school valentines.

 if you asked moses a year ago why he wanted to go to school...he would say "valentines".  he had no idea what valentines day was about...but he liked the idea of getting a mass amount of fun mail.  like mother like son, i guess.  when i saw this idea on [dandee] a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for him to take to his class.  
i got the balls from target for $2 for a pack of 16, in the valentines section. 
the treat bags were $2 (i think) from the party section of target for a pack of 50.

i made the tags in picnik and printed them out on card stock.

i can't wait for him to have his dream come true 
and experience valentines day for himself. :)



i am endlessly fascinated with the old testament.  

i love the new testament as well but i really LOVE reading the old testament.  and the more i read it the more i can see that we are no different than the israelites straight out of egypt.

my bible in a year started over at the beginning of january and now i am in the middle of exodus.  and even though i have read it all before, more times than i can remember, i still get excited with each step, my heart still breaks a little with each disobedient move, i am still in awe of every act God performed to show his power.  

as much as some would love to say that the bible was written for "them, back then", i say nonsense.  how are we any different? 

do we not grumble, in the very face of tremendous blessings? 
do we not judge the actions of others based on what we can SEE with our eyes? 
do we not long for the comfort of "back then, when things were normal, if not uncomfortable".
do we not puff ourselves up to believe that if WE had seen the things that God had done then, that we would behave any differently today?

we are one in the same.  a group of humans bound to sin in the very face of God.  we may want to think that we are better, or more civilized or less likely to be so obnoxious.  but if anything, i believe we are worse off.  

our society has widened the gap of what is acceptable by such a drastic amount that we are calling evil good and good evil.  we close our eyes to wrongs to not offend any earthly person, when we should really be more concerned with the One most offended.  we tell ourselves that "it doesn't effect my life so why should i care"...when the truth is that each and every sin blackens the horizon just a bit.  

i kind of believe that things will continue to get worse...the good will get harder to find on this earth...the evil things will continue to dominate more and more and that those of us trying to push our way towards God will have to work all the harder for it. 

but even all of that i think God can use to his good...imagine things on earth getting so dark, that when we finally get to heaven, we are so blinded by the light that it rocks us back on our feet.  just like when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning and turn on a light first thing, your eyes are almost in pain from the brightness of it all.  the darkness will be so seared onto our brains that we will never forget it.  

maybe this present day earth is our second chance at exodus, that right now, our slavery is being bound to a society that is ever hungry for more...that our land of milk and honey will be the earth as God intended it in the first place.  maybe this time we will remember and be obedient and never forget all the good that God did.  that we will say thank you, thank you, thank you.  and never again say "but what have you done for me today?"

regardless...that is my goal for life right now.  in this moment.  to just say "thank you, thank you, thank you".  and live in the knowledge that i have already been given far far more than i deserve. 

happy monday. xo

feel free to add your two cents.  i would love to hear it. :)

around here.

this has been our life the last two days.  
we *think* it has passed...and we will spend today building them back up with all they can eat applesauce, bananas, rice and toast.  

i am suddenly way more thankful for all the times my husband is home while the boys are's been a whole different ball game without him here.

i am thankful that God never gives us more than we can handle. 

i am thankful that this is the worst we have to deal with in terms of sickness...when my boys are sick like this it makes me remember and pray for those who deal with things far worse than a stomach flu.

i am thankful that my job is AT HOME.  and i never have to worry about calling in sick to stay home to take care of my boys when they need me. 
i am thankful for a washing machine, nick jr and pixar. 

i am thankful for all the changes occurring in my life right now.  whether i understand them or not...i know that they are God's plan for us...and THAT is something to be excited about.   and i can't wait to share them all with you here...when the time is right.

i am thankful for a slow, cozy weekend. 


20 minute crafter. freezer paper stenciling.

 have you done this yet?  you should.  and you can.  and it requires no sewing whatsoever.
 here is what you need:
freezer paper (not wax or parchment) 
i found mine at giant for about $3.75 for 75ft
surface that you want to stencil on
image that you want to use as a stencil
(for this example i googled an image of a dinosaur and printed it out on cardstock--if you have a cricut you can cut your freezer paper out right on the cricut!)
fabric paint
foam brush
 cut your stencil out...and trace it onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper...
OR cut your image out via cricut with the shiny side on the cricut mat.
 cut out the interior image...the outside of the image will be your stencil.
 iron onto your stenciling surface with a hot DRY iron, shiny side down.  be sure to get all the edges.
 before you start a piece of cardboard behind the surface you are painting to prevent bleeding onto the back of the shirt/bag/etc.  start with a light can always add more paint but you can't take it away...and if you use TONS of paint it may bleed. 
 add as much or as little paint as you would like...i was going for a vintage-y kind of look for this shirt.
when you are done, gently peel the paper up...and let dry.  

