Saturday, October 29, 2011

My year without Facebook

One year ago - on November 1, 2010 - I deactivated my Facebook account.

You can read about it here.

I can say that I am still so happy I made that decision! When I go to Superfranks or the park, I look around and see that almost every parent "present" is on their iPhone. That used to be me. Now, I am totally *mostly* present with my kids as they play, instead of just surfing Facebook to kill time.

One of the reasons I got off of Facebook was because it was such a time-suck for me. Honestly, sometimes I don't like my iPhone (don't tell my Apple-Addict husband!). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it as a phone, map, camera, traffic checker, kid-entertainer, etc. etc. But I don't like how much I use it, still, even after getting off of Facebook. I am on it way less, but still. Sometimes I long for my tiny, boring Nokia days.

That doesn't mean I'm going make a trade though.

Because I would I never again be able to capture this picture of Noah wearing Faith's costume from when she was not even two yet, combined with bony legs.

**full disclosure** I do sneak on to Darren's or Jennifer's FB every now and then to look at pics :)

Friday, October 28, 2011


I love Instafriday so much that it is Thursday afternoon and I'm getting the post ready! I always take pics with my phone, so to be able to make them look cool and share them is awesome :)

The kids hamming it up for Jenny

Faithy: "I can't wait to show daddy that I'm swinging!"
She will actually ask to have her picture taken

Working on transforming Noah's firetruck into an Alameda Sheriff's car - more pics to come on Halloween!

Jeans and leopard print slippers.
Yeah, being a stay-at-home mom pretty much rocks.

Two words: yummy goodness

LOVE LOVE LOVE having a hubby that works from home and can sometimes join me and the kids on a walk to Starbucks. LOVE IT.

Faith wouldn't ride the horses at Del Osso because they didn't "go around and around and around"...
Fortunately the horses at Joan's Farm did so she was happy

Noah and I lost in the corn maze. I really am the worst person to send into that situation! We were at Joan's so it was a smaller maze than the others - which was good.

Noah wanted a pumpkin with round eyes and a jagged mouth. When I was done he said "but it doesn't look how I thought it would... I wanted him to be scary!"
So I offered to give him some mean eyebrows. Mission accomplished. Client satisfied.

Faith wanted her little pumpkin to be a pirate :)
She carried it around for two days until we discovered mouse poop in it from being in front of the house - so now it's an outside pirate.

Officer Noah reporting for duty

life rearranged

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Caramel Apples!

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE being a stay at home-schooling mom? This morning after our first session of school, the kids and I made caramel apples. I have never made them before so I was very excited!

We dipped them in boiling water to remove the wax (mom did this)
The one on the left still has the pretty, shiny wax on it

The assembly line

Ready to dip!

Because we were dealing with hot caramel, I didn't stop to take pictures of the kids dipping, spinning, and coating their apples. But they had a ball :)

The finished product. A few will go to neighbors, one to our UPS guy if he comes, and a couple here for us (who am I kidding, I will be the one eating them probably)

Time to enjoy the results!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vote for Noah!

I entered Noah into the Armstrong & Getty Halloween photo contest - it's a pic from when he was a UPS man :) You can use for Facebook account to vote - so please go vote!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our little singer

Faith decided to serenade everyone in Superfranks with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star :)

Friday, October 21, 2011


Keeping with my new faux-photographer tradition and linking up with Instafriday :)

We went to the kids museum in Sausalito this week. The kids both had a blast, especially since nana and papa were visiting, daddy took the day off, and Jenny joined us

This week also included a trip to Del Osso - they were out of caramel apples (boo!) but I made up for it with fudge (yay!) Here's Faithy after she got locked up for being too cute

The kids enjoying the jumpy houses

Noah on the tower of tires (I suppose that's stating the obvious) ;)

If you are wondering what the most amazing words to hear in the English language are, besides "I love you", they are when your best friend says, "Why don't we get bunk beds for my house" so both kids can enjoy sleepovers there. You can bet we got right on that!

life rearranged

Spiderman, Spiderman.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to my main squeeze!!

