Monthly Archives: August 2013

Junk in the Trunk sneak peeks!

back in august, i got brave. and i applied to be a vendor at this one-day, amazing vintage market here in scottsdale, arizona.

it’s called Junk in the Trunk (JIIT).

it’s set for november 9th.

within a 12 hour period, i decided to try to apply, i submitted an application, i waited and waited and waited (and worried and wondered), i found out i was accepted and i paid my booth fee (which was another major decision – what SIZE booth – full or half? – i chose full).

so for the last 6 weeks, i’ve been dreaming and taking inventory and searching my idea & inspiration boards and buying supplies and working on projects. i have a long way to go before i’m ready for the show, but i’m getting VERY excited about it.

earlier this week, the Junk in the Trunk founders wrote a blog post including a link to THIS here little blog. and i decided i’d better get some of my stuff on here for people to see. so, much to my mother’s disappointment, there will be ZERO photos of my little Munchkins in this post. i will, however, share photos of products and sneak peeks of projects…. all things that will be available in my booth at the JIIT Market. (and nana, don’t you worry – i PROMISE to start blogging again soon)!

so without further ado, here’s a quick peek at some of my stuff that will be heading to the JIIT Market in November….

magnetic letters in fun, sparkly gold:

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book frames:

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book journals:

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pillows (a new product from TTB):

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new necklaces with flowers AND pearl beads:

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the ever-popular scrabble tile Christmas ornaments:

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my vintage spool photo holders:

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vintage poker chip magnets & vintage domino magnets:

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larger alpha block photo holders:

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the popular smaller alpha block magnetic photo holder:

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more photo display pieces – the scrabble tile photo holders:

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hand made, felties on (hand made) pacifier strap clips:

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AND SO MUCH MORE!!!

my brain is exploding with ideas and i’m struggling to FOCUS on one project at a time!

i’ve also purchased some furniture pieces (end tables and nightstands) to beautify for you AND i have picked up a few vintage pieces to sell for home decor!

things to reNember

things i want to remember:

- Davey still says reNember for remember and westernaut for restaurant

- Davey has started sleeping without a shirt at night. to be like daddy. it’s so cute.

 

- Samantha insists on having her music started at night by whomever says goodnight to her LAST

- Samantha sings ALL DAY LONG after school. whatever song she learned that day in class, i hear it 1000x for the rest of that day. If you ask her to sing it two days later, she can’t remember it. That’s MY girl!

 

- Alex is still obsessed with Blues Clues and Yo Gabba Gabba!

- Alex frequently says “hand” or “hands” as she’s walking along the sidewalk or up the stairs. she wants to hold my hand/hands. even when we BOTH have hands full of stuff.

- Alex has finally given up raisins and craisins (she used to eat them ALL.THE.TIME)

- Alex is still obsessed with “ugh nok” which is what it sounds like when she says “fruit snacks”
- Davey and Samantha require “fresh water with ice” at bedtime

only 4 short months

Before Alex was eligible for the pre school program with the school district, she was eligible for an Early Intervention program in Arizona where the therapists COME TO YOU.

No. Seriously. They come to your home to work with your child.

It was amazing! We had a fantastic experience with the AZip program and my only regret is that we didn’t start with them sooner!

Alex LOVED Miss Jill, her speech therapist. From day one, Mrs Jill was able to get Alex to say new words. It was getting Alex to use combinations of words that was much more challenging.

 

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After a few weeks, we managed to get Mrs Jessica, the physical therapist, onto Alex’s case file, too. She taught us some strategies for how to PLAY with Alex while still building her core muscles. Alex definitely proved to be a stubborn little girl at times, though.

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Mrs. Jill taught us some ways to play with Alex that might open up her communication skills a bit more. We weren’t so good at implementing them throughout the week but we celebrated when we did!

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Alex loved Mrs. Jill and Mrs. Jessica. They were her PLAYTIME friends and she readily gave them hugs and kisses each week.

