Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Celebrations

Thanks to Kree, we had an opportunity to take my mom to Disneyland. It had been a very long time since she had been there, and this was her first time to see all of the Christmas decorations.
We had a great time! Outside of the haunted mansion.

Our decorations and tree were minimal this year. Tevye was spending most of his time in northern California for work, so our usual decorations remained in the attic. He finally broke it to me that he had no intention of getting our big Christmas tree down when he got home, so I took the boys to Wal-Mart where we very cheerfully picked out our 20", pre-lit, artificial tree and trimmings, including a mini tree skirt. The cord for the lights turned out to be pretty short, so I taped the tree to the top of a stool and plugged it in by our fish tank. It must have been cool to be one of the fish in that tank. I forgot to plug in the tree when I took this picture, though.

We gave my nephew, Cole, a gift card to buy new fish for his tank this year, but I didn't want to just hand over an envelope. So, this is our whimsical gift wrapping.

Mom and my sister at Bill and Kim's on Christmas Eve.

The siblings. Billy thought it was pretty funny to pinch my back fat during the photo shoot. It hurt, but I kept smiling.

My awesome nephews, Cole and Nolan.

Vance giving Nolan a thank you hug. Or, is he trying to throw Nolan to the ground?

Vance had his heart set on getting a guitar this year. I think that he enjoyed watching me try to play mine. Today, when we got home from church, I asked Vance if he would like to eat lunch. "No tanks. I'm going to practice my guitar," was his reply.

Thanks, Grandma! This is the perfect game for Vance (and Caden).
Caden REALLY want Super Mario Bros. for Wii.
Calee spent Christmas Day with us. I tried to carry on the tradition of Christmas morning breakfast burritos, but they definitely weren't as good as my mom-in-law's.

Tevye made the biggest burrito. He was full after eating it- what a surprise! That evening, Tevye set up the Kinect (his birthday present), and we had a lot of fun playing video games. Later, we were joined by Calee's husband, Tony, after he finished working.
It was a comfortable day, and I am so happy that we were able to share it together.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Karate Graduation

Vance received his fifth karate belt last Saturday. He is progressing so much! I really like his jumping kicks. He still seems to enjoy the class once we get him there, but getting him to leave the house for lessons is super tough. Vance feels a great sense of accomplishment having earned the white belt with a green stripe. Great job, Vance!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

End of Soccer Season

Caden had his last soccer game this past Saturday. Aunt Calee, Uncle Tony, Aunt Talicee, and Grandpa were all able to come and cheer him on. He only got to play in two quarters, but that was fine by him. He spent the rest of the time playing with the other team members on the sideline and Vance. After the game, he told me, "I am going to play next year, too." I am glad that he enjoys it. We were very blessed this season to be on such a great team- great because all the boys were nice and playing for fun, and the coach was patient and kind. I am going to miss this team a lot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This year, the boys painted their own nutcrackers. They really enjoyed it. I can't believe how well Vance did without any help! Caden's looks good, too.


Thanksgiving had the potential to be fabulous this year. Caden had the entire week off of school, so we (the boys and I) packed up and headed to my parents' house. Unfortunately, my brother and his family weren't able to join us this year, but I was looking forward to seeing Mom, Dad, my sister and her boyfriend, and of course, Tevye (he joined us on Thanksgiving Day). This was the year that I was in charge of baking the pumpkin pies. I am so glad that I did that a day early, because I ended up getting very sick with a cold (I was hoping it was just allergies) the night before Thanksgiving. It was almost torture sitting down with a plate of scrumptious looking food and not being able to taste any of it. The only compliment I was qualified to give out was, "It has good texture/consistency."

I did have a lot of fun talking with my family, and we brought Dance Dance Revolution to work off the calories. After dinner, Emilia, Cody, and I went for a very short walk outside. It was very cold, so the neighbors' horses were bundled up in their horse blankets. Two of the horses weren't sure what to think of Cody, and they tried to charge him, but the fence was in their way. Emilia is so fun, and I am thankful for the few moments I get to spend with her.
Scott's dog, Cody. This is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known.

Emilia really gets into the spirit of the party!

Tevye playing DDR.

Emilia and Scott.
The next day, Dad asked Tevye to go with him to explore some back road through the Cleavland Nat'l Forest. When they came back with a truck this muddy, I knew that my husband had a very pleasant experience. I can't remember the last time his truck looked so good!

Happy Birthday, Tevye!

He is so cute! This year, we celebrated Tev's birthday a day late, because he was out of town for work on his birthday. Caden and Vance picked this cake out for him at the Wal-Mart bakery. We love you, Tevye!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We have been too busy to blog, so here is a little glimpse into our adventures:

Birthdays- The boys' and mine. Kree and David came down at the same time for Kree's knee surgery, so she was able to take us to Disneyland on Vance's birthday.Caden is finally tall enough to ride Indiana Jones at Disney.
Halloween- Caden made a perfect Harry Potter! Vance was a courageous knight.
We went to San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park for a CAVA (homeschool) field trip. This was an interesting bird day. A pigeon pecked Caden's leg, a bird swooped down and stole Vance's chicken strip off of his plate, and the lorakeets landed all over my mom to get the nectar in the little cups. The leg-pecking culprit.The chicken strip thief.The bird lady of Escondido (Mom)

Last Saturday, we went to see Thomas the Tank Engine at the Orange Empire Railway. This was a surprise for the boys, and they were very happy. Tevye and I enjoyed watching them have fun.

