Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a birthday party, mexican style

we went to a surprise party over the weekend for my tio's 70th birthday.
he's actually my mom's first cousin.
but when you're mexican any male who is your parents' age becomes your 'tio'(uncle).

they had wonderful mariachis that kept the celebration lively for quite some time.
chris and i had mariachis at our wedding, that may be the last time i've heard them.
and i love them...their instruments, their voices, their enthusiasm, their love of music.

it is the first time my kids have ever heard or seen them.
i am so glad they had the opportunity to experience this part of our culture.
we all started dancing when they played 'la bamba'...
my tio (the birthday man) is the one in the white shirt next to me.
he is one of 7 kids from hermosillo, mexico.
and the only one who moved to the u.s.
he became an official citizen years ago.
i had not seen many of these relatives for years, like 10-15 years.
it was so good to be around them and be reminded of the history and culture of our family.
we really need to make a family grandmother was one of 7 kids.
and tio horacio's mom (her sister) also had 7 kids.
two of his sisters and one nephew came in from mexico for his birthday celebration.
tia vikki (white dress) and tia lourdes (blue shirt).
his nephew from mexico is named after him, hector horacio.
and his other nephew francisco lives here with his wife and 5 boys.
i need to document all this so i will remember who is who!
even though we don't get to see him very often, we have always been close to tio horacio.
he's the only relative we had living in the u.s. on my mom's maternal side.

my grandmother was the only one of her siblings to move to america.
so, all of our other relatives (and there are a ton) are in mexico.

we went there a couple times growing up.
and they would come visit and stay with my grandmother.
she lived next door to us, so we would see them when they came into town.
but, i never really knew how they each fit into the picture since it is such a big family.
now, i am putting all the pieces of who is who together.
john had a ball running around with all his little mexican cousins.
even though it was boiling hot outside, they all went out and ran around together.
he was the only one who came in totally red faced, since he is so fair.
i wish i would've gotten a picture of them all... he sticks out like a sore thumb-
my little white boy.

feliz cumpleanos, tio horacio!

Monday, August 29, 2011

feliz cumpleanos, tio bobby

yesterday was my youngest brother's 21st birthday.
we had a nice family dinner together at our house.
and some delicious homemade german chocolate cake thanks to nani.
bobby was only 3 when i went away to college - john john's age now.
we were very close and it was very hard for me to be away from my sweet little brother.
when we would talk on the phone he would ask, "when are you coming home, 'lish?".
so, my friends at school started calling me "come home 'lish".