ta-da!!!  easy, quick and simple!

imagine all the possibilities...bags, pillows, shirts, bibs, etc. :)

have fun!

right now. part two.

 here's the rest of our house right now...this is aaron's room.
it has a loosely vintage new york theme.  specifically yankees baseball.

 this is the master bedroom.
 it kind of has a soft modern-vintage feel to it.  i love the mismatched lamps (from target).
i read some decorator say that you should never have photos of your children in your bedroom.  i completely disagree.  to us, they are further motivation and reminder of why we work so hard at keeping our marriage wonderful.
 i love my cheaty quilt. and my jars of shells from each beach i've been to.
 and the main bathroom...not too exciting.  but crisp and clean just the same.
just some tiny pops of color.  i made the shower curtain and we redid the floors since living here.

you can see moses' room over HERE.

thanks for lookin'. :)

right now.

 something just struck me.  the light was hitting the kitchen and windows just right.  filling the house with the beautiful early morning golden sun.  and i wanted to remember it all as it was.  no cleaning up first or making things just so...i wanted to remember everything the way it was right now.  
 our landing zone just inside the back door...featuring my anniversary gift and hoho in the background.
 the view from the kitchen. my new chairs make me smile.
 i love this spot.  this sunshine.  those curtains.
 the preferred method for watching TV.  in his snowpants.  aka "fireman suit".  that he has worn on top of his clothing for more days than i can count.  we haven't had snow for weeks.
 my station.  my pile of ironing in the corner.  my new sewing machine.  i never told you that i took back my other new one and upgraded again to the viking sapphire 835.  i just wasn't gelling with the other one.   
 my favorite photo collages of the boys that i do every year.  reminds me that a year goes by in a heartbeat.  way too fast.  i have a four year old and a nearly two year old.  crazy.

my minimal valentines day decor.  pompom fringe and vintage valentines. 

back to cleaning.  happy friday!

no really, i'm not crazy.

(image via MaryKateMcDevitt)

i've been busy.  we don't have news yet...but you can pray for saturday at 4pm if you like. 
while i'm still not ready to spill the details i will tell you some of the things i have done in the last week or so...

in no particular order:
painted moses' room
painted all the trim in the house
painted five doors
i mean six
patched a hole in drywall
and painted it
painted the attic door
replaced the pull on the attic door
re-glued a piece of trim
deep cleaned the fridge
and the dishwasher
and the washer
and dryer
re-caulked the tub
fixed a blemish in the porcelain sink
organized the pantry
the entertainment center
the linen closet
my craft closet
moses' closet
doug's closet
aaron's closet
cleaned up the patio
touched up paint in both bathrooms
and my room
and moses' room
and aaron's room
painted the railing upstairs and down
re-upholstered two chairs
kept up with custom orders
and made dinner most nights
and a dessert for doug to take to work monday.
and took moses to school
and wend to church
and did 90% of our taxes
and prayed
a lot
i'm sure i'm forgetting something.

and tomorrow i will be up to my elbows in cleaning products.
this time tomorrow my house will be perfect. 
no really.
and then i need to take my kids somewhere so it stays that way for as long as it needs to.

and the very best part is that no matter what happens.  we will be ok.  either something awesome will happen...or my house will be in the best shape that it has been in the four years we have lived here.

and spring is only 58 days away.  

re-upholstery a la glue gun.

 if you are a "real" re-upholstery may want to avert your eyes.  this is a redo whilst making do with what I had on hand.  though...i may be willing to bet you that you can't tell the difference once you are sitting...  
 here's a before, next to an in progress chair.  we went to visit our uncle b last weekend and i kindly stole acquired these from his garage.  he thought the red was just fine.  i thought so too.  if i were going to put them in a dental office...they had a goodwill sticker on them of a whopping $5 each.  
 i did not take off the red before i put on the houndstooth.  i took one look at the bagillion staples and just had a feeling that my patience would not tolerate the removal of so many staples.  the fabric i used is upholstery weight so you can't tell...and because i didn't start from scratch...i had to use a glue gun in some places...once i stapled where i could.  
 my favorite part may be the part you never see...a fun fabric covering the bottoms.  
it's fun just knowing it's there. 
i'm pretty pleased with my unconventional re-upholstery style.  :)

the perfect rawr!

video I know I have left you all hanging on a lot of big issues that are going on in my life right stuff...Doug's job stuff...etc.  And as much as I want to spill IT ALL right now...I can't. 

