gifts for our girls, past and present

gifts past and present gifts past and present Last year, the two older girls had lockets on their Christmas wish list. I found these two sweet lockets from Jean Jean Vintage, one of my favorite vintage jewelry shops, and they are so teeny tiny, but perfect lockets for little ones. I did some searching for a book to go with it, and found The Magic Locket (no longer in print) and bought it used to accompany their gifts. This was one of their favorite gifts last year that they took good care of and still love this year. Jean Jean Vintage is also a current sponsor and she’s having a 15% sale off all items this weekend, so if you’re eyeing something, right now’s the weekend to scoop it up.

gifts past and present Our Glow loves softies, so I got her this Misha Doll last year to accompany the Nino Ponte she already had. Glow’s a softie hoarder! You should see her bed, it’s 3/4 filled with softies! Animal ones are her faves, and she calls them all her “babies.”

gifts past and present Last year, Santa brought this Build Your Own City set to the girls when we were in Texas. As you probably realize from reading this blog, we love making dollhouses, so this colorful slotted style is another fave. It’s easy to put away and store and put together when they want to make a village for their mini My Little Ponies. Usually, most of their toy requests revolve around things for their My Little Ponies.

gifts past and present This unicorn set is one of the new gifts for this year. The two youngest are each getting their own set to be a unicorn. I got the unicorn horn from here, and the wings I bought from Fawn Shoppe.

We’re pretty much done with all the gifts we need for the girls. We try to get them a book of sorts (the big girls requested 2015 planners), and maybe two things from their list, plus one big ticket community item from Santa. The two older girls have some handmade gift requests, so I’m going to need to find time to make these things happen. Basically, the things on their list are simple items like coloring and sticker books, craft projects, and handmade gifts (apparently, they think I can make everything), so we might have splurged on their community gifts a bit. They wanted this camper play tent (they saw it in the catalog when it came in the mail), so while I want to try my hand at making one for them, we bought it as backup in case I ran out of time.

One of the not-so-simple-requests True had on her list was “to own Disneyland.” Definitely can’t make that happen, but yeah a camper tent is much more doable. How do you handle Christmas gifts for little ones? I know there’s the wear, read, play route, but my kids aren’t into requesting clothing items just yet, nor do they need anything in particular, so that guideline doesn’t typically work for us.




birthday blessings

birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things If you read this post, you know I wanted to just do nothing for my birthday. I’m happy to report that my mission was completed! The whole weekend was pretty much spent in bed reading a book, while Ben took care of everything. He was seriously doubting I could do it because I’m such a busy body. Plus, if I was doing nothing that means my to-do list was not getting done and that idea alone causes a little bit of stress, but I forgot about it for a couple days and did it!

I wanted to go to the library on Friday to check out some books, but never had time to make the trip. A friend lent me the Hunger Games series a year or so ago, so I figured I just would read that instead. While I was in bed, the girls were in and out of my room to tell me this or that, or put away laundry (oh the bliss!), and Ben took care of all the meals. I even requested my favorite, which is langostino sopes, and that was my special meal all weekend long. It really feels so good to just relax!

We took some trips out of the house to visit my grandma for her birthday, try a new dessert place, visit a new church, and pick up some plants, but really, I was mostly in bed from Saturday and even most of Monday (my real birthday)! I did manage to get out of bed long enough to sew myself a birthday dress, which felt good too because I had wanting to sew just for fun, so that scratched another itch of mine.

My birthday morning, they all came in to give me breakfast in bed and shower me with some special treats. It seemed the present theme this year was rings and Ben wrote a letter about it. The girls made me a couple rings, my BFF gave me a sweet initial ring (from here), and Ben got me this seed pearl and turquoise victorian ring. He knows my love for vintage jewelry!

Of course, now it’s back to life and to-do lists, but these past couple days off did my body, mind, and heart so much good. Even visiting my grandmother helped put things in perspective a little. Here she was celebrating her 88th birthday and it was quite evident how much her mind was slipping. She didn’t even realize it was her birthday, but all she wanted was to spend a little time with us. It just helped remind me that the many things I stress over (or think about) are really petty in comparison to what really matters in life. No offense, while I love this place and thankful for you guys when we are all 88, blogs will not really matter much. Maybe my grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy peeking into my life at this time (if internet is still around but who knows how technology will change!), but blogging will no doubt have its end. How I will make the most difference is how I love and invest in my children for God, and of course loving all those around me too. If I’m investing in them well, then hopefully that will cost a ripple effect, and they will eventually invest in others well too.