And, if the truth be told, they  became my friends, too. They were so helpful with information about Alex and about programs and about progress… They both went above and beyond the call of duty in helping our family learn how to help Alex. And they helped me walk through the evaluation process with the school district. Mrs. Jessica even helped us figure out which brand of over-the-counter orthotics to order for Alex’s shoes! It was so sad to say “good bye” to them one last time before we left for our vacation. Once Alex turned THREE, she was no longer eligible for their program and they could no longer work with her.

Mrs. Jill and Mrs. Jessica, we miss you already!

Thank you for the large impact you made in our home in such a short time.

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SUCCESS

We did more than just survive today.

Today, as you know, was the first day of school.

But like I said, we did more than just SURVIVE.

We THRIVED.

Dave went to work late this morning to help get the Munchkins to school.

But before we loaded into the car and set out on the adventure of a lifetime, this Mommy had to take some photos.

My children are only somewhat cooperative when it comes to photos.

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I think I deleted the photo of Davey and Samantha standing next to each other because Samantha was ridiculously taller than Davey. Plus her hair is piled on top of her head, which made her look THAT MUCH taller. And I didn’t want it documented for all eternity that Samantha is THAT MUCH taller than Davey. I don’t want to shatter his ego or his pride. Not yet, anyway.

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Because we arrived EARLY enough, we were able to get a parking spot in the side lot of the school. And then we walked around to the front of the school and waited for the doors and gates to open. Once they did, we were the first ones in Samantha’s classroom (the teacher was mere seconds ahead of us)!

Samantha found her seat right away (and I noticed that Mrs. Flanagan had corrected the spelling of our last name!). Following a few quick hugs and “I love yous,” we left Samantha in her room glowing and beaming about her first day of school!

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Next we headed down the hall to see if we could drop off Alex yet. (No, we couldn’t).

So we continued around the corner and left Davey at the playground to line up with his class.

We did deliver the bag of “extras” (reams of paper, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer) to his classroom, however, because it was far too heavy for him to carry.

And then we continued down the hall and out the door to wait for Alex’s teacher. Alex will meet up with her classmates and her teacher outside each morning. She’ll say “good bye” to me at the side door to the school and she’ll walk with her classmates and teachers to her classroom. At the end of her school day (10:45 on M, Tu and Th and 10:15 on W), I’ll pick her up outside of that same door.

Here’s my uncooperative Alex with her (temporary) teacher, Mrs. Michelle.

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And here she is just a few minutes later – she found a new snuggle partner!

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After drop off, I returned home while Dave left for work.

Nana walked up to Einstein Bros. Bagels for her morning latte.

I cleaned the kitchen and did some meal planning and got dinner into the crock pot.

Nana and I headed to Joanns and Walmart to pick up a few things.

But before we had time to buy fresh fruits and veggies as Sprouts, it was time to pick up Alex.

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She was in a good mood.

Actually, she was WIRED.

It’s impossible to have a conversation with her, but I’m guessing she enjoyed her first day of school.

Immensely.

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But then it was time to take Nana to the airport.

On the way home from the airport, Alex and I stopped by Arizona Mills (a mall) to return a few things and to “buy” a pair of $10 jeans for Samantha at Osh Kosh (it was a “spend $50 earn $10 coupon last week) for free. And then we stopped at Sprouts for fresh fruits and veggies.

And when we got home, Alex wandered around the house searching for Nana.

Doors were opened and closed.

Opened and closed.

Opened and closed.

And I believe “NAAAA-NUH!” was called a few dozen times.

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After I put away the food, I got started on a batch of Monster Cookies (with GF oats).

And before I knew it, my phone alarm told me it was time to pick up D&S from school.

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Davey and Samantha were SO EXCITED when I picked them up from school.

Their chatter and stories shared with me were like rapid-fire machine gun ammo – I couldn’t even process one story before the next one began!

