After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Friday, May 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



My amazing Nana met her Jesus late last night.
I keep typing things, and then deleting them.
No words could express the amazingness that was this woman.
She's one of those people whom everyone should have met.  She was THAT amazing.
I don't have too many words yet.  Just being still and quiet.
Picturing her rocking out in Jesus' choir sure makes me smile though.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Nooks of Our House....The Boys' Room

I love when my blog friends share about the places in their homes.  I'd like to share some of our home, and since I was blogging about the boys' new room set up the other day, I thought I'd snap a few pictures of their room in perfect condition (for the 30 seconds I knew it would last), and share it with you.

Here's Kian's bottom bunk.  It needs a Mama made twin quilt but it sure isn't lacking in homemade love.  My Nana made Zac that afghan when we were newly married.  It is SOOO cozy and fits a twin perfectly.  My sister dubbed Nana made afghans as Nanaghans, which I think is perfect!  Folded at the foot there is his Mama made baby quilt, and of course, there's ever present Tickity laying on his pillow waiting to be smothered during the night.

To the right of the bunks are the windows and small play area.

My mom made these curtains when I was pregnant with Logan.  You can't see, but they have a navy blue with star print boarder and a little bit of rick rack across the bottom.  I LOVE them and have procrastinated on changing them, even though one got caught on something and had a gaping hole which eventually turned into a very large hole and then the whole bottom edge fell off.

And near the play area is Kian's changing table.
Felicity wanted to get in on the pictures.  :)
I made that wall hanging quilt above the changing table.  It once hung above Logan's crib and when Kian came along, I moved it (eventually) to this place above the changing table.

Looking towards the door you can see a little shelf.  To the left of the shelf is the boys' closet.

This little shelf area needs some T.L.C!  The few pegs are always overflowing with memorabilia and practical things.  I have a bit of spackeling and touch up painting to do on the wall the bunks are on but I hope to do that soon and then make an area for each boy to display their special things.  Logan, especially, is at an age where he treasures things.  It sure makes displaying treasures hard when you have a 1 year old brother who is in to everything!  We have made the rule that no one is allowed on Logan's bunk without permission.  It is his special place to call his own and I really want to get his display area up quick as I know he will be very excited to finally be able to display his treasures in a proper way....such as that Wheaties cereal box front with Shaun White on it.....a true find!  :)

Speaking of Logan's special place, here it is.
I made his quilt for his 2nd birthday.  It has WWII airplanes on it.
There's ALWAYS a pile of friends at the foot of his bed.

Logan's view is quite relaxing.  His bunk is nestled close enough to the ceiling to feel cozy, but not too closed in (I can sit up fully), and he has this view right out his window and out into our front garden.

Hanging from their ceiling are WWII plane models.
The yellow one is actually not a war plane.  It's a model hand build by my Papa, their Great Grandfather (whom Kian is named for), and is a model of the first plane he owned and flew while in a flying club at Westmont College.  How cool is that?!

At the foot of their bunk is this toy chest (which houses blankets) which my talented friend hand panted.
The plane images are the same images that are on Logan's quilt.

I'm glad I did this post!  It made me stop and remember all the wonderful handmade things in the boys' room.  There's a lot of love poured into it!

So there you have it.  Pretty simple and loaded with handmade love, which is just the way we like it around here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

Joining Soulmama for the first time in her Friday ritual

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bunk Beds

Exciting things are happening in the boys' room!