A couple of months ago, Noah told me that he wanted dad to have a birthday party with cake, balloons, the works. So yesterday we celebrated Darren with a Raiders Party :) We had the balloons, the cake, and even a couple Raiders themed gifts. And to top it off, Darren got to eat pizza and watch football all afternoon with his parents and friends - what a great idea Noah!

Happy Birthday honey!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My talk during communion at Cornerstone

I have had the tremendous honor to address the congregation at Cornerstone twice in the last few months. I love it! God has been so good... I love to prepare and teach and I have missed it SO MUCH. This was my first talk, just a type of "appetizer" to the main message of redemption in the book of Ruth. I shared a bit about my experience with postpartum depression also, and many women called the church to talk with me and I was able to personally help them through their journey. Now THAT'S redemption.

I spoke this weekend on 1 John, I will post that one when it goes online.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It only takes a minute

I heard Faith giggle yesterday while I was working on a craft with Noah - and looked up to find this. I called for Darren to take a picture while I went for a washcloth.

Fear the beard.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Linking up again for InstaFriday - pics from my iphone fancied up with Instagram :)

Yummy snack for our homeschool lesson on Nest

What happens when you forget that you have your daughter's tiny hairband around your wrist

"Look mommy a shark!"

A craft for our lesson on Apple - a basic family tree :) That's our best friend Jenny hanging from the bottom branch

Noah in our homeschool co-op learning about Mexico - loved the sombreros!

life rearranged

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Newport Beach here we come! Again, and again!

A couple of years ago we took the family to Disneyland and stayed at the Newport Coast Villas in Newport Beach (a Marriott Vacation Club). It was beautiful and we felt so spoiled! It had enough room for all of us and was complete with kitchen, cooking supplies, washer/dryer - everything we needed. The Resort even has a "kids club" for older kids to get involved in.

Darren and I attended one of the meetings you can go to for information on this timeshare. We learned that one week per year at this resort would cost us over $32,000! As persuasive as our little salesperson was, there was no way we were going to do that. God had already been teaching us about debt and only buying things that we could pay for on the spot. But oh, to dream! I could easily imagine us spending a week there every summer with the kids enjoying the beach, the restaurants, the mall, the pools - everything!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago... we were contacted by a friend of ours who had a friend who was looking to sell their timeshare. You can guess by now where it was - Newport Beach! The exact place we wished we could have! And the price? Hold on to your hat. A one time payment of $1,000.00. Yes, one thousand dollars. For a week each summer at this amazing place - for the rest of our lives! We are also able to trade it for a week in one of 50 other locations like Tahoe, Hawaii, or Orlando (can you say DISNEYWORLD?)

We are beyond stoked and giving God all the praise and thanks for such an amazing blessing. We have proven faithful to Him in remaining debt free and following what we feel like He has been teaching us, and I feel like this is just a huge blessing from Him. Thank you God!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You made a WHAT?

Several years ago I made up a word for my husband. Ingenuitous. He is by far the most clever and inventive person I have ever met. I love the way his mind works and how he can take an idea and just make it happen.

A few weeks ago I came into the kitchen to find this - an ice chest, filled with water, with lots of electricity running to and from it. That is the light from the kids playroom. And yes, that is a charcoal starter sticking out of the side.

A peek inside doesn't answer many questions. It's bagged chicken breasts, underwater...

Well it turns out Darren knew what he was doing :) He was working on a prototype for a sous-vide cooker. Sous-vide is french for "under vacuum" and is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight bags in a water bath for a long time. And I must tell you, the final product is seriously the most amazingly moist meat you have ever tasted. We have now had chicken and filet mignon and they are both incredible when cooked this way.

This is Darren's final product. The light lets him know that he is powered up and that his temperature adjustments are actually adjusting.

The charcoal starter is now water-proofed and attached to the bottom. A recycled closet rack now serves as the sous-vide rack.

All of this for about $30. That's a savings of $250 :) Here is one you can find for $299!