Samantha was so excited to tell me that she wasn’t scared or nervous or shy about her first day but then later she told me she didn’t want to say her name during the Name Game in her class b/c there were so many people she didn’t know….

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In the end, the Munchkins were all ELATED about their first day of school.

And this mommy was productive and managed, somehow, NOT to cry.

So I declare today, Wednesday, August 7th, a SUCCESS!

His name is Bebo…

Back in 2002 or 2003, Dave and some friends (Tim and Reid) formed a (side) company called Gottathink. I don’t even really know what they did, but it was a side job for all of them – something for fun, since no one had any children yet.

Fast forward a few years to 2007. We’d become world travelers, full professionals at our jobs and we had our first baby! And then something with the side business went wrong. Horribly wrong. The guys had a client who was a bit of a psychopath. Literally. She should’ve been on meds.

So a lawsuit happened and the guys got stressed. Especially Dave. He stopped eating and lost 10 pounds in a week. Or was it 20? It was a lot.

It was a rough, ROUGH time. And in the end, as we look back on that situation, we know that God was in control and we know that He was caring for us. We knew it at the time, too, but it was harder to trust Him while we were living the experience. The lawsuit ended with a settlement. It was not pleasant. It was not all sunshine and roses. Everyone did not walk away happy and satisfied.

But it ended.

And aside from family and friends, music was one thing that really helped Dave through that rough patch. Specifically, Christian music by a specific artist. Now if you know my husband, you would know that he’s not big into the Christian music scene. You would know that he actually finds a lot of Christian music less than pleasing to his ear drums. You would know that he prefers SUBSTANCE and REAL EMOTION over trite and repetitive phrases. And you would know that there’s just something about the music of Bebo Norman that speaks to Dave’s ears, mind and heart.

So fast forward to June 2013.

To the Home School Convention.

To a large “ball room” in a hotel in Phoenix.

And we were there. To see Bebo. To hear him play. To hear him sing. To listen to him share his heart.

To watch him prepare to retire from the music scene.

It was a fantastic night for Dave.

It was the first concert we EVER attended together.

It was just us – it was a date night:

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And it was just Bebo and his one buddy, playing music and sharing the “why I wrote this song” stories and singing them:

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And it was a small enough venue that we waited around after the concert so Dave could talk to Bebo.

And tell him (Bebo) that it was his (Bebo’s) music that helped him (Dave) through one of the most difficult times in his life.

And Bebo was humble, kind and genuine.

He praised God.

And he told Dave he liked his (Dave’s) hair.

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And that, my friends, is our Bebo Norman story.

We are both very, VERY sad that he will no longer record CDs and tour after the end of this year.

But, as parents, we understand that he wants to be there for his children and a life on the road isn’t the way to accomplish that goal.

But Bebo will be missed. And we will always remember that night in June as a night when one of Dave’s dreams came true – when he could say THANK YOU to someone for helping him through a really difficult time.

tomorrow is a big, somewhat scary and yet still a very exciting day

tomorrow is wednesday, august 7th, 2013.

tomorrow is the first day of school.

for ALL THREE of my children.

yes.

all THREE of my little MUNCHKINS are going to school.

this mama is about to get her world rocked.

for the past 6 years, i have done little else besides spend every waking hour loving on (and sometimes trying to avoid) my precious Munchkins.

SIX YEARS, PEOPLE.

but tomorrow, i will have 2 hours of Munchkin-free time.

without having to pay for babysitting or trade for it.

it’s so exciting and so terrifying all at the same time.

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Davey is beyond ready for his first day in 1st grade.

here he is with his teacher, Mrs. Eastwood:

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Earlier today, I learned that Davey was moved into the ALP student group. (I’m guessing this means “Advanced Learning Potential.”) He’s excited because he’ll be in the same class as his buddy from Kindergarten, Peytyn. Dave and I are thankful Davey will have the opportunity to be challenged by his peers to work harder to excel at his studies.

