May the force be with you

And all the Catholics in the house say, “And also with you.”  Right?

We had a Star Wars Family Night last Friday.  What is it about little boys and Star Wars?  I swear my boys were fanatics before they had even seen a single movie.  And now that they’ve seen all but episode three, ONE TIME EACH, they literally know every single character name and could pick them out of a line up.  Weird.

Then again, maybe I’m raising geniuses.

Anywho, Star Wars Night…

While Caden was at school Jacob and I whipped up a batch (or three) of Wookie Cookies.    I’m not entirely sure what makes them “Wookie.”  Maybe the cinnamon or extra vanilla, but I told Caden that it was because Chewbacca delivered them to our door.  (Jacob and I also have Caden convinced that the Sparkletts guy is made out of water.  He’s always bummed that he comes when he’s at school.  I guess he’ll find out the truth this summer.)


Elijah is so cute eating his Wookie Cookie.  My little ewok.


After our after-school snack, we made our very own light sabers.  One of my good friends made these for the boys last year and we loved them.  a) They don’t break.  b) It’s a weapon that they can’t actually hurt each other with.  Win, win.


They are very easy to make… and cheap!  I got all the supplies at the 99 cent store for a grand total of $9 and some change.  It’s just pool noodles and duct tape (black and silver.)


Here’s Caden with his Yoda Ears posing just like the real thing.




I know.  The resemblance is uncanny.

I was Princess Leia, of course.  Although the buns look a lot like Ewok ears, so I could’ve gone either way.


Jacob didn’t dress up, but we decided Geric was Chewbacca because he’s the tallest.  He didn’t dress up either but he walked around making Chewbacca noises.  I almost video taped it for you guys but he wouldn’t let me!  Darn it.

For dinner we had this:


It’s Han-burgers with Vader taters, trees of Endor, and Yoda Soda.  And then I died because it was all just too cute!!!

After dinner, I had a couple of cute games planned.  One was light saber practice, where we were going to use our new light sabers to keep balloons up in the air.  And then we were goign to play, “Don’t Drop Yoda,” where I was going to have strips of papers with different actions that we had to complete without dropping a little Yoda doll.

BUT, Geric became the hero when we unveiled Star Wars: Episode II, which up until that point, the boys hadn’t seen.  So, we forwent the games and watched a movie instead.

Sidebar:  I totally tried to act all grossed out when Anakin and Queen Amidala were falling in love by saying, “Ewww, close your eyes!  Soooo gross!” and things of that nature.  But Caden pulled the mature card and said, “Mom, stop.  They just like each other, okay?”  Ummmm… okay.  Sorry, son.

Another successful Family night for the DeVincenzos!  I’m getting so good at it, that I wrote an entire book about ’em!  It’s actually already published!  (Crazy, right???)  I’m just waiting to hear back that’s it’s all formatted correctly for the Apple Bookstore and Barnes and Noble.  Hopefully soon you can download 12 fun-filled summer evenings of Family Night goodness to do with your own family.  Yay!


Don’t forget, Geric and I are going on a missions trip to Honduras in July. If you’d like to support us financially, click here!
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Family Night: Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Hola!  Me llamo Erin.  Tengo cuatro anos de espanol en la escuela y vivo in Honduras para tres meses.  Tambien, I was una maestra para muchos ninos que hablo mucho espanol, pero no hablo espanol muy bien.  No se como conjugate verbs correctly, especially in the past tense.  Que horror!  But I try.

I thought it would be awesome to have un noche de espanol during our Cinco de Mayo celebrations, but no one else in this house speaks as well as I do.  And that’s saying something, folks.  So I just threw in my favorite spanish phrases from time to time.  Senora Funk (mi maestra de espanol en la escuela secondaria) would be proud… and she would probably call Geric a tortuga, because he tends to do things at a slower pace than most.

We actually celebrated Cinco de Mayo on quatro de mayo.  The boys had a tickets to an Angels game on Cinco de Mayo so the celebrations had to take place a day early.

