Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Keeping ourselves occupied.

With all the rain you have to find lots & lots of indoor things to do!  When mama's legs are just too tired for more superman it's time to get creative......
Who knew that laundry baskets are so much fun? WE knew! They are the best, a basketball hoop, a soccer goal....a "boat"..... 
 Judah said this was their motorcycle.
And a cage......

 Or you stack pillows and bury your face in them (???)
 And then you get your one glove, your transformer's hat, your rifle & your Gideon torch and run around the house like you're in charge....

Now this one, all she wants to do all day is ride on my foot while I pump my leg up & down (like I used to make my parents do for hours when I was little). 
I told Guillermo and Quinn to smile and this is what I got from Quinn. 
Judah laughed & shouted, Quinn, what was that face?? And Quinn said, "What did I look like?" Judah hit it out the park:
Here's Judah imitating Quinn's fake smile. Lol.

Even Vivi thought that was hilarious!
Ok, I HAVE to post this picture of Guillermo's boots. They are SO HUGE.
They are men's size 15. I put my foot so you could compare them to something and keep in mind I wear a woman's size 10!!!! Lol.
I was so excited to be able to take pictures of Beth to memorialize her 4th pregnancy. 
 She looks SO AMAZING!


We are SO excited for VanHouten boy #4 and can't wait for his arrival!!

I'll leave you with the funniest video of Quinn. If you know Quinn, you know he is my drama king.  He'll cry at a drop of a hat and in two seconds be laughing hysterically. Apparently this is how I was as a kid too.  You can see the drama unfold.  (and please notice at the end that Vivi acknowledges that she ate the donut, but no, it was not good. That silly girl).

Friday, July 26, 2013

All the little things.....

A week ago today a family in Hanahan lost everything to a fire. The family has 2 young kids and I've been visiting my favorite store (community thrift) to see how far my dollar can stretch for clothes & toys for these kiddos. As I'm shopping I'm praying, God guide me to the outfits that were just like the little girls favorite clothes she lost, or the little boys favorite toys, because wouldn't that be so special to have your FAVORITE things replaced in your life if you were to lose everything?
So last night as Guillermo & I did a great clean-up of our laundry room which is our makeshift-everything storage room- since we have no garage (just a small shed that's filled to the brim) and I was thinking- the things that are my FAVORITE in my house are the little & silly things & basically irreplaceable things! Everything else could be purchased again on Craigslist, just as it was once before. But these things if gone, are gone forever.
2 paintings from our family, a plaque from Puerto Rico from my parents & the sweetest poem from Judah's daycare teachers years ago. Now granted these things are in my laundry room because they don't quite match the house d├ęcor in other rooms, BUT they make me so happy and I feel special to have a "piece" of my family in the form of art.
 And this amazing little painting I got from our cruise - to remind me of the ten days I spent with my family.  The best vacation I've had in my adult life....
 All the pictures I've blown up on my gallery wall, such as this picture of my Grandpa Max with the last remaining license plates he needed for his license plate collection. My family is a bunch of weird collectors and this picture reminds me not only of him, but my whole Sherman/Rushbrook/Teague family and my days at the lake at my Grandpa Max and Grandma Vivian's house- which happen to be my happiest childhood memories- my whole family going to their house.
All of my favorite kids! And specifically my three kids birth announcements. I remember creating these announcements with such joy & pouring over their baby pictures just marveling in the joy of new baby-ness.

 Those amazing finds you find for a few dollars at a thrift store, or garage sale or flea market that are too cool for school and you feel like you hit the bargain jackpot!
This amazing artwork by Quinn (1 at the time) and Judah (2 at the time).

My special stacking dolls from Europe, a sweet surprise from my sweet mother in law.
It's easy to get caught up to think it'd be so nice to have this, or that, but at the end of the day those aren't the things that make you happy. Or that you're so sad when they're gone- it's this stuff. The crazy, the eccentric, the weird. The 6 year old birth announcement. The first framed art your child brought home..... and things are put back into perspective.
The family that lost everything could use any donations if you have anything you're looking to get rid of anyways. They are currently looking for a new place to move into, so once they get that they'll need household items. Until then if you have any of these clothes you'd like to donate I can coordinate to pick them up from you.
Mens size XL shirt/ size 34 pants.  Womens size L shirt/size 12/14 pants, size 8 shoes.  Boys size 18 months, size 4 diapers and girls size 7/8 shirts/pants, size 13 shoe.
Thank you so much!
And the poem above that Judah's old daycare teacher gave me is the best reminder about what is most important in life.... ALL of the small things that sometimes we're too busy to remember.
 Every single mama should have this on her wall:
Mothers Pondering
My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed.
I took his hand and followed
where his eager footsteps led.
oh yes, we went adventuring,
my little son and I....
exploring all the great outdoors
beneath the summer sky.
We waded in a crystal stream,
we wandered thru a wood.
My kitchen wasn't swept today,
but life was rich and good.
We found a cool, sun-dappled glade,
and now my small son knows
how mother bunny hides her nest,
where Jack-in-the-Pulpit grows.
We watched a robin feed her young
we climbed a sunlit hill...
saw cloud sheep scamper thru the sky,
we plucked a daffodil.
That my house was neglected,
and I didn't brush the stairs,
in twenty years no one on earth will know
or even care.
But that I've helped my boy
to noble manhood grow
in twenty years the whole wide world
may look and see and know
Author unknown