We were recently blessed with this FREE bunk bed set at a time we were very ready for it.
Kian has recently learned to climb out of his crib.  We only have a mini crib because the boys' room is small and I honestly don't think we could fit a twin and a full crib in there unless one was under the windows.  Living in California ON a fault, you don't put beds under windows.  :)

I knew this change was coming so I meant to take a picture of their old sleeping arrangements but I forgot.  :(  I'll write it here though so I don't forget.  Basically, the mini crib and Logan's bed were set up in an L shape.  Kian's crib had its back to the wall and the head of Logan's bed was next to it against the wall and the foot of his bed stuck out.  This arrangement made them sleep Kian's feet to Logan's head.  One night the boys were having a hard time going to sleep and when I asked Logan what the problem was, he said they just needed to be closer together, "because we're BROTHERS, Mama!"  So I flipped Kian's crib length wise and butted it up right next to Logan's bed, letting them sleep side by side.  They held hands and Logan could put his arm on Kian, and they fell asleep.  A few days later we were having company so I moved the crib back to its normal position so it wouldn't look odd.  Logan was not happy when I put the boys to bed, and asked that the crib be moved right next to him again, "because we're BROTHERS, Mama!" 
One night Logan fell asleep on Felicity's bed with her while I was reading them Little House in the Big Woods.  Kian was having a hard time going to sleep so I again turned his crib into the normal position which allowed him to look out the window and watch the tree in the breeze.  He fell asleep that way and I moved Logan into his own bed, still asleep himself.  The next morning when I went in to get them up, Kian's crib was AGAIN moved next to the side of Logan's bed.  Logan was not awake when I went in which could only mean that he woke up in the middle of the night, found his brother too far away from him, moved the crib with his sleeping brother in it, and went back to sleep happily next to Kian. 
I never want to forget this.
I wish I'd taken a picture.
Don't get me wrong, they bicker and fight and don't share well on an all too normal basis.  But that makes this story even sweeter to me.  At the end of the day, no matter what went on, they wanted to be near each other.
"Because we're BROTHERS, Mama!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yesterday's "Tidbit of Joy"

With Zac working so much, I've been trying to add what I call a "tidbit of joy" to each day.  Just a little something to keep me intentional, to make the kids feel special, and to keep all our spirits high while we miss Zac.  Its just little things like not telling the kids their friends are coming to play, or adding animal cookies into their peanut butter sandwiches at lunch.  Easy stuff.

Yesterday, God supplied us with a good tidbit of joy.  Rain!  We don't usually get rain this late in Spring around here.  We were playing outside and talking to neighbors when it started to rain.  My neighbors literally took off and headed indoors, making a comment about how they guessed we were all headed in for the day now.  Oh how little they know my kids!  As soon as the rain hit my kids' faces lit up!  They ran to the carport and grabbed anything they could find to catch the rain in.  Then they ran around our cul de sac laughing, holding their buckets up, and looking up to the sky with mouths wide open to catch some on their tongues too.

Soon, the roof started shedding its abundance and they ran to the side yard to catch the waterfalls there.

Buckets of rain naturally get turned into pots of mud pie soup.

Lunch was pushed back for this wonderful play time.  The kids were soaked to the bone by the time we came in.  They were stripped down on the front porch and ushered to hot baths and showers.  Left over matzo ball chicken soup with tofu, and chicken and cheese snackmaster sandwiches (panini type things made in a press straight out of my childhood) were calling to us even though they were planned for dinner.  So we filled our bellies with warm food and the older two got to watch Narnia while Kian napped.  We don't watch much T.V. around here (we don't have cable) and since February, have cut it down to basically never so this was a real treat.  But it just felt like a Narnia day.

Thank you God for Your wonderful tidbit of joy today.
And thanks for watering the garden.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Santa Barbara Zoo

My husband has a new work schedule which is quite demanding.  For the next 9 months to a year, he will be away from us more than we'd like.  We are trying to stay positive, though, and be thankful for this consistent job as jobs in his field are at an all time low around here.  This is just a season....a short chapter of our lives, and we are trying to make the best of it and stay positive.

Zac was supposed to work 12 hour days all weekend after a very long work week.  When he came home Saturday with news that he wouldn't have to go to work Sunday, we made last minute plans to skip town and get a massive dose of much needed family time.  So we surprised the kids and took them to the Santa Barbara Zoo. 