And I don’t know if you know the history of Cinco de Mayo and why it’s actually celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico, but I read up on it.  You should too.  Que interesante!

Jacob and I started the day off early while Elijah was napping and Caden was at school  We prepared our dessert… mexican brownies, that turned out asi, asi.  Not my favorite.  Even forgot to take a picture of the end product.

The boys worked together to make a pinata out of a paper bag,


and Caden helped me make our first batch of homemade tortillas!  They were super easy to make, but if I do it again I think I’ll invest in a tortilla press, just for kicks.


For dinner we ate Chipotle Bean Burritos.  Que delicioso!  We found a bunch of funny cheap dress up supplies at the party store (a sombrero, a flower for my hair, maracas, and a mustache) AND for our beverage… Margaritas!  I made them virgin margaritas, so the boys could have some too!




The best part was Saturday morning when I asked Jacob what he wanted for breakfast and he said he wanted a margarita with his oatmeal.  Perhaps I should’ve changed the name… ay ay ay!

After dinner we went out back and hit the pinata.  (Just a side note: Elijah had a meltdown right before dinner, so he did not partake of family night.  Pobrecito.)  I didn’t want to fill it with candy, so I had let them each pick a toy from the toy section at the grocery store earlier that day.



After the pinata fun, we went inside for a mexican hat dance.  So fun!  And so funny!  It started out with just some normal bailando, pero…


Jacob got tired…


and Caden chaneled his inner Billy Elliot!





This one I’m saving for his senior yearbook!


Oh, the hilarity!

Elijah woke up just in time to bust a move… although I think he thought the maracas were microphones.



All in all, another fun family night!  To see the rest of our family nights, click here.  Feel free to steal one, I promise you will have a good time.  Que bueno!  

Claro que si!  

Adios amigos!

Hasta la vista!

Okay, seriously, bye!



Reasons to Stop Blogging… even though I never really will

Where in the world have I been?

It’s been way too long since a blog post, I realize.  And I was contemplating just giving it up altogether.

My reasons?

Well, for some reason, this blog puts pressure on me.  I can’t explain it.  But when I write something I’m putting myself “out there” and if no one comments, then I think I suck.  Or if it’s really good and I get a lot of comments, I feel like “how am I going to top that?”

And then there’s the whole idea of strangers reading my blog.  And honestly, complete strangers don’t bother me.  The mommies from other states or whatever.  That’s fine.  It’s the people who I kinda know that might find me through facebook or mutual friends and then they’re reading my blog and watching me live my life and not leaving comments, so I don’t really know they are there, but they are.  Like a stalker.  That I kinda know.  Okay I’m talking about ex-boyfriends.  It freaks me out that ex-boyfriends might be reading my blog!  We cut ties, people!  I don’t want contact.  Especially if they aren’t owning up to their stalking ways.  I don’t even know if they really are stalking me, but just the thought that they might be, freaks me out!  I mean, honestly, I’m totally stalkable material, right?  Right?

I sound crazy, right? But that’s not news.  Really.  Ya’ll knew I was crazy.

Then there’s the thought that strangers (not ex-boyfriends or mommies from other states, but weirdos) are really reading about my kids.  It’s just kinda weird.  And Oprah has gotten me all paranoid that there’s a child molester around every corner.  Which according to the Megan’s Law website, there kinda IS!  What if there’s someone reading my blog that IS a child molester and they’re printing out pictures of my kids like that one guy on Desperate Housewives who had that kid shrine in his basement.  *shiver me timbers*  Or the guy from Silence of the Lambs.  What if there’s a freak like the guy from Silence of the Lambs reading my blog?!?!  Then what?  Huh?  Then what?

I’m not the type of mommy blogger that is all discreet and only shows pictures of the back of my kids heads or makes up names for my kids like “Peter Pan” and “Simba,” because frankly there just aren’t enough cute male Disney characters, unless I start naming them after mice and ducks.  But if you sit and think about this stuff for too long, it’s just a wee bit freaky, right?