Monday, July 22, 2013


Last week I was S-I-C-K.  I had the flu, strep throat, a UTI and became severely dehydrated. Definitely felt like I was hit by a bus... an IV and many meds later I'm on the other side, thank you God!
While I was holed up there was a lot of this....

And a LOT of this.....

The moment the boys decide they want to play Hulk or watch Hulk, off comes the shirts.
Quinn kept me smiling all week long, he's full of stories! And ideas, like "MOM!!! I have a gweat idea! I think we should put peanut butter all over our hands and go roll around in the dirt outside so we can be like that brown guy on The Avengers.  That's a gweat idea, wight Mama? I WEALLY WEALLY WANNA DO IT!"

Judah was my only child, by the grace of God, that caught my strep throat and he just wanted to snuggle with me and everyday he'd ask me how I'm doing. I just want to eat him up!

Don't you try to take away Vivi's green "baby doll" that has glowing green eyes & roars really loudly!

You know, you gotta teach the important things, like teaching your little girl how to roar like Hulk.
Speaking of roaring like Hulk, in my dream last night I was protecting Judah from these teenage bullies who knocked him off his bike. I turned into Optimus Prime and was roaring as loud as I could in my dream. Let me reiterate. I turned into Optimus Prime.  Ummm, I think this mama has been forced to watch WAY too much "the Hub" TV.
The boys were thrilled that Iron Man & Hulk got "close ups".....

I'm going to start calling this girl bucket head. As often as possible she puts whatever is around over her head and walks around bumping into stuff laughing....

 It's amazing how productive Guillermo can be when I'm stuck on the couch and can't make grandiose plans to go to 18 playgrounds & sprinklers on the weekend! :)

I'm so glad I caught Vivi's little shuffle. She's my dancing queen, and literally dances ALL DAY LONG. It's like an alternating arm raise the roof and rocking back and forth.  Hilarious.
It's GOOD to be back in the land of the living! No more crud!

 It was the sweetest thing on the way home from church last night there was this HUGE rainbow! And from my calculations from this picture, the other end of the rainbow should've been my house. Maybe it'll be my lucky week!  :) Hope your week is blessed too!

Monday, July 15, 2013

One wet summer.

The ironic thing about our summer is that it's pretty much rained EVERY stinkin' day of it. And when it hasn't rained, we find the closest sprinkler/ pool/ mud puddle to jump in. Makes sense, right? :)

Random weekend photo & confession.  We totally ATE DINNER at a gas station this weekend. Gmo is obsessed with the new gas station Spinx by his work and said we HAD to have their fried chicken. At least their banner was beautiful against the brilliant blue skies! And the chicken was pretty slammin' but I still think that's sort of like hitting an all new dining low. LOL.
Sprinkler park #1

All three kids - looking at the camera and smiling! Is it for real? Maybe it's because they're half zombie after running around in the water & heat?
Dunna Dunna Dunna Dunna Bat-Girl.

 Sprinkler #2

 The 2 fearless ones and my little apprehensive one.... 
 Yea, ummmm, not sure about this one....

It's all good Mama- just keep me on the edge.....

Or, I'll just stay here safe in my Daddy's arms......

We also got to see our favorite softball team play the state tournament this weekend.... 

It was all good until the walk back and I realized what was missing off Vivi's foot.  As a single mama Saturday morning while G was working,  ain't no one got time to walk ALL the way back thru the massive park to find that flip flop toting 2 tired toddlers, 1 28 lb "baby", a 10 lb backpack and a 4 lb purse. Oh well. :(
Look! It's Spiderman & Emperor Palpatine! (ok, so it's a Ben10 towel, but doesn't Quinn look like the Emperor?)

Viviana and her BFF, her Papa.

 And instead of napping during naptime, someone decided to play beauty shop in her crib and pour half of the bottle of product on her hair and "brush" it the whole time....
So that someone got shower/bath number #3 of the day before church!
Apparently wet hair is the new "do" around the Soler household!