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Miss Samantha has been ready for Kindergarten for the past year. She is ELATED to have Mrs. Flanagan as her teacher:

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At the Open House on Monday night, she was excited to find her seat at her table and to walk around the classroom exploring the toys and books. We even got to add her name to the “How We Go Home” list:

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She’s eager to move UP on the clip chart and to get to do fun things like be the Line Leader and the Door Holder.

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And little Miss Excitable  (aka: Alexandra) was the picture of WOW! overload when she walked into her preschool room at the Open House on Monday night:

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She sat right down and requested “help, please” so she could play with the Play-Doh. She wandered around the room, exploring as only she can with her wiggly-bottom walk that’s more sassy than anything else and with lots of eager squeals. We managed to corral her long enough to turn a few pages in a book. We met her Temporary Teacher, Ms. Michele. Her Permanent Teacher is currently out on maternity leave (but I’ve heard AMAZING things about Ms. Lyssa). We also met her Speech Therapist, who will work with Alex in the classroom every Thursday.

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I have a feeling the most dramatic and noticeable changes among my children will come from the Wee One in about a month or two. I’m not sure I’m really ready for her to become MORE independent. Sure, it SOUNDS great. But in reality, I know that the day is coming when I will begin to question and to wonder: What am I doing?

What is my place?

Where do I belong?

How shall I fill my time today?

Do my children even need me anymore?

I had a hard (VERY, VERY, VERY hard) time transitioning from working full-time in a very professional position with zero children to becoming a stay-at-home mom with one baby. It took months for me to get into some form of a routine. Some rhythm. It was weird. It was hard. It was challenging. It was mentally exhausting. And then in what felt like the blink of an eye, I was a mom to two children and then a third and I knew my place. I knew my routine. I knew my job(s). And now that is all going to change again.

I guess life and motherhood are constantly evolving and changing and I have to be ready to meet the challenges that come my way.

While I’m excited for these new adventures for my Munchkins, I’m also apprehensive about what this means for me. But ready or not, tomorrow morning WILL come. My children WILL go to school. And I WILL have to adjust.

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june at a glance

we spent the month of June getting used to the “no school” thing while continuing with some school-time routines (gym time, rest time, PT & speech therapies for Alex, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc.). we also had some visitors, some fun play dates, the kids enjoyed VBS at a nearby church and we added a lot of swimming into the schedule. ahhhhh. we are SO THANKFUL for our pool.

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during June, Alex also took it upon herself to enjoy naps in random places around the house:

alex floor napping alex chair napping alex napping couch

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she even fell asleep like this one night:

alex floor sleeping

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not to be outdone by her little sister, samantha decided to rival her for “cuteness” during an unplanned but MUCH NEEDED naptime:

sam boot nap

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I scored some great finds at a garage sale ($2 for the Princess CD player, $1 each for the spiderman & captain america masks and $5 for the bucket AND the bristle blocks inside of it):

garage sale 1 garage sale 2

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Dave’s Cousin Jonathan flew in from Ohio for a visit. We all enjoyed an inflatable battle between the whale and the airplane.

cousin jonathan whale vs airplane

Then he left and went hiking with his dad and some friends. And then they ALL came over for swimming and dinner at Joes Fresh Farm Grill:

Joes Farm Grill

But Uncle Jon and Cousin Jonathan made sure to bring gifts of flexible frisbees (I’m still not sure that I’m “thankful” the children received those!) and sidewalk chalk that we put to good use after they left….. on the backyard walls:

chalk fun

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Davey and Sam enjoyed a week at VBS at a nearby church. Davey was in the same class with his buddy, Caleb and Samantha was with Lacey, so my kids were elated to spend a week singing songs, playing games, doing crafts, spending time with their friends and learning about God (and not necessarily in that order)!

VBS with philpots VBS

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I cleaned the garage – yet again:

garage cleaning

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I acquired a hand-me-down mirror from Jenni. It’s perfect for our guest room, though I do plan to spray paint it!

free mirror

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Alex had her pre-school evaluation with the Gilbert School District to see if she would qualify for the FREE program.

