of continuously flowing water to fill it. yes, you read that right… 30 HOURS. that’s more than a day, people.


i can still VERY CLEARLY remember when my mom’s pool was first built and when the water started filling it. i remember swimming in the pool in three stages:

1. running on the dry shallow end and flopping into the deep end of water

2. wading through ankle-deep shallow end water to float in the deep end

3. swimming through high-waist/low-chest-deep shallow end water to swim in the deep end


and i knew i wanted some fun memories for our kids of the same kind of experiences. so after my workout at the Y that friday, the girls and i put our toes in the water:


and after we picked up davey from school that afternoon, we got into our swim suits and floaties and we actually SWAM in the water:


this was the best i could do for a photo of me…. to prove i was there while all these shenanigans were occurring:


and then, about 24 HOURS later (30 hours would have OVERFLOWED our pool…. and that was with us turning DOWN the flow of the water over night), THIS was the sight from our bedroom window:

almost filled up. so pretty. and ready to use!!!!


and so last saturday, september 29, we all got in the pool for the first time as a whole family PLUS uncle jeff was visiting, so he was our first OVERNIGHT house guest AND the first non-immediate family member to USE THE POOL. lucky uncle jeff!

(my apologies for the over-exposed photo. i had my ISO up way too high)


on Monday, October 1, a guy came and started the pump and left us a goody package of skimmer net, brush, pole and i’m not sure what else. and i still need to call back the guy who will teach us HOW TO USE our pool (aka: how to operate the pump, not how to swim – we already know how to swim!).


so there you have it, FIVE WEEKS from start to finish of how they built our pool!


uncle jeff

we had the immense pleasure to have dave’s brother, jeff, be our FIRST overnight house guest last weekend! he arrived on friday night as we were finishing up dinner (don’t worry, we saved some for him). and then we walked (yes, WALKED!) up the street to introduce him a favorite treat: fro yo (aka: self-serve frozen yogurt):


on Saturday morning, we enjoyed our newly finished pool (even though the pump was not yet running and there were no chemicals in that water to “clean” it):


(my apologies for the highly OVEREXPOSED picture. my ISO speed was set too high. grrrr!)


then we enjoyed Chipotle for lunch, walked around San Tan Mall for a little while (I have the CUTEST photo of D&S holding Jeff’s hands as they walked along, but it’s BLURRY and the second photo i took happened to be video (oops!) so for now, i have nothing to share with you. but i LOVE the image of it. while the kids and i napped, the brothers hung out and talked. then it was dinner (steak on the grill!), play time (this involved a LOT of story-telling for Jeff & the kids), a quick trip to Freddy’s to introduce Jeff to yet another favorite treat: frozen custard! and then when we got home, it was bedtime for all. jeff had no idea exactly HOW draining our sweet Munchkins are. they are EXHAUSTING. he gets it now. and that was after just 24 hours!


on Sunday, Jeff joined us for church (b/c we LOVE our church and want EVERYONE who visits us to be able to join us for a service!), followed by In-n-Out for lunch and then he was on his way to his hotel (he’s was in town for business and came a few days early to hang out with us). i DID manage to convince the boys that they should let me take a photo of them before Jeff headed out:


and i do regret that Jeff left while the kiddos were napping so I don’t have a photo of Uncle Jeff with all three of the Munchkins (at the same time), but these few photos I do have are precious. so jeff, we miss you, we love you and we hope to see you again soon. you’re always welcome… you just might want to remember to lock that bathroom door, especially if you plan to take a shower around the same time the Munchkins need to brush their teeth in the morning…….

busy working

i’ve been busy working. on projects. random projects around the house.


i worked a LOT on my project life album last week. i got it mostly “caught up.” and now, a few days later, i’m already “behind” again. but i don’t feel pressure. i just feel joy knowing that i’ve made it through 9 months of this project and i have no plans to quit/give up now. i went back last week and worked on the overwhelming load of photos i had from july – uncle john’s visit here and our visit to washington. it feels SO GOOD to have that addressed. no photos tonight, but soon – i promise.
then i re-acquainted myself with Pinterest. and i have a list of projects that i want to do. not that i “want” to do but that i want to do/AM GOING TO DO THEM projects. those kinds of projects. but that means i have to finish up the projects that are unfinished right now. yep. so i’ve been busy wrapping chipboard letters in yarn.

and sanding, priming, stripping (b/c i used the WRONG primer), re-sanding, re-priming and painting a night stand (aka” side table drawer) for samantha’s room.

recovering a gross, old foot stool i bought months ago at a garage sale and making it pretty for samantha’s room:

and ordering some stuff on eBay and etsy for tam’s treasure box (as if TTB doesn’t have enough projects already)! we won’t even discuss all the ideas percolating in my mind right now for samantha’s birthday party (in just 17 days!)!


along with this, i’ve been trying to stay “caught up” on laundry (though i sometime fail miserably:)
please note: this laundry is washed and dried…. just not yet folded.  :)

meal planning and prep, shopping, working out at the gym (3-4x weekly), Bible study (weekly) and small group study (1x every 3 weeks), planning dinners with friends at their houses and ours, hiring a landscaper and fence guy, finding a play structure on craigslist and PLANNING to get it sanded and stained so it can GO UP once the backyard renovation is complete, hosting guests (hooray for a visit from Uncle Jeff!), visiting an old friend in Phoenix while she and her family were in town (hi Suzie Ceci!)…..


so crazy. and busy. but mostly crazy, i guess.