I am waiting on the Lord to answer us a few questions...I would imagine that we would know more about our life in a week or so...then I can tell you about all of the ups and downs in full detail. 

In the meantime, there is something potentially BIG on the horizon.  If I could post it all here and beg your prayers I would...but I don't feel like I can.  So if you feel pressed to pray for me...just email me and I can fill you in that way.  Or you can just pray for God's will and peace for us. 

And while you can enjoy our little hoho.  Who has the perfect roar.

This video pretty much sums him up...supremely sweet and impish.   

an ode to my favorites.

(aaron's "cheese" face) 
the blog world has so many beautiful people out there. 

i love blogging because in some small way it takes us back to the days when you knew all your neighbors...shared ideas with them, resources, time, etc...where you looked out for each other.  where you brought out each others best and picked each other up when they were down. 

i thought i would take some time to share with you some of the people in my neighborhood.  
in no particular order.  

most of you probably already know meg.
she is happy.  has a great knack for decorating her beautiful home.  and is successfully raising teenagers.  if you haven't should go.  she has great recipes and nice eye candy.  her
 potato soup is now in my regular rotation of recipes. i wish we were real life friends.    

and if you know meg, you probably know julie. 
julie seems to have an abundance of friends.  all over the country.  her home is beautiful and she has an all around beautiful heart.  she builds wells for the poor in Africa in her spare time.

heather. heather is a real live doll.  i am pretty sure she is the sweetest person i have never met.  she has a way with vintage and a faith in Jesus that is abundantly apparent in how she handles tragedy.  i would take her as a neighbor any time.
and next is sara.  sara is a wonderful photographer and graphic designer extraordinaire.  if she ever goes out of business i will be that person that emails her every Christmas begging her to just do my card.  she is down to earth, a woman who handles a lot on her plate and gets stuff done...a woman after my own heart. 

then there is tara.  beautiful. photography.  beautiful person.  i don't know tons about her.  but her photo skills will knock your socks off. 

cathe.  creative uses for vintage items.  her imagination fascinates me.  the way she can see beauty in so many items is something i wish i was better at.   

that's just a few...maybe i will do another installment of neighbors again soon...hope there are some new blogs there for you to love. :)


gag me with a spoon.

*a warning to gaggers...i talk about vomit in this post*
some parenting lessons i seem to need to learn every so often. 

one of those, in this house, is to not make my kids eat things they don't want or like. 
it always, always ends in vomit.  

i know, i know.  that sounds like a terrible parenting philosophy.  but hear me out. 

i have gaggers.  three of them.  i'm not one of the three.  both of my boys have been gaggers since birth.  with Moses, since the beginning of his eating life he would gag.  if i was feeding him apples and peas and switched between the two without him knowing about it...he would gag.  

finger too far down his throat...gag.  
seeing someone else gag...gag.  
a fleck of dust in his mouth...gag.
being forced to eat anything...whether he likes it or not...gag. 
laughing too hard...gag. 
running too much...gag.  

i kid you not.

and before you think it, it's not an act.  it's a genuine "thing".  it has always been there.   they inherited it from someone whose testimony i can trust.
every time my kids get sick...there is vomit involved...whether or not there are stomach issues involved in the sickness...the sheer act of being ill flips the gag switch.

if aaron starts to gag we pretty much have to RUN moses out of the room.  or else.

i think my niece threw up for the first time at two.  years.  moses was at two.  days.
i am a pro-haz mat cleaner.  doug bathes and i'm the clean up crew.

in general my boys eat really healthy.  they eat a pretty good breakfast and a pretty good lunch.  and generally that is because those things i make to cater to what they want.  

dinner is something else.  in general our rule is, eat what is served you, or don't eat until breakfast.  

and that rule works well until i get in the way.  and every time i get in the ends in vomit. 

and then i get annoyed at myself for throwing aside a really good family policy because deep down i am worried that someone will hear that my kids rarely eat much of a dinner and label me a failure as a parent.  but even further down deeper than that...i KNOW that they will not go to college living on a diet of oatmeal, yogurt and milk.  