Alex eval 1 Alex eval 3 Alex eval 2

She did great. Which means she cooperated enough to show them she’s smart but not enough to show them everything she can do (which PROVES she’s smart). She balked at climbing the stairs and at drawing lines and other things that she pretty much knows how to do. But in the end, she qualified for the program based on her limited speech skills and her limited gross motor skills (kicking, climbing, running, etc.). A week later, I was back in the office with the evaluators and we wrote Alex’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) which included goals for the school year.

It was a huge relief to learn that Alex had qualified for the program. Next up: waiting for the school assignment plus the session (morning or afternoon) which wouldn’t be determined for at least 6 more weeks.

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The day after Alex’s evaluation, Samantha had her turn. Since her birthday is in late October, she misses the cut off to start K this year. But you know Samantha – she’s always been older than her age. And she’s been ready for school and K since Davey’s 2nd day of school! So Dave and I agreed to pay the application fee to have her evaluated by the district to see if she was ready to start school “early.”

We checked in at a desk in a small classroom. There were other 4-year old kids playing with toys and parents sitting around entertaining themselves with their phones. Eventually, names were called and the children lined up and walked out of the room for their “tests.” They all went to one room first where a teacher read them a story from a large book. Then they played a game and did a “craft” which involved following directions, folding paper, drawing on it, cutting on a line, drawing a self portrait and writing their name. We have the “craft.” After that, they moved to the computer room and I’m not entirely sure what happened in there, but Samantha came back to me and she was beaming.

Sam eval

We waited a little while after the test so we could learn the results before heading home.

Sam eval letter

SHE GOT IN!!!!!!!

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On a family outing to Payless Shoes (we were hunting for a pair of sandals for Alex), Samantha found some high heels that she loved:

sam high heels

(no, we didn’t buy them for her, though I must admit they are CUTE)!

However, I ended up bringing these sweet beauties home for under $15:

mama wedges

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We took dinner (chicken caesar salad) to daddy’s office one evening so we could eat dinner as a family and then support our friends by eating dessert at Rita’s Italian Ice (20% of the profits that night went to support the medical bills of our dear friends, the Hantlas). It was fun to see a lot of other people from church at Rita’s, too!

office dinner ritas night

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I finally pulled out some CRAFTING supplies and made a little book for my dear friend Casey. It was a book about our trip to Seattle (her first time there!) back in March for BibleTech. (Well, our husbands were there for BibleTech. We were there to have fun. And we did!)

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I snapped this photo one evening when I realized each child was on a different “device” and a different piece of furniture, though at least they were all in the same room!

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I worked on various projects around the house. I reorganized our pantry:

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(I’ve even added another shelf unit since taking this photo!). It’s a bit less cluttered now. Whew.

And I hung my jewelry on a garage sale find from LAST summer:

rake necklaces

And I made a major change in the laundry room. I thought it would be a bigger project than it really was. But it has made a HUGE impact. The fridge USED to be between the edge of this silver shelf and the window:

laundry room 1

So it stuck out into the “entry way” area from the garage door into the room (which leads into the rest of the house). Moving it to that back left corner meant I had to take that long shelf off the wall. It was all one piece of particle board. Which I did not realize was so flexible. Until I dropped it. And it broke. Seriously. So I hauled the largest piece out to the garage, cut off a chunk and returned it to the wall. I added screws to hold the shelf onto the brackets. I added some more brackets/braces to hold the shelf up. And THEN I moved the washer and dryer a little to the right. And I moved the fridge to that left corner.

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And I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I LOVED the outcome. And after moving the fridge from it’s “sticking-out-into-the-middle-of-the-entryway” placement, I had space to create a back to school station for my kiddos, now that I knew all THREE of them would head to school in the fall:

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Davey and Sam LOVE this little station. I think they also love the idea of going to school. WHEW!