The world is a scary, scary place.

Alright, maybe not that scary, but still…

And finally, my kids are getting older.  I mean, my oldest is in kindergarten, but I have thought about how he’s going to feel one day if he reads my blog.  Is he going to be embarrassed about some of the stuff I’ve shared?  Or will he think it’s funny, as we all think it is, right?  Will he feel like we’re laughing with him, or at him?   It’s one thing to talk about my almost-5-year-old who still defiantly wets his pants on facebook to my 337 close and personal friends (haha) but putting it out in the blogosphere… kinda embarrassing… but maybe that’ll teach him to stop peeing in his pants, for heaven’s sake!

So, anywho, that’s what I’ve been thinking about and that’s why I’ve been gone for so long.

But it’s nice that some of you have facebooked me and said you’ve missed me, and the others that have “liked” that comment… that’s nice.  Those little blue “thumbs up” really make me feel special.

So, I’ll be back.  Me, Peter Pan, Simba, Nemo, and Sulley have a lot of updates to tell you all about.

I think I’ll adopt the name Mrs. Incredible for myself… for obvious reasons.

Why I’m Not Forever 21

My friend Jessica is going to take family portraits for us this weekend.  So I, of course, was on the hunt for the perfect outfit.  I’ve found it’s easier for me to buy a really cute new outfit and then rummage around in the boys closets to find something that matches me.

What?  It’s true.

Anywho, after I had unsuccessfully scoured a few stores I decided to venture in to Forever 21.  Why, you ask?  Not real sure.  I’m not a regular at Forever 21, but my best guess would be that I was feeling sorta desperate and there is a two-story Forever 21 right down the street from me, so I thought I would give it a go.

Bad idea.

Very, very bad idea.

I just don’t belong there.  And here is a list of my reasons why:

1.  I’m not 21.  I don’t feel like I’m 21.  I don’t even wish I was 21. I really don’t understand why anyone would want to be 21 forever anyway.  I mean, it was cool, but not that cool.  32 is waaaay cooler, right?  Right?  High five?  Anyone?

2.  When I walked in, the salesgirl greeted me and as I looked up and saw her wearing a wide-brimmed black hat with a white feather in it, I thought she was in costume.  I thought she was joking.  Like, she was trying on a go-back or something.  When I realized she wasn’t, I really questioned if that was in fashion.  Then I started to question my own taste in fashion.  Am I totally out?  I swear five minutes ago, I was confident in my own fashion tastes, but I think I might be out. Blogosphere, I beg of you, let me know, am I out?  Are wide-brimmed hats perfectly acceptable indoor attire?

3.  After skimming through a rack of horizontally striped shirts (which was every rack in the whole store, by the way) I looked around and wondered if anyone else thought the music they were playing was just a notch too loud.  I kinda wanted to pull a Ross and gesture the manager with my hands to quiet down and lower the volume just a smidge.  And just the fact that I remember that episode of Friends is probably more proof that I shouldn’t be shopping at Forever 21.

4.  As I was wandering around the store amongst a busload of tiny high school cheerleader-types, I started wondering if I should take the escalator upstairs and browse in the Plus Size section.  I’ve never actually shopped in a Plus Size store or section, but I’m starting to feel like that might be my place.  And since in Forever 21 a size 7 is a real-life size -5, that would make me a size 48.  I’m pretty sure that’s in the plus size section, right?

5.  I started feeling judged by all the cheerleaders.  Like, as they looked at me with my couple of hangers of clothes they secretly thought, “She’s not 21!  Why is she even in here?  Security!”  So, I concocted a story if anyone asked why I was in Forever 21 in the first place.  Why in world would anyone ask???  But if anyone did, I was shopping for my niece, or my little sister, or any other female in my life that is closer to the age of 21, and closer to a size -5.  And then I would tell them that I get carded at Trader Joe’s all the time.  All.  The. Time.

