Wednesday, March 30, 2011

welcome warm

They begged for the pool...but since this mommy wasn't willing to get wet yet (I prefer a minimum of 85 degrees and sunny to get in a pool) they settled for this...

 It was time to don the too-small-suits-from-last-year and enjoy the warm weather we have missed so much.   Gotta love Leighton's creamy white thighs.  Somehow they're just not as cute when you are 35.

Monday, March 28, 2011

big girl

A big girl can:
eat snacks at the big kids table
tell you what dogs, owls, cows, and bears say
pick out her own shoes (and velcro them herself)
climb to the top of the high slide and slide down all by herself
tell you when she did a poopoo
ask for juice and milk all day long
lick lollies

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lookie what I found...

I've been on somewhat of a sort through/purge out in the house lately.  Not anything to the level of 40 bags in 40 days but something along those lines.  And I will say that there has been one back-of-the-van-full (because you can't really call it a trunkful right?) of donations so far and there's still more to be dropped off.  Anyway, I was sorting through linens/blankets/comforters/towels and the like and came across this beauty.  It was in a zippered bag inside out so all I could see was white.  I knew that it was a quilt my Grandma had made for me years ago, but I really had no idea what it looked like.  So it was like opening a Christmas present for sure.  And I was thrilled to see what I had been given (again).  All hand embroidered.  12 squares.  And perfect colors for my bedroom.  Thanks again Grandma- I'm sure I said it years ago but it doesn't hurt to say it again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

my powder room

One of my favorite rooms in the house right now is my bathroom.  We didn't do much to it when we moved in- it was one of the rooms that actually had a decent color of paint so we just left it alone.  The only real attention it got was a thorough scrub down and a new shower curtain.  18 months passed and I still hadn't done much more aside from some plain rugs and towels- purely functional at this point.   I guess the hold up was I couldn't really decide what to do with it.  I knew it had to be an extension of the bedroom since it has an open doorway to the vanity area, but since my room was still a work in progress I was kind of stuck.  Finally I made the decision to paint (thanks Brett!) two shades lighter than the bedroom- an light icy blue.  And then the rest started to come together... 
and now I've got to go clean out under both sinks- you wouldn't want a picture of that would you?!?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Leighton has officially entered the world of hair accessories.
She insists on at least one, and prefers as many as 6.
They must be big and bold.
And hold on for all they're worth to a single strand of hair. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cookies and Love

Our church has an amazing ministry that we have been able to be part of for several years now.  Basically a group of men visits a local prison and has the opportunity to present the gospel to the inmates there.  The hook to get the inmates to the service...a dozen homemade cookies.   Now knowing what we know about prison food, its would be hard to find a guy who would refuse homemade cookies.  So, many hopeless and forgotten men have the opportunity to hear about a God who loves and forgives, even them.   The miraculous stories of redemption and reconciliation in the lives of these men always amazes me.  And all because of chocolate chip cookies.

So, Brooklyn and I spent the afternoon baking 48 chocolate chip cookies and making cards to deliver to the prisoners.  Simple cards with simple truths about God's love for them.  She was so excited to make the cards and and one point even said, "Mr. or Mrs. Prisoner is going to love this card!"  
We talked about how all people need to know God's love and forgiveness.  
We talked about how we can be part of bringing hope to people's lives.  
We talked about how Jesus tells us in the Bible that when we visit those in prison, we are actually ministering to Him.
And Brooklyn prayed for the men who would receive the cookies, 
"Dear God, be with the prisoners and turn their hearts to you.  Amen"

Father Daughter Dance- the sequel

This weekend was the acclaimed Father Daughter Dance.  The one the girls have been looking forward to since last year's.  My girls absolutely adore their Daddy and were beyond excited to go with him again.  
They loved all the primping- bubble bath, manicures, and more than 3 second hair styling.  
They loved donning their pantyhose and "Father Daughter dresses".  
I loved that they assumed that you wear the same dress year after year.  
They loved watching Brett get dressed- they were fascinated by the tie tying since its a real rarity around here.
I loved seeing Ellie trying to convince Brett to wear the bright red geranium boutonniere she picked out of the neighbors yard.  
And I especially loved Brooklyns comment when she got home, "They played a Justin "Beaver" song Mom, and I tried to cover my ears but it was hard to dance like that."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

great love

I stumbled across this quote somewhere in blogland and it really struck me.  Struck me enough to want to put it somewhere where I would read and think about it each day.  