I have since added their names (with red vinyl) to the file pockets on the walls (those file pockets are a set of 5 from Ikea for about $15) and I have REMOVED their hastily scrawled names from the magnet boards (also known as cookie sheets from Dollar Tree).

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We made cards and crafts the night before Fathers’ Day, following a pool party and pizza dinner with our friends, the Woods.

fathers day card making

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We spent the first official day of summer at the zoo with our friends. The kids played at the splash pad and then we ate lunch before the Philpots left for a birthday party and then the Munchkins and the Woods checked out some of the animals. This tiger was waking from a nap as we arrived to his home and we watched him wander over to the water to take a dip!

zoo fun

Then we stopped at Rita’s Italian Ice for a special treat before taking some to daddy’s office (where the big kids like to draw on his white board):

ritas office time

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We attended open gym at the local gymnastics/dance/cheer facility near our house. Alex and Sam LOVE this place. It was Davey’s first time there. He also loved it.

alex open gym

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Just because it’s summer time doesn’t mean that chores go undone. I spent plenty of time doing laundry and ironing:

ironing   laundry

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Shortly before our vacation (which began on July 2), the weather got really, really hot:

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and my oldest and youngest kiddos got sick. fevers. throwing up. very, very tired. it was awful. We had all kinds of fun activities and play dates scheduled and we had to cancel all of them. I felt really bad for Samantha b/c she was healthy through it all and had to miss out on fun things because her siblings were sick. So I made it up to her one Saturday morning. Dave stayed home with D&A while I took S out for a special date with Mommy:

date with sam

My kids LOVE going to Starbucks!

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And right before vacation, Alex’s off-the-shelf orthotics arrived. They appeared to be a bit too big for her.

 orthotics for alex

So her physical therapist came by the house to help me fit them to her feet and cut them down to fit in her shoes. Her legs look SO MUCH BETTER when she walks with those orthotics in her shoes!

And that, my friends, is an overview of our month of June. I have a few other photos from that month to share with you, but it feels good to get this all documented. And now I’m off to buy some more back-to-school supplies!

MAKE UP field day

who knew it would rain in FEBRUARY during the initially-scheduled FIELD DAY for davey’s school?

who knew it would be enough rain to make them have FIELD DAY INSIDE?

(insert boos and hisses here)

who knew that they would RESCHEDULE FIELD DAY for the END OF MAY – in ARIZONA – for OUTSIDE?!

by the time i showed up to “help” with davey’s class, they had finished up their first station and were in the middle of station #2 which was WATER. two older kids (volunteers from grade 4, 5 or 6) were literally spraying the kids with water hoses. and the kindergarteners were having a blast.

granted, it was quite hot outside.

davey was dry when i saw him.

he didn’t stay that way for long (i picked him up and ran through the spray with him so we both got quite wet)!

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i forgot my camera and didn’t want my phone to get wet, so i have no photos from that first station.

but then Lindy (another mom) was there with her camera. and she let me play with it a bit.

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Station #3 was hula hoops:

hula hoop 1 hula hoop 2 hula hoop 3

Davey might not have much in the way of HIPS to use a hula hoop the way it was intended, but he was creative in his USE of the hula hoop.

Lindy, however, has got made hula hooping skills:

lindy hula hooping lindy hula hoops 5 kids watching lindy

(and yes, she’ll kill me if she knows i put these on the blog – sorry, Lindy!)