So, anyway, I left Forever 21 without buying a thing.  I actually abandoned my selections in a corner (The wide-brimmed hat girl will probably have to put them with the rest of the go-backs, if she doesn’t try them on and parade around the store wearing them first.)

Instead, bought a really cute top at a much more mature store.


So, what about you?  Do you still shop at Forever 21?

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Are You Ready to Rumble???

Do you have sons?  Let’s talk for a sec.  What is with all the wrestling???  It’s a boy thing, right?  I grew up in a house with sisters and I don’t remember us doing any wrestling, but boys could wrestle morning, noon, and night.  And sometimes they do.

Unless there’s blood.

Then I stop it.

Last week, I decided to make the most of all the physical contact and we did a wrestling family night!

During the day the craft was pretty simple (for the boys.)  They made up wrestling names, that sounded very macho and intimidating and drew posters.


And then we decided to draw mustaches on their faces with washable crayola markers. I don’t know why. Don’t ask.


I, on the other hand, grabbed a couple of old piece of fabric I had used as table clothes for a luau party and a hot glue gun and whipped up a couple of wrestling outfits.  (It’s seriously amazing what can be done with a hot glue gun.  Can I get an Amen?)

So, here is Caden the Snake with his coach, Daddy.


And here is Jacob the Giant with his coach, Elijah.


I got to be the “round girl.”  Geric I discussed the possibility of me wearing a bikini and heels as I paraded around the living room holding “round” signs above my head… but we decided against it.  I feel like the baggage my boys have to carry into therapy is getting kinda heavy already, so it’s time to be choosy about what else we’re adding to it, you know?  So here I am (fully clothed) holding a round sign.


Round 1 *DING* was thumb wrestling.


Caden was victorious!  Those pesky fine motor skills, Jacob.  Soon enough yours will be strengthened, my son.

Round 2 *DING* was arm wrestling.


After some coaching from Geric, Jacob was able to pin Caden a couple of times.  So we called this round a tie.

Next we took a small break for dinner.  We went Asian for dinner. (Gotta love the frozen section at Trader Joe’s!)


I know what you’re thinking… Chinese food???  Wrestling???  I don’t get the connection.  Stayed tuned for round four.


Just as cute in a headband!

Round 3 *DING* was good-old-fashioned-pin-you-to-the-mat wrestling.  And let me tell you, this was the most fun.  Seriously.  I think the boys thought I had lost my marbles when I actually encouraged them to wrestle, but they had so much fun.  And I realized that I need to relax a little on the wrestling thing.  There were times during this round that I was sure that Jacob was going to get hurt and burst into tears, but I think he had more fun than Caden!



See how excited Jacob is!


Then Daddy joined in.  He couldn’t help it.  It’s in his y chromosomal tendencies.

Round 4 *DING* was sumo wrestling!  (Get the dinner connection now????  I realize that sumo wrestling is actually from Japan, while our dinner originated in China, but they’re all from the same continent, okay?)


Hilarious, right?


This was by far the funniest round!


Elijah felt left out so he got in the action when the boys took their sumo outfits off.

After the wrestling was over we headed down to Cherry on Top for some frozen yogurt, which has absolutely nothing to do with wrestling, but gosh darn it, it’s good!

Oh, and before I go, there’s a new link on the sidebar of my homepage.   (If you click HERE you’ll get back to my homepage.)  Anyway, I made a button that says “Family Nights” so you can find all the Family Nights we’ve done in one simple location.

You’re welcome.

Now go have a family night!

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What a Ham!

The other day I gave Elijah a bath and he was a clown!  Here are some of the pictures I took after I realized he was going to be a little performer for me.  (And try to contain your jealousy of the speckled pink tile in my bathroom.  It covers the walls, too.)


Little chipmunk!


Pardon me while I take a sip…


You’re so funny, Mom!




