follow the rainbow

follow the rainbow follow the rainbow Yesterday afternoon, True was excitedly telling her sisters, “Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and we are going to get surprises.”

I heard that and my eyes got wide. I didn’t plan anything, but my failure to remember this day happens every year. I never remember it until the night before. Thankfully, I have a stash of goodies for an occasion such as this and I hoard craft supplies. Thus, with some kraft containers stuffed with a little wooden car and toy horse, along with gold shreds, we had the perfect “pot of gold” for the end of the rainbow. The rainbow is just made with colorful crepe paper streamers leading from the upstairs hallway to the bottom of the stairs.

See last year’s surprise here, and the year before is found here. This morning, during breakfast, we watched this short clip about St. Patrick. Did you know Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish?! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



valentine’s day presents

lovedaythings Do you do Valentine presents? Sometimes we do all handmade, and sometimes we get a little something. We don’t give the children chocolate or candy, but there will be handmade cards, and I always bake something for the occasion. Plus, February 14th is my parents’ wedding anniversary, so that day is extra special to us. We did order the girls more of these Tegu blocks. Ben’s sister got them this set for Christmas, but after seeing how much they play and create with it, we thought they would enjoy more pieces. Ben knows he can’t go wrong with jewelry for me, but I did tell him I would really love a handmade card (or another Pablo Neruda poem like last year). And for Ben, I know he would love another fruit tree, or some gardening things. It probably isn’t what most men would ask for, but I think my Ben is a rare species.

For Her (from left to right): gold prism band, path moonstone ring, pearl and sapphire ring.
For the Kids: playon crayons, anime projectormagnetic blocks.
For Him: large pot, hoop watering can, cultivator and trowel set.

And I’ll be hosting a Valentine’s Day giveaway soon from Jean Jean Vintage, so don’t forget to check back in the next couple days.



rockin’ mommy day ’14: elvis(es) is in the house

rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 There’s this tradition Ben started when we just had True, and it’s called, “Rockin’ Mommy Day.” It’s not Mother’s Day, but a random day he picks and they end up surprising me with something just to show his appreciation (he’s a sweet guy). I never know when it’s coming and it isn’t a yearly thing either. The last time we had Rockin’ Mommy Day was in 2009, and they surprised me with a Michael Jackson performance (see the post about it here, and here is a picture from the very first one).

Well, one Saturday morning, I got a special note telling me to take the day off, and chillax doing whatever I wanted. Later, I got another note giving me instructions to go downstairs, and I yelped in excitement in seeing all the Elvises. They had me sit down while they did a special rendition of “Jailhouse Rock” for me. At the end, Soul came to me to give me another note accompanied with a little present, which was a southwestern turquoise ring I wanted a couple years ago from our trip to New Mexico, thus giving me a rock. I made them do the performance a couple times, so I could get pictures of it too.

rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 rockin' mommy day 2014 After I got my little surprise, I had Ben spill all the details of how he planned this out. Apparently, he started working on this surprise about a year and a half prior. He purchased the girls’ black shirts and leggings from Old Navy; his top is from Old Navy and his pants, from the thrift store. He hand painted each one with white fabric paint. Upon emailing my friend Karen (Misha Lulu) to get some ideas of how he could make Elvis’s jailhouse outfits come to life, she suggested doing a trompe l’oeil style for the costumes… so that’s what he did. He’s such a perfectionist, so it took him a long time to do each one (back and front are hand painted), hence the surprise did not come to fruition until a year and a half later. Also delaying the surprise, was finding the time to work on the outfits when I wasn’t around, and I’m always around. HA! Another funny thing is, him fearing the girls growing out of the costumes before he could execute his idea prevented him from delaying any further; the girls’ costumes purchased over a year prior were at risk of not fitting anymore!

I saw the jailhouse pipe things assembled in the garage the week before the surprise, and he said it was a trellis for the garden. He always has some sort of project going on for our garden, so I didn’t think much of it. He ordered Elvis wigs for each of them, and when I wasn’t around, which wasn’t often, he would practice the dance with the girls. Even the girls had been keeping this surprise from me for over a year! They did a really good job of not spilling any beans.

The girls did so well with their performance. I was dying of laughter and these teeny Elvises are the cutest ever! Seriously… the wigs! Oh man. And then the little shaking and sliding going on, these girls are so precious. I know they drive me nutso sometimes, but it’s normal, and I love being their mother.

I was so surprised and felt (and still feel) very loved. I’m thankful for these sweet things Ben does, and especially thankful that he leads a good example in showing the girls of how a husband can show love to his wife. I really love that guy of mine a whole lot! The performance was a riot and if you care to see it and get a laugh, you can watch it here.



christmas part two

christmas in california christmas in california christmas in california christmas in california christmas in california christmas in california christmas in california The years we go to Texas for the holidays, we make sure to do a little Christmas celebration once we get back, and it’s usually the very next day after we arrive home. The girls get their present from “Santa,” smallish stocking stuffers, and they get one more present from us. In total, they received two presents from us, one in Texas and one in California, and three little stocking stuffers. Actually, we got them one more, but that’s going back to the store. Ben and I were exhausted from the long drive we made the previous, but seeing the girls excited is definitely an energy picker-upper. Of course, the highlight was the surprise my parents left them while we were gone; the bikes stole the show!