As moms, we do hundreds and thousands of small things.  Tying shoes countless times, packing lunches each morning, picking up endless piles of toys, washing and folding the same laundry each week, sweeping the floor multiple times a day...and I could go on forever, literally. We could just think of them as part of the job, our calling as moms and keepers of the house.  Its in the description, so we do it.  Or we could think of them all as acts of love.  Love for the ones who make our house a home, and enrich our lives beyond measure.  

This has given me quite a new perspective on life lately.  I found myself asking myself all day, are you doing this with great love?  Instead of focusing on the often mundane, small tasks of the day, I am viewing them as opportunities to show my love, my great love, for those I truly love the most.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thrift on!

I have a favorite thrift store that I've been going to since my college days, when the only thing I was looking for was old Levis and something to wear to 70s skate night.  My how times have changed.  Anyway, Amvets near downtown San Diego is by far the most well stocked, well organized, and well priced thrift store in the county (that is the trifecta of perfection in thrift stores you know).  A guaranteed find each time.  But as you know, as all thrift stores are, a bit of a hairy ordeal getting in and out.  I'm a major starer, so the thrifting crowd is always a distraction.  And I'm always thinking I'll miss something good, so I have to look at literally everything  there is.  My eyes can't stop roaming and it can be quite overstimulating.  And then top it off by adding three kids to the mix.  I'm a fool for even attempting it I know.  Especially on special sale days.  Last week we went on a "50% off misc. items day" and hadn't been there more than 10 minutes when Ellie broke a ceramic thing (don't ask what it was, the first time I saw it it was already in pieces with a 7.95 price tag trying to hold it all together), tipped over the cart (luckily Leighton wasn't in it at the time), and left the store in hysterics because she didn't want to go home yet.  Yesterday my sister and I braved Amvets with not 3, but 4 children in tow, as well as her being 39 weeks pregnant.  Recipe for disaster.  Other than Leighton fussing the whole time because I wouldn't let her down, it went rather well.  My top three moments were:
#1 Brooklyn saying, "I looooooooove this pace," when we walked in the door and she realized where we were. 
#2 The girls finding an old woman wig and trying it on and giggling their little heads off (don't freak out all you germaphobes, just let tit go, I had to).
#3 Finding these...
a stitchers delight for sure.  Thrift on!

Friday, March 18, 2011

my three girls

I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it and had to make one of my own.  They are my three girls.  I love each of their sweet faces, their long lashes, Ellie's buns, Brooklyn's bent knee.  It reminds me how amazingly special each of my girls are to me.  How precious and unique.  How God created each one of them individually and gave them to me specifically and purposefully.

This was the biggest embroidery project I've ever done and I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  A good friend of mine has been embroidering for a few years now and always told me what a simple craft it is.  You need minimal supplies (she would even bring hers on the plane in a little zipper pouch- smuggling in the scissors of course), minimal work space (your lap) minimal concentration (you can do it and watch the latest episode of The Biggest Looser), minimal funds (33 cents a skein and 50 cents a hoop), and minimal skills (if you can thread a needle, tie a knot, and push it through fabric you are good to go.) I'm hooked.  I'm thinking something along these lines next...think I'm up for it?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Pattys

As a kid, I dreamed about Shamrock Shakes, the ones that make their debut but once a year on that speical Irish holiday.  I think once my mom let go of her extremely healthy family nutrition plan (you know the one where you make your own peanut butter and yogurt and replace all chocolate for carob?) and caved in to our pleas.  So today in honor of Saint Patrick himself, I treated the girls to their very first (but surely not last) Shamrock Shake.  I tried to convince them that leprechauns sneak into McDonald's and make all the shakes green on Saint Patrick's day but they were too smart for that old line.  Leprechauns or not, they sucked those babies down in no time flat.  And I must say they're even better than when I was a kid- topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.  Now that's a Happy Saint Patty's Day for sure.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

like mother, like daughter

just in case you wondered if she's really mine.....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big Bear

We got to take a much needed vacation up to Big Bear this month.  
We arrived at the perfect time with clear roads, plenty of fresh snow, and warm sunshine. 

Our three adorable snowbunnies had a blast...
 eating snow...(and more snow, and more snow, and more snow)

 sledding with mom...(after being forced down the hill and loving it)

bundling up...(and unbundling, and rebundling, and unbundling, etc.)

touching snow for the first time...

 lots of forts and snow ball fights with Dad...

snuggling with mom...(Leighton much preferred this to the snow suit)

playing the official Spross family game "fox and geese"...

enjoying our own personal snow playground and the view from our condo at sunset...

loving the time with our amazing friends (even the pitiful Hand and Foot defeats)...