This kid just melts my heart.

Eventually Jacob came in.  And he did a little posing of his own.




This one just makes me laugh!


Strike a pose!


This kid is gonna break some hearts.

I love my kids.  They crack me up!

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Goodbye Summer Family Night

I was looking through my blog a few weeks ago and I realized that I was a way better mom before I had three kids.


I’ve heard it from a lot of mommies.  Two is doable, manageable, one-on-one team formations.  Three?  Three throws you over the edge.  I have heard though that if you can get to three and survive, then four, five, six, and so on, are no big deal.  Just throw ’em on the pile!  (Not that I will be testing out that theory.  Rest assured, I will not.  But that’s what I’ve heard.)

Anywho, Elijah has only had one Family Night with us, because my mothering skillz have been less than stellar.  But I have decided to put a stop to that.

Family Nights are back in full effect!

We’ve had two already and I plan on posting them once-a-week-ish.  (Don’t hold me to it, k?)

Here’s our first.

I decided that since school was in full swing, we should say goodbye to summer.  I also thought saying goodbye would make the terrible heat go away, and it did work for a few days, but now it’s back.  Dreadful, I tell you.

Anyway, the afternoon craft was twofold.  First the boys painted a picture of their favorite part of summer.


Here’s their finished products.


Caden painted his Cousin Kristyn who spent the night at our house a few times.  Jacob painted himself.

The conversation went like this:

Me: “What did you paint Jacob?”

Jacob:  “Me!”

Me:  “You’re your favorite part of summer?”

Jacob:  “Yeah.”

Oh, if we could all have such great self-esteem.

It came out later (after some coaxing from Caden) that while it is a picture of Jacob, he is roasting marshmallows at Maw and Pop’s house, so he got the concept.  😉

The second part of the afternoon craft was writing a letter to Summer saying goodbye.  I wrote it (obviously) and then they went on a sight word hunt and found different words that I called out.  They had fun with that.


Next we started dinner prep.  We decided we had to use the BBQ so it was chicken and veggie kabobs, brown rice, fruit salad, and homemade ice cream for dessert.  (Yum, yum!)

Here are the boys helping me chop the fruit for the fruit salad.



And here is our spread.  How about a collective, “Mmmmmmmmmm!”


For our activity we went swimming in the pool (that is slightly green… but nothing as bad as the actual ocean so I don’t really feel bad.)





I found some water balloons to fill up and we had a little water balloon fight.  I seemed to be the target most of the time.




And here is a picture of the whole family.  Now a collective, “Awwwwwww!”

swimming family photo

After our fun in the sun, we came inside, got ready for bed and had some yummy, yummy cookies n cream chocolate chip ice cream.  I didn’t get a picture.  I was too busy licking my bowl.

Now, go out and have your own family night this week!

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Granny Goose

While we were up north we stayed at Granny Goose’s house, which is what my boys have affectionately called my mom’s mom since they have been able to speak.  It all started because my mom was asking my grandma what she wanted to be called by my kids (since “grandma” was out, according to my mom, even though she’s not even “grandma.”  She’s “Maw,” which is strikingly close to Mama, and kinda not cool when you’re a first time mom, but whatev.  Another post for another day perhaps.)

Anywho, my grandma said, “I don’t care what they call me.  They can call me Granny Goose if they want.”  I think she was joking by I was all over that like white on rice, and it stuck.

Granny Goose she is.

So, before we left to drive back home, we took a picture of the four generations.


So cute, but does my thyroid look a little swollen?  Hmmmmm…

And just in case you thought crazy only ran on my dad’s side of the family, you would be wrong.


“Man, I’ve been needing a shelf for my desk.”

“Here, Anne (that’s my grandma) we’ll just prop it up with cinder blocks.”

“Genius, Pete! (That’s my grandpa.)”

“Anything to save a buck, dear.”


Everyone keeps slug and snail killer pellets from the 1950’s in a box on a shelf in their office, right?



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