I have to say, zoos usually make me feel sad.  I don't like seeing the animals in small cages, etc.  I remember visiting an unmentioned large city's famous zoo and being upset when we left.  All the animals were in TINY cages and so many of them were pacing back and forth constantly.  I get a different feeling from the SB Zoo.  I know that some of their animals were injured in the wild and would have otherwise not survived.  I have never seen animals pacing and a lot of their cages are very large.  They feed their elephants organic (I think) food and then use their droppings as fertilizer around the zoo.  On each animal exhibit is a sign explaining facts about each animal and each sign has a "What Can You Do?" section which explains ways you can make small changes in your life from how to help protect wild animals' territory, to how to be conscious about what fish you eat, etc.  I would have liked to read more of these signs but the kids usually moved too fast for that.  ANYWAYS, just a little blurb to say I do love to visit the SB Zoo and think they have a very conscious facility (I'd love to learn more about what they do).  I've never left feeling sad.

Kian wore his favorite pants, his animal print B3Ps I made him a while ago.  Every time I put these on him, he says, "RAWRRRRRRRRR!!!"  I tried to point out to him the elephant on his pants as we were looking at a real elephant, and same with the lion.  I don't know if he got it.  Anyways, they were very appropriate Zoo attire.  :)

Felicity at the penguin exhibit.  I was raised in Santa Barbara and we always had a Zoo membership.  When I was little, this tank housed seals and it was my favorite part of the Zoo.  It was always a fun rush to stand and watch and then be happily shocked when a seal zoomed by you at the window.  The penguins didn't do much zooming, but enough to scare the crap out of Kian, who would NOT go near this window again after that.

The gorilla was a highlight for sure!  He came right up to the window and sat next to us with just the glass separating us from him.  He was HUGE and it was fun to see him close enough to see the variations in his fur and watch how he peels bark from tree branches to eat. 

Well, I should say the gorilla was a highlight for all but Kian.  After his close encounter with the penguin,  he only wanted to view animals from a very safe distance away.  Here he is trying to claw his way out of my arms and AWAY from that gorilla!

Another highlight was the new baby giraffe.

Not a bad life, or view, for the giraffes at the SB Zoo huh?

Of course, a trip to the Zoo would not be complete without a ride on the train.

We got a lucky view of the usually lazy and hidden lions from the train.  Even from this distance, in his dad's lap, Kian stiffened up and whimpered when we passed the lions.  Poor guy!  The only animal he'd go near were the birds.  He let them walk right up to him.  The kid LOVES birds!

Nor would a Zoo trip be complete without a few zooms down the massive astro turf covered hill.

Thank goodness they pad the nearby trees!

It was a wonderful day packed full of family time which will hopefully keep our spirits high until next weekend when we pack in some more.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Polenta Play

Texture play is always a hit around here.  It makes a big mess, but I don't mind messes (which you know if you've ever visited our house) and the vacuum can suck it all up super fast so the time spent in play is well worth the quick clean up.

Kian prefers to scoop and dump, making the biggest mess of the 3.

Felicity usually makes little worlds in her broiling pan.  She sets up animals on little hills.

And my car/truck obsessed boy usually makes his broiling pan into a mini construction site.

The texture of choice is always just something we have on hand.  On this day it was polenta and baby rice cereal.  I'd just cleaned out my pantry.  The polenta was outdated, and the rice cereal....well, Kian's WAY too old for it and we honestly never really used it.  We've been known to use salt, flour, powdered sugar, shaving cream, hair mousse, and water for our texture play times.  I've been wanting to set up a tub of beans for them to play in, but Kian still has straight to the mouth tendencies (if you know what I mean) so I think that will have to wait a bit longer.

On this particular day, the kids were extra busy so I buried treasures in each of their pans for added interest.  The older two were told how many buried objects they were to find and that kept them busy for a while.  Once the objects were found, then they went on to their imaginary play with their texture pans.  Kian just got excited when he randomly found new treasures while playing and pouring.