Anyway, I’m thankful for the many blessings this weekend. Besides, being spoiled by Ben and the girls, my parents came over last night and brought over some of my favorite food. I’ve always loved birthdays, and every year just gets sweeter (even if getting older scares me a little). Everything is really only by the grace of God, and I’m thankful to be able to celebrate my 33 year of life!



glow turns three

Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow turned 3 (what?! 3?!) this past weekend, and while we all went off on a weekend getaway to celebrate, we did all the birthday festivities the morning of her birthday. She was served the family tradition of breakfast in bed, but this time breakfast was birthday cake. It was totally not a healthy one, I made a salted caramel cake, but dietitian dad is even okay with breaking the rules once in awhile. Plus, her only requests for her birthday was cake and to see Georgie. Translated: I want to go to the zoo to see monkeys.

She was sitting in our bed, when we all came in singing “Happy Birthday” wearing animal masks because she loves animals so much! She calls all animals her “babies.” They devoured the cake, and then she opened the present we got her. We just got her a panda-dressed Monchichi that we picked up this past summer when we had a layover in Tokyo. It was much cheaper to buy it in Tokyo than it is on Amazon ($20 cheaper). Immediately after she opened her present, she was just loving on that panda-Monchichi. Her sisters have their own Monchichis and now she finally has her own too (no need to steal theirs anymore). Then, she claimed the panda off her cake and wanting to see pandas were added to her birthday request.

We spent the weekend in San Diego visiting both the Safari Park and Zoo, and spending as much time as we could at the hotel pool. Swimming at the hotel pool is always their favorite part of any vacation. I priceline-ed the hotel the day before because Priceline’s usually the way we go to book hotels (we do the name your price thing) and I always hope that last minute gets me the best deal.

Our weekend was full of fun as we fulfilled her birthday request and got to enjoy a little getaway together. I’m happy to report that we have a very happy 3 year old!



a robot party

Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave’s seventh birthday request was originally a Transformers party at a hotel, but about a month ago, she changed her mind to a robot party. I love her little quirky requests, so robot party it is! We took off for a few days in San Diego, Pricelined a hotel, and ended up staying at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. The girls request hotel parties because they love going swimming all weekend long, and we love it because we feel we’re really able to focus on the celebrant and get a lot of relaxing family time together. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The girls made the backdrop for the party, I brought the blue striped fabric to cover the bed, I made the berry shortcake using this recipe, plates are from Target, and I used this DIY to make the party hats. Target actually had these metallic party hats and I just added the felt and the chenille stem to the top. The presents were also wrapped similarly with silver wrapping paper and felt. I decorated the hotel room while the girls were at the pool, and we surprised Brave with everything around dinner time. The first thing she wanted to do was open presents (of course!). Then, we sang “Happy Birthday,” had a little cake, and we headed off to dinner to the restaurant attached to the hotel. After Brave’s birthday dinner, we came back to our room, opened more presents (all the handmade ones True and Soul made her!), played some games (True and Brave each made their own version of “Pin the Button on the Robot”), and then we had a robot dance party.

Brave was all smiles, and Ben and I were happy seeing all our girls happy. These birthday weekends are spent playing at the pool, staying in bed too long, and watching cartoons in bed (we don’t have a television, so they love them at the hotel). It’s a nice break away and since the girls keep asking for these kinds of celebrations, I’m guessing they love it as much as we do.



independence day

happy fourth! We picked up some flags from the dollar section at Target and the girls have been proudly waving them around. We will make burgers and spend all day relaxing and watching movies. Happy Fourth of July friends!



a very early birthday

rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday rj's may birthday My baby sister, Richelle, left us earlier this week to embark on her World Race journey for 11 months. I shared her mission here, and she officially took off this past Sunday. The week’s leading up to it, anytime we were together I would just start crying uncontrollably. Straight up ugly crying and I couldn’t stop. She’s one of my best friends and she was going to be faraway, it makes me sad because she will be missed, but happy because she’s serving others and following what’s in her heart.

Since she wouldn’t be here for her birthday in October, we threw her a very early surprise birthday party before she left! She came over to my house, not knowing we had something up our sleeve, and she was utterly confused when she came to the backyard and saw the happy birthday sign and everyone joyfully yelling at her. She said, “What?! It’s not my birthday!” We told her we were celebrating it early and she just started laughing.

It was a pretty small party with just our family and some of her close friends and we all spent the evening eating, chatting, and having fun together. We showered her with birthday gifts (things she needed for her upcoming trip) and she kept saying how silly we all were that evening.

Ben and I put together one long table for everyone to sit at, I cut some bougainvillea branches placed them all along the center, and made a “Happy Birthday” sign from card stock and added dowel stems to it. To get them upright, we drilled a hole for each letter stem into a piece of wood, and inserted the dowels. We are going to miss RJ once October 1st comes around, but I’m glad we were able to celebrate her birthday before she left.

Actually, since she won’t be here for Christmas either, we celebrated that early too and we did that at my mom’s house about a month ago. I’m surprised my mom didn’t find time to sneak in an early Thanksgiving dinner in!




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