and just being together making so many  precious memories.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

movie goers

Brett and I got to go see a movie together for the first time in ages.  Seriously, it may have been The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe ages ago.  We've never been big movie people, the tickets have gotten so expensive, and when we have 2 hours alone without the kids, we want to interact, not zone out beside each other.  Anyway we got to see a screening of Soul Surfer (for free!).  Its the story of Bethany Hamilton, the surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack in Hawaii.  Bethany and her family are Christians and the movie does an amazing job of portraying her faith though the incredible challenges of losing her arm.  It was very well done, starring Helen Hunt as the mom who perfectly pulled off the middle aged, slightly leathery with sunbelached hair Hawaiian mom look, Dennis Quaid as the ever-cool surfer dad and super cute Anna Sophia Robb as Bethany.  I would highly recommend you take any teeny boppers you know to see it (instead of seeing J. Bieber of course).

One of the highlights of my night was treating myself to a huge diet coke, popcorn, and milk duds.  We figured since the tickets were free we could drop the big bucks on the food.  Now, I know its been a while since I've been in a theater, and it may have been the unusual crowd at a screening, but is is really okay to bring non-movie theater food into the theater?    I'm not talking about sneaking candy into your purse here.  I'm talking about bringing in a real silverware and a Tupperware of Salisbury steak with gravy.  Or a yoplait yogurt in your insulated lunch bag.  Seems a little weird to me. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And the daffodils look lovely today...

I love spring for lots of reasons (since we've had several very warm days I've now officially declared it spring).  One is flowers.  For sure my faves are raunculas, dahlias, and daffodils.  So in honor of my self pronounced begining of spring I brought home 3 bunches of daffys from Vons this week.  It is so amazing to see how simple green stalks, that could have easily been mistaken for green onions or even asparagus, can turn into these amazingly delicate, simply beautiful flowers. 

Here's 2 views of my spring may notice some differences between the two...same spot, same light, same camera...different lens! You've got to get yourself a 50mm fixed lens if you don't have one for your DSLR.  They aren't expensive and make a world of difference in your photos.   I promise you will love it as much as I do.

50mm fixed 

28-90mm zoom

PS: Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the title of this post and names the song the lyrics come from...

Monday, March 7, 2011

evenings lately

When the 8:00 calm finally hits the house, Brett and I have a little time to unwind. 
For the past several nights unwinding has looked like this...
Brett on mandolin and me on hoop (almost done by the way).  
Which is a drastic improvement from the usual Brett on iphone and me in blog world.

Totally reminded me of this

and this
and since you can't see my face,
you have to assume that I look at him with the same swooning eyes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ree and Me

If you have stepped foot into the blog world you know Ree.  Ree of Pioneer Woman fame.  And if you know Ree, you know her sin-namon cinnamon rolls.  I have indulged in them a few times, but this was the first time they found their way into my very own kitchen. I was making them for our weekend away at Big Bear and my sister's shower this weekend so I needed to freeze them.  You can freeze at several points according to Ree.  I choose to bake them completely and freeze them without frosting.  I then defrosted what I needed in the fridge and warmed them up at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  I also made the frosting ahead of time and froze/defrosted/warmed it.  Worked like a charm.  I won't be saying how may I ate.

 Ree claims she makes a mess every time she makes them, but do you think its this much of a mess?   Its the melted butter ooze factor.  After reading some tips, I tried two methods.  First using softened, not melted butter on the dough.  But the cinnamon and sugar didn't stick together and fell out when I rolled (which was really tricky) and cut them.  Looking like this:

 Wouldn't recommend.

  Then I went with the melted butter, it was much easier to roll/cut and looked like this.
BTW I refrigerated the dough for 2 days before I ever rolled them out-supposedly its easier to work with when its cold.

In the end, they all came out with that amazing melt in your mouth buttery,sugary, best in the world taste.  Thanks Ree.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

On a roll

 Probably not the best week to pick up these...

considering this..
but for $2.95 I couldn't resist.  Thank you Amvets.  

P.S. Stitches out and healing up just fine.  She'll be scooting skating in no time!

Friday, March 4, 2011


My grandma passed away over 13 years ago.  As a young college girl at the time, I had no idea what treasures her house held and how much I would long for them years later.  My mom and aunts went through her things after she passed away making sure each son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild got something special to remember her and Grandpa by.  I am so grateful to have a hand crocheted afghan made especially for me, some old golden books we read together, and this... her China.  I hadn't unpacked the boxes since they were given to me and have moved them around from place to place, often forgetting I even had them.  But I got them out this week and opened the boxes.  Each dish was carefully wrapped in old pattern pieces.  Thinking about her as a young bride-to-be picking out the China pattern, anticipating a life ahead of her and her groom, and then using them for over 50 years to serve others...amazing.