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Next up was Softball/T-Ball:

softball

Followed by scoop ball (i have no idea what you actually call it):

scoop ball

Some running relays and soccer ball kicking stations and then FRISBEE:

frisbee

and tug-o-war:

tug o war 

where the boys lost to the girls:

boys lose

There was more running, followed by an OTTER POP break:

otter pop break

more running, basketball and then it was time to go inside and cool down before lunch!

  hot and sweaty

I am SO THANKFUL that i was able to help in Davey’s class this past year. And with special events.
And I’m super thankful to Lindy for the use of her camera!

auntie babi was here

auntie babi stopped by for a day in may.

she had been in california for elizabeth (my oldest niece)’s college graduation.

i picked her up from the airport just before midnight on sunday night. then she, dave and i stayed up a little “too late” talking and laughing:

arrived

Davey had to head off to school the next morning, but Dave took the day off work and we went to a nearby park with a view of the surrounding mountains.

park

they also have a decent play ground:

tire swing

after the park/playground, we visited a few stores for some clothing shopping (a favorite past time for Babi and me) and then we headed home to enjoy a yummy lunch of salad and a rotisserie chicken.

then we all enjoyed a nice REST TIME until Davey got out of school.

and it was warm/hot enough to enjoy the pool and the sun:

sun time

for dinner, we took Auntie Babi to Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert.

i snagged a stranger to get this photo for us:

family together

it’s a new favorite.  :)

and before bedtime, we let Auntie Babi get the kids all wound up with an intense DANCE PARTY:

dance party 1 dance party 2 dance party 3 dance party 4 dance party 5

and after the Munchkins went to bed, it was time for me to return Auntie Babi to the airport.

We had a fantastic visit with her and we hope it’s not another two years before we see her again!

miscellaneous may 2013

may was a fun, fun month with lots of visitors, lots of projects, kindergarten field day, kindergarten “graduation” and more. i’ve already shared some of those events with you, but here’s a bunch of random, unrelated photos that i wanted to share/document in no particular order.

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would you believe my engagement ring BROKE?

yep.

SNAP.

actually, it was more like a repeated PINCH on my finger and when i finally looked to see what was causing the problem, i discovered this (sorry for the very blurry photo):

broken ring

that is a BROKEN gold ring right under one of the “cathedral rises” next to my diamond.

i have yet to get it fixed.

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i did a bit of spray painting, including this chair for the guest room computer:

chair redo

(now that it’s the end of July, i have purchased fabric and foam to make a cushion for it).

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i was tired of davey’s school habitat art taking over our downstairs wall(s) so i rigged up an ART wall for his room.

you will need push pins, paper clips and string. tie the string to one push pin. push it into the wall. tie the other end of the string to another push pin and push it into the wall. use the paper clips to hang art on the string. there you have it. davey actually has two rows filled with “habitats” (those animal drawings and you “open” them – lift up – to read a few sentences about the habitat of that animal).

d art wall

i plan to do this in sam’s room for her kindergarten art this year and alex’s room, too.

the paperclips are nearly impossible for the kids to pull off the string, which is why i chose paperclips instead of clothespins.

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while cleaning up in the pool area one day, i found a piece of a palm tree.

or i thought it was a piece of a palm tree.

upon closer inspection, it was a dried up lizard:

dead lizard

YUCK!

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i made my FIRST EVER deviled eggs for a Memorial Day picnic:

first devilled eggs ever

I was horrified to discover that these tasty bites of deliciousness have MAYO in them!!

HORRORS!!!!

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Dave enjoyed an intern bowling event where he whooped up on the competition:

intern bowling

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alex discovered a new toy:

light switches:

switches

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i made my first ever name plaque (using a board, two kinds of stain and my silhouette to cut vinyl). it didn’t work the way i wanted it to (i bought a LIGHT stain and a DARK stain but the dark stain didn’t take to the wood the way i had hoped – SIGH) but in the end, i was happy enough with it that we (the three kids and I) went to visit Davey’s teacher the week after school was over so we could have lunch with her and give it to her as her WEDDING GIFT (her wedding was scheduled for late June in Costa Rica):

teacher sign

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and finally, we contacted a local karate place and started davey’s “one month of free classes” that he “earned” by attending a Buddy Board Breaking event with his friend Caleb. he did surprisingly well and we have started talking about the possibility of enrolling him in a regular karate class. we’ll keep you posted!

trying karate