to's way more more important to have a happy, peaceful family time at meals.  i care more about what goes in their hearts than what goes in their mouths...because i know that they eat healthy for the other two meals.  

i know that in general they eat well and are healthy kids. 

even if the only vegetable that Moses will eat willingly is a cucumber.   

this is my reminder to stick to what I KNOW works for MY family and to not be influenced my the "other mom's phenomena".  

yes, it is great that your kids will eat a 100% raw diet, or that they love sushi, or that you only eat organic, hand caught grapes (because picking them would be unfair to the grapes life cycle).  i truly love that your kids love vegetables or beg for whole grains.  

but i am telling you, you put a couscous on my boys' tongue, you better be wearing a plastic parka.

when unclothed is unfitting.

This was one of my devotionals this morning...I agree 100%...I love how John Piper can say things in a way that I think....but could never get on paper as well. 

When Unclothed is Unfitting-Thoughts on Selling with Sex
 John Piper
Jonathan Edwards once said that godly people can, as it were, smell the depravity of an act before they can explain why it evil. There is a spiritual sense that something is amiss. It does not fit in a world permeated with God.

Ephesians 5:3 says that some things "are not fitting" among saints." "Fitting-ness" is not always easy to justify with arguments. You discern it before you can defend it. That's good, because we have to make hundreds of choices every day with no time for extended reflection.
But from time to time we need to pause and give rational, biblical expression why something is not fitting. Some years ago I came to that point when, week after week, a local newspaper put scantily clad women on the second page of Section A in order to sell underclothes. I wrote a letter to the paper with nine reasons why they should stop using this kind of advertising.
Perhaps my reflections will help you deal with the hundreds of abuses of God's good gift of sexuality in our culture. Here is what I wrote.
As a 14-year subscriber and reader of the [name of paper omitted], I am writing to express the persuasion that your sexually explicit ads that often turn up in Section A are increasingly offensive and socially irresponsible. I mean that the effectiveness of catching people's attention by picturing a woman in her underclothes does not justify the ads. The detrimental effects of such mercenary misuse of the female body are not insignificant. The harm I have in mind is described in the following nine persuasions.
1.     This woman could not go out in public dressed like that without being shamed or being mentally aberrant. Yet you thrust her out, even in front of those of us who feel shame for her.

2.     This portrayal of a woman sitting in her underclothes at a table with a cup of tea disposes men to think of women not as persons but mainly in terms of their bodies. It stimulates young boys to dwell on unclothed women's bodies and thus lames their ability to deal with women as dignified persons. I have four sons.

3.     The ad stimulates sexual desire which in thousands of men has no legitimate or wholesome outlet through marriage. In other words, it feeds a corporate, community lust that bears no good fruit outside marriage, but in fact many ills.

4.     The ad makes sensibilities callous so that fewer and fewer offenses against good taste feel unacceptable, which spells the collapse of precious and delicate aspects of personhood and relationships.

5.     The ad makes thousands of women subconsciously measure their attractiveness and worth by the standard of rarefied, unrealistic models, leading to an unhealthy and discouraging preoccupation with outward looks.

6.     The ad feeds the prurient fantasies of ordinary men, lodging a sexual image in their minds for the day which can rob them of the ability to think about things greater and nobler than skin.

7.     The ad condones the proclivity of males to mentally unclothe women by reminding them what they would see if they did, and by suggesting that there are women who want to be publicly unclothed in this way. This reminder and this suggestion support habits and stereotypes that weaken personal virtue and jeopardize decorous relationships.

8.     The ad encourages young girls to put excessive focus on their bodies and how they will be looked at, adding to the epidemic of depression and eating disorders.

9.     The ad contributes to dissatisfaction in men whose wives can't produce that body and thus adds to the instability of marriages and homes.
I realize that the bottom line is big bucks for page two, and lots of attention for [name of department store omitted]. But please know that at least one assessment of your standards of fitness for print is that it is part of a tragic loss of modesty and decency that may, for now, feel like mature liberation, but in generations to come will reap a whirlwind of misery for all of us.

what i wish. num 17.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #17: 