We have also been busy with soccer and Lego club!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lego Club

Caden wanted to start a Lego club, so today was our first meeting. It was a great success. Our theme for this week was "Castle," though we had kids building submarines, trains, and playgrounds, as well. The kids built a dungeon inside their castle which held a prisoner. The castle also included a pirate with a treasure chest, a working drawbridge, and a kracken gaurding the moat.

All of the kids played well together. It is so fun to watch their imagination go to work!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homeschool Fun

This year, we are going on a grand homeschooling adventure. Though I was apprehensive at first, we have had a great time so far. Caden is really happy, and Vance is learning so much from his brother. Even though we have only been at it for a few weeks, I have already noticed that the boys seem a lot closer to each other and fight a lot less.

This is a picture of Caden on the day of his first school outing. Also, a picture of Vance on his first day of "preschool." He is a crazy little man!

Here is Caden's Lego reenactment of Horatius at the Bridge. He was teaching Vance about the famous Roman (Horatius) who defended the city of Rome from the Etruscan army. I love teaching history to boys who love Star Wars. Caden says, 'Hey, Mom. If you take away the "e"and the "r" and replace "army" with "raiders," then you have "Tuskan Raiders."' Also, Star Wars came in handy when trying to explain the concept of senators (i.e. Palpatine and Amidala).
I tried to explain to Caden that I don't think the Roman soldiers had guns or blasters. He replied, "I know, Mom...but, I don't have any more weapons!"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Celebrate the family!

This month, we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." I was in my second year of college when this proclamation was released by the prophet, President Hinckley, and to be quite honest, I did not come close to fully understanding the significance of its contents. Now, we see throughout our society blatant attacks against marriage and family. The words of this proclamation mean so much more to me now that I am raising a family of my own. Check out some wonderful ideas and blog entries that help us celebrate families at one of my favorite sites, Chocolate on My Cranium.

"...marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God..."
I love my husband! He has great integrity, a wonderful work ethic, and a marvelous talent for being organized and getting things done. He's my go to guy for dealing with pushy people, conflict resolution, and discipline issues with the boys. I am often admiring how he can just plow through and get things done.
It is so comforting to know that we have God in our marriage. That knowledge helps us get through the difficult and stressful times. As long as we are striving to keep our covenants, we will be okay. As we strengthen our relationship with each other, we become a strong companionship that can accomplish many important works, including raising our two wonderful boys. "...the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
Not to brag, but I have wonderful qualities, too. I firmly believe in the whole "honey catches more flies than vinegar" theory. I find it easy to see the beauty in those around me and hand out compliments accordingly. I long to nurture others and teach gospel principles.
Despite the fact that Tevye and I have totally different strengths from each other (which differences come not only from our personalities, but also from our gender differences), we work well together in raising our family. Our children benefit from both of our strengths to receive a well-rounded upbringing.
It is in our family that we learn important skills, such as working and playing well with others, serving one another, loving unconditionally, obedience, leadership, and effective communication. I love knowing the many quirks of my family members, and I work hard to let them feel safe to be who they truly are around me. After all, I have many quirks of my own, and they let me be me!
Enjoy this month of familiy celebration! I hope that this post inspires you to strive to strengthen family relationships and stand up for this divine institution known as "family."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Flooring Woes

Long story made short:

Ordered flooring from Home Depot about three weeks ago with a supposed 3-5 business day delivery.
Home Depot took way longer than 3-5 days.
Home Depot or UPS lost our floor.
Last Thursday, UPS brings flooring to our condo complex but says the truck doesn't have a lift gate, so they can't get the flooring off the truck.
Today, brings the flooring in the right type of truck but won't carry it upstairs.
Only option- put it in our carport where I am almost positive that it will be stolen.
Despite my great efforts, I break down and cry as I sign the delivery slip infront of the lazy UPS guy (he wasn't one of the guys that has delivered to our door before- they would have done their job right).

This brief account ommits all of the stupid calls that Tevye and I had with the two companies (mostly Tevye).

Moral of the story: Next time- Lowe's and Fed Ex

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fun in the Hidden Sun

The boys, Calee, and I made a quick trip to the beach this morning. I wanted to make the trip there (our first of the summer) this week since we have been learning about sharks and shells at home. As we were getting closer to our destination, the marine layer got thicker and thicker, and it looked very cold. Fortunately for us, it was a wonderfully mild day, and the water wasn't that bad, either. For some reason unknown to us, thousands of sand crabs and little clams covered the sand where the waves lapped onto the shore. We probably would have spent more time in the water, but it was creepy standing on them. Most of our time was spent making sandcastles. I quickly discovered that sand architecture is not my forte, so I switched it up a little by making a sand fish. Calee still has to email the picture to us, and then I will post it. I am so thankful to Calee for going with us, because I probably would have been afraid to take the boys by myself. Thanks Calee!