The sweetest part of the celebration, at least for Ben and me, was this giant stack of presents the girls had for each member of the family. Ben and I had no idea they made all this stuff! They also had little gifts that they “bought” at their piano teacher’s “store” for each other. They earn points for each piano lesson, and during the recital, the teacher has a store, where they can buy things to redeem their points. Well, the recital was early December, so it was perfect timing for students to use their points to “buy” gifts for their family. These girls are so thoughtful when it comes to gift giving. They really take so much joy in making something, wrapping it up, and adding a little note for someone. They even made presents for their each others’ favorite dolls!

We actually even had a Christmas part 3 since we had to celebrate with my family once we were back, but it was a laid back Friday evening at my parents house feasting and hanging out, and no one busted out the camera. This year we will get to be home for Christmas, my baby sister will be back, and we’re hoping Ben’s mom and sister come join us here, so then we’ll have one giant family celebration in our home. Anyway, we have a ways to go until I start any planning for that.



ben turns forty

ben turns forty ben turns forty ben turns forty ben turns forty ben turns forty ben turns forty

Ben turned 40 a few weeks ago. He’s a simple guy and didn’t have many requests for his 40th birthday except to 1) not have a party, and 2) garden together as a family. Easy enough, but the girls and I still wanted to do something extra special for this extraordinary man of ours. It’s not every year that someone turns 40, and I think 40 is a pretty big deal. One day, as the girls and I were driving somewhere, and singing the song, “All About That Bass;” it dawned on me that we could easily change the lyrics to be “All About That Ben,” so that’s exactly what we did.

“All About That Ben”
Because you know I’m all about that Ben
‘Bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben

Yeah, It’s pretty clear, you’re the birthday boo
And you can shake it, shake it like you’re supposed to do
‘Cause you got that boom boom that all the girls chased
And all the right junk in all the right places

I saw you in a magazine you need no photoshop (I hold up the magazine he was once in, which happened around the time we met)
I knew you were for real
And I wasn’t gonna stop
Cause you got beauty, beauty, inside and out
Every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top.

Yeah, my mama she told me you’re gonna marry that guy (my mom really told me that after the first time Ben and I hung out)
She said, “Boys like that are the ones who’ll hold you at night”
It’s been like that for 10 lovely birthdays with you so far (we’ve been married almost 10 years)
And I’m sure that they’ll be many more as our lives move along

Because you know I’m all about that Ben
‘Bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben, he’s forty
I’m all about that Ben, ’bout that Ben

You’re forty now!
No one would guess that right off the bat
I’m not playing, you look like ten years minus that
I’m here to tell you,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
Repeat verses above

It’s kind of hard to choreograph something with four little ones, but we all worked on memorizing the words together, and watched the video a gazillion times (we are playing it while we dance for Ben) to get some of the moves down. When it came down to performance time, it seemed they got a little shy, but I think Ben got the gist. We love him so much and we wanted to do something fun and silly for him! We did get to work in the garden a teensy bit, I made him one of his favorite meals, and he got to blow out candles on an oatmeal pecan pie. I think he would say it was good way to celebrate turning 40! He did end up surprising me with something too, but I’ll save that story for another post.



our christmas in texas

christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas christmas in texas I can’t believe how fast Christmas came and went. We spent Christmas in Texas this year, and we had such a good time. We always do though, so not really news there. For Christmas morning, the girls and I planned a special show for them to perform for their Grandmama and Auntia (auntie + tia) Suzi. The show included some of their piano pieces, hip hop dance numbers, mixed in with some readings of the Christmas story from Luke 2. Ben also led a short time of family worship and a story from our advent book. Then, Papi Claus came back into town and did all the handing out of the presents. Papi Claus is full of jokes so everyone was laughing all morning. After all the present opening, the girls naturally wanted to play with them, so they went outside to ride the scooters they were given from their Auntia Suzi. Glow didn’t get one, since she will just get the three-wheel scooter we already had at home, so she watched from the sidelines.

Ben and I prepared Christmas dinner while we watched the Spurs game, and the girls just had fun with their Grandmama and Auntia. It was such a laid back day and everyone stayed in their pajamas. Actually, the girls stayed in pajamas most of the time we were in Texas, and they are so cute all matchy-matchy. Ben’s mom had these all laid out for them when we got there, and they were so excited about matching.

This is the second year we had Papi Claus (this is from last year’s), and it’s always hilarious, and this is the first time we prepared a Christmas show. I think it would be fun to have the girls do a Christmas show yearly, so hopefully next year we can do another. Ben’s mom doesn’t have a piano, but this roll-out piano we borrowed from their piano teacher came in handy. I want to try and include some sort of puppet show in next year’s, but we will see what the girls want to do. They always have their own plans when it comes to this stuff. I think it would be a fun tradition to do, until they don’t want to do it anymore (who knows when that will be?!). What are some of your Christmas Day traditions?




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