The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


Back to School

After all the unpacking (ok, there is still more to do) we are finally able to enjoy the fruits of our my labor in the school room!  School has started!  Last week I took three days to go over expectations, schedule stuff, and have some fun.  It was relaxing and engaging.  Chiara and Mayah know the routine and other than some new curriculum for them to learn they could jump right in.  It was important and essential to talk with them alone about the example they set for the younger two.

I am excited to be typing this out after a successful first day...and it is only 1:00pm!  Our goal is to begin each day at 8:30am, but my girls were ready and working before 8am!  Chores were completed, devotions read, and each one was working on their Daily Notebooks.  I was in shock, but pleasantly so. It worked out for the best because I was able to take their "first day of school" photos before we began Bible. I had a new technique I wanted to try and this was the perfect setting to do so! For more of me photography you can check out my website or Facebook page.
This was my first time teaching three different grade levels.  As much as people think that teaching in the public schools helps me as a home school mom it really does not.  Thirty children of the same age and similar abilities is vastly different from three completely different grade levels, and don't forget about the sweet three year old who craves attention all day.

Things went fairly smoothly.  I truly enjoy our Bible time together each morning.  Emma has the most to say during this time, but we let her talk because I want to embrace her love for Jesus.  Of course it annoys her sisters when she interrupts, but a built-in lesson in patience is perfect when growing up in a house with four girls! We are using Grapevine Studies again and I love that everyone can participate in the lesson.  We finish up our study on Jesus this week and then we will begin a study on the Old Testament.

The three "big" girls are using a program called Mango to learn Spanish this year.  It is conversational and all on the computer.  Oh yeah, and it's FREE through our public library!  It was hilarious listening to them go through their lesson this morning.  While the three girls work on Spanish I get 30 minutes of time with Emma.  Advice from my wise mentor.  The little one gets Mommy was great!  We worked on a nursery rhyme activity from a  printable I have.  It was Jack and Jill.  Lots of coloring and talking.  We did ordering and using a glue stick appropriately.  All the while she was having fun and my attention.  Her photo this morning says "1st Day of Kindergarten", but I do not have a preschool one and really she will do about two years of Kindergarten work anyway.  Being the fourth she is already ahead of where I would expect any child her age to be!

When Spanish is completed I turned into a human pinball machine!  Today will not be the norm, but I was needed to help with logins and workload for Spelling and Mayah just started Teaching Textbooks so she wanted a little direction.

Leah gets the majority of my direct teaching because we started her with First grade curriculum this year.  She basically taught herself to read this summer so it seemed redundant to use a Kindergarten curriculum.  Today was an easy day for her.  She was nervous this morning about how long the day would be, but after we were done she said it was fun.  Score!  It should be fun.

Mayah asked me to write a plan for her to read the Frozen Junior Novel, so I did.  Chiara is starting the classic Treasure Island.  They are doing Language Arts together this year.

It was the first day so work was short and "easy".  As it should be the first day.  Chiara and I consulted her math text book and we decided together to change her plan up for the first couple of chapters because it is all review and math is her strongest subject.  I know she will need the time to devote to reading and writing right now anyway.

I have a few things I may tweek, but all-in-all it was a great first day back to school.  I am just over the moon that I can stay home and teach these smart, funny, and inquisitive girls!  Now, off to the gym for a good run!


My new closet

I never knew I could get so excited over a closet, but I am!!! It has been an amazing transformation! Not even recognizable from when we first viewed this house with our agents.
I had a vision when I walked into this house and I just love seeing one project get there!!!! The system we used is by closetmaid at Home Depot. Middle if the road for in store pricing...certainly more than a wire rack system but completely worth it. I believe the entire closet, which is approximately 5 ft by 13 ft, cost under $700!!!! The system we had quoted was over $3,300 so we certainly made the right decision!!! 
Two final pieces will be a full length mirror on the wall and a gun safe in the corner. 
Check out some befores and the after:
We had no idea the rack was being held up bc there was so much stuff blocking it! Seriously, a vision!
David demoing...which is when we decided to take everything out, have it re textured and painted!!! 
So pretty!!!!


Hard work pays off!

Some how I deleted a post about my fitness from a year ago. Bummer. I can remember how excited I was to see a big difference in one year. 
Since then I have taken up running and I am truly enjoying the classes I take at lifetime fitness! I have met really encouraging people and their friendships mean so much to me! 
I am not quite where I want to be but each day I get closer! I never thought I would enjoy working out but I do!!!! Even better than how I feel is what it is teaching my girls! Fitness is a part of their day too! We can talk about being fit not skinny and making healthy choices when eating. My hope is that they won't hit 30 and realize how out of shape they are! Instead, they would have fitness and exercise be part of their life.
Here's to continued transformation in 2014!!