What I wish I could tell you is that I dont know what I should do.
I realized we dont want the same things anymore. Maybe we never did. Maybe we were so excited about the idea of moving forward that we never looked very closely. I dont know if we have anything in common. I dont know if I can live each day knowing that I have to sacrifice all of the things I want and have so many expectations put on me.
I want to live in new york. You dont, and you think I want to live there because it is where she lives, but it isnt. It is where I feel the most like myself. I never wanted ot move away, but I was too young to make that choice, and I want to go back. I hate this house and this nowheresville town we live in. I hate having to drive 20 minutes to get anywhere and I hate being in a place where there is no culture. You love new york. It feels like you only say never to hurt me. I would settle for a 'maybe someday', but you wont even let me have my dreams.
I want to travel. Not just to see your parents in middle america- but to see the world. I want to go to Egypt. It has been my dream since I was 10. You have made it clear that you will never go. You have said you will not be OK with me going alone or with friends. I would never keep you from something that would so easily make your dreams come true.
I want to foster parent and adopt. Im not saying I wont put myself through the torture of fertility treatments so that we can try to have our own baby- but I feel so strongly that my children are already out there waiting for me, and you tell me that you would never even consider it. You say horrible things about these children, who I already work with and love. Dont you see how we can offer these kids a chance? They are good and caring and lost and alone. THey dont act that way because they are bad, but because they have nothing worth trying for. Im not saying I cant be flexible on age, or even that it has to be one of the kids I work with. I know you want to be a dad to little ones, but what is wrong with 6 or 7? What If my condition prevents us from EVER having a baby? will you change your mind?
I want to celebrate christmas. I realize we are not christian, but I want to and have always wanted to. I want so much to put up a tree and sing christmas carols, and go to christmas plays, and wake up on christmas morning that It hurts. Every year it hurts more. I KNOW you feel the same, and have since you were little. But, you say that your family would never understand. Why cant you see that I am your family too?
I want a day, just one, where I dont feel like I am under your thumb. Where I dont feel obligated to give in to your insane neediness and constantly rub your shoulders or cuddle. I need space. I want one day where I can purchase something small without getting the third degree. We are very comfortable, and I work too and feel I should have the freedom to purchase these things without explaining myself. I also wish I could have a day where you did not constantly comment on my salary or the fact that I love what I do and dont have plans to make more money in the future. You call it having no goals. I call it contentment. I have lots of goals- you just dont share any of them.
I am not happy. But, I love you. I dont know what I should do.

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.

happy anniversary.

today is my five year wedding anniversary.  
i have been blessed enough to be married to the type of man 
that i didn't know existed before i met him. 
he has shown me that marriage should be a JOY, a PARTNERSHIP and the most trusting and wonderful relationship that you can know on Earth. 

before i met Doug, i was resolved to grow into a lonely old cat lady, because i thought that life would be far better than being married.  i really had NO idea that marriage could be so wonderful.  i had no intimate example of a beautiful marriage...just little glimpses into others. 

Doug is the most wonderful man that you could ever meet.  he is kind and generous and hardworking.  we have 100% trust in each other.  we are best friends.

he makes me want to be a better person...a more patient, more hardworking, more generous person.  

if he ever went away i would just die.  so we have a deal, i get to go to Jesus at least one day before him...because i don't want to know what life is like on this Earth without that man of mine. 

happy anniversary honey!  now that we've gotten all the hard stuff out of the way (having babies, buying a house, moving to a new city, career changes, etc) let's see how much fun we can pack into the next five years? dealio.  dealio. 


working. thinking. pondering.

 well the short story is that the realtor assessed our home at a pretty good price (which we like) but then he recommended that we sell it at a significantly less price (which we are not a fan of).  
so we are trying to decide what to do from we scrap the idea and just resolve to live here for another six months, year, two years? and do all the projects that we would love to do here.  do we list it for sale at the price we would want to get for it?

it seems like an enormous decision...that i don't feel at all qualified to make.  but the good news is, that either way, i feel ok about it.  whichever decision we make will be a good one.  but as i have told my husband, moving, at this point, would be a lot less work, and maybe cheaper too...because i have big plans for making this house work its hardest for us.  

so we shall see...
in the mean time, i am working away on some new things for the shop...a couple of wreaths, a cute canvas and some red fur valentine hoho's.  :)

we are just praying for God's will to become apparent to us...and we are asking a lot of questions to everyone we, do you owe a realtor money if your house doesn't sell?  how hard is it to install a new backyard fence? (eric you want to come down for a weekend to help with that one? :) how hard is tile to lay?  etc...

more waiting and pondering...but this time with a lot less emotion attached. :)
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