Making the old new

If you have been on Pinterest at all you have probably seen how many people are painting their cabinets in lieu of buying new ones. It is not difficult just time consuming and a bit lengthy. We do not have a large kitchen so painting them white would open the space up and we thought it would look great with our new GE slate colored appliances!
David borrowed a paint sprayer fro a friend to make painting the cabinet doors quicker and easier. 
Painting the cupboard part was easy. Even after a couple coats of primer we could see and feel the difference! It just felt cleaner!! Of course the yellow wall color was really showing. 
Primed and ready to be sprayed! 
Sexy sprayer guy!!! Of course we are doing this in over 100 degree heat!!!!
Let's not forget all new hardware! The original style....yes original to the not made any longer because it is over thirty years old, so we bought hinges and knobs we liked but it meant drilling all new holes! It was a two night process interrupted by David traveling for work!
The results were great!!! This is a photo taken after we hung only what is seen here. Notice we were still without a full size fridge!!! 
Gorgeous!!!  Even better when David was able to get the microwave up!!!! All just in time for a special princess birthday party!!!! 
Yup, love it!!!! 


The other side of Craigslist

We sold a ton of things via Craigslist when we knew we were purchasing this home. Some were because we knew the item would not fit but most because we really did not have a need for it.
The only items that invoked an emotional response were the baby items and the living room tables. Neither made me cry but it was a clear moment if change of seasons. The baby stuff is more obvious but David and I had picked those tables for his house in michigan about 14 years ago. I was happy to see them go because I am done with kid fingerprinted glass, but it was a realization of how time flies!
Anyway I went on Craigslist to find a nook table so the girls did not have to keep eating in the dining room. 
I wanted a round top, preferably white, NO glass, and cheap! Found it!!! It eill certainly suit our needs for sometime!!!


Frozen...and not the cute Disney movie

After a very long day of moving we thought it would be fun to take a dip in our new pool! The girls were not here so we could just enjoy it together.

My toes told me otherwise, but David insisted that if I just went under it would be better. I did, he dove and we both froze!!! With no sun warming us it was just cold.

We laughed and then agreed to get out! It was worth it for the memory. I love this guy and look forward to warmer night dips for years to come!!!


Let's get packing!

I feel like we have been living in boxes for so long and I know it will not end soon enough! I take on all the packing and organizing the move, except the garage-that is all David!
We are blessed with some awesome friends. Al and Marsha came out to the rental to help me move down the girls dressers, trunks, and our dresser. I was able to if all the girls beds and all the boxes from upstairs. I am still amazed at he difference in strength I have in a year of working out! Shout out to Marsha!!!!!
The school room at the rental full of upstairs stuff ready to be moved over Friday night 

Our friends the Noel's, Justin, and the entire DePiazza clan came Saturday night  to help us load the 26' uhaul along with my armada, and all our friends vehicles. They all came to unload the vehicles Saturday night. Speechless. Sunday David and I met Dan, Scott and Sierra at the new house to unload the uhaul. We loaded in an hour and unloaded in about the same! Amazing. 
David and I made two small runs to the rental and David and my dad did the garage Monday! My parents took the girls Saturday night and they came back was so chaotic at least they could just play and be kids. 
My first very loaded run Sunday
Vanilla bean headed to the new house
My last big load!!!

So grateful for friends. Words cannot express the joy that fills my heart because of their pure generosity!!!!

Silly Girl

Emma is changing
She loves her mom and dad and her sisters too. She asks me every day when she is going to nannys house and looks forward to going to the gym. She loves swimming lessons and stories at bedtime. She enjoys her class at church and sings songs to Frozen all the time. 

It is hard to believe she will be three years old very soon. She is our last baby and there is almost no baby left to her! Bittersweet.

Pretty paint and new carpet smell

The house had an odor....a combination of musty and dirty. The removal of the popcorn ceilings really did not help the smell either; just added to the musty.

Our first goals were to ensure the girls rooms and our room were done for move in. David and I took on the task of the girls rooms (minus the removal of the popcorn ceilings) because they are the only two rooms not being painted the same color as the rest of the house.

We let the girls decide on their room colors, with some restriction. Their rooms are not large so the color had to be on the pale side of the spectrum. Chiara and Emma chose a purple room and mayah and Leah a pink room. 
They did a great job with their choices!!! I would like to write that all went smoothly because it's just two small bedrooms, but no. Like everything else in this house there was a big issue (insert the movie The Money Pit playing over and over in my mind!).

David painted the ceilings rolled the walls while I cut the edges and then did the trim ( which was easy with no carpet!!!). As David was rolling in the pink room the walk started peeling away! Are you kidding? Just flaking off. Would you believe it happened in the purple room as well?!? They rooms do not share a wall! Thankfully our handyman rocks!!! He patched the spaces on the walls, re textured them and we were able to finish before the carpet was installed. 
Originally the only carpet that was being replaced was the master but after getting a closer look at the other rooms we decided it all had to go! 
The carpet.....we chose a stock carpet which is cheap (.98/sq ft) because we don't plan on keeping it in there longer than five years. Lowes was able to get us schedule for a Friday install after a Sunday purchase and late Wednesday measurement. However, when the scheduler called to confirm she informed me that the "upgraded" pad we got was not an in stock product and took ten days to get!!!! What?!?! Deep breaths. She called lowes to sort it out....the end result was the highest level padding from stain master at no extra charge!!! Blessing!!! 
So, Friday comes and I wait for the installers to inform me they are on their way. We were a second job so around 2pm is what I was told. The first call said about a two hour delay due to the complexity of the first job. Now, everything is on a very tight timeline because of when we have to be out of our rental. We had friends coming over Friday to help us move the girls stuff into their rooms. Less stuff for moving day and David had his friends open trailer so why not? 
The next call I got close to 5pm was another TWO HOURS. I started laughing. What else could I do? So, our friends cams over and we loaded up the trailer. All the stuff was dumped in the front two rooms. We then loaded up the trailer with all the carpet we tore out, the cabinets we tore down and trash. Trash that was not ours. Trash that should have been dealt with years ago. 

The installers got to the house around 7:30pm to start. Our painter was working and we were finishing up loading the trash. We took the girls home to bed and David headed back to the house to work on things and wait for the installers to finish. About 10:30 pm everything was done. 
The padding we got was awesome and the carpet changed the look of the bedrooms completely. 
Upgraded padding
Master before with popcorn ceiling on it
Master painted and new carpet
The pink room before
Purple room before

Cinderella for a day

All four of my girls said they wanted to help at the new house while I awesome are they?!?!

So, the best job I could think of was to have them start to make a dent in the very dirty floors. If you saw my post about popcorn ceiling removal then you might be able to imagine the layer of white dust left over. It is everywhere. 

So, I painted the fireplace and the girls hand washed the floors. My purpose was two fold: first off they wanted to help and were bored sitting outside while we were there for hours, secondly I believe it is important for them to have ownership in what it took to get the house clean and livable so maybe they will think twice before making or leaving a mess.

They did a great job, though the floors still have a ways to go before they are really clean!



As soon as David and I saw the fireplace we loved it, well except for the red brick part. It was too much the focal point of the room. Someday we will tear it all down but for now it needed to be muted. So, we had our awesome handyman hit it with a few coats of primer. That alone changed the feel of the room! 

We wanted it to be really white though-easier to clean and looks sharper. A coat of semi-gloss later and wow! I am so excited to see it against the new paint but for now I will enjoy the hard work paying off!


Bye-Bye Popcorn!

And the demo continues.....

Our amazing handyman has removed ALL the popcorn ceilings in our new house!  What. A. Mess.  Glad to see it go, but everything is just covered in YUCK.  Regardless, we have been out at the house everyday working. 

The kitchen is getting a makeover as well.  New appliances, but to brighten the place up I am painting the cupboards WHITE!  With just two coats of primer it already is making a difference!

I can't wait to see the walls and ceilings painted this week!!!

David tore up the carpet in all three bedrooms as we await install....hopefully by the end of the week!

Oh yeah and I removed the wall paper border in the girls bathroom!

I can't wait to take "after" shots!!!!


Moving On!

Yup, that's right we are MOVING!!!!  Exciting, scary, and LOTS of work!  We purchased it from a very sweet elderly couple who we had the pleasure of meeting.  You can tell they loved and cared for this home.
 I am going to attempt to document as much as possible of all the changes we are making to the house.  In two weeks I hope there is a great transformation!

Yesterday, after I got the keys I started removing nails and screws and patching any holes.  

The place is filthy, just years of grime mixed with dust.  YUCK!

This is the LAUNDRY ROOM....where clean clothes come out!  The shelving has been completely removed and will be GONE.  Again, YUCK.

I can tell you it was very difficult to really see the space when we viewed the home.  Cluttered and FULL.

When David joined me yesterday we removed the cabinet section hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen, but of course I forgot a before photo!  It already has opened up the space and I can't wait to see how the light comes through now.  David did discover a ceiling mounted electrical socket.  Ugh.  Not ideal, but brainstorming about it now.  I wonder if they make those pull down outlets, like they have in industrial kitchens or garages, but pretty for a home.  Hmmmmm.

We will be out of the house for a few days while our AMAZING handyman is removing all the lovely popcorn ceilings. Then, he paints!!!  I. Can't. Wait.  The house needs clean, fresh, paint....and trim that is WHITE.  

We will most likely stop by Sunday, when our Handyman is off, and remove the master carpet and maybe the other 2 bedrooms flooring as well.  Some other destruction and then a dip in our new pool!  


Thank you Holly

My two big girls finished all levels of swim at Lifetime Fitness!!!! It is great to see how confident they are in the water now and I can't wait to watch them swim and play all summer. 
Thanks to their sweet teacher Holly. She was a perfect match for their personalities. 

Me and mom

My mom invited me out to the botanical gardens in Phoenix to see the beautiful glass art on display.
It was interesting art and as the sun went down some of the pieces seemed to come to life a bit more.
Here are a few of my favorites!
The fire ball before the sun went down 
The fire ball!!
I called this asparagus!
My girls saw this with nanny too....and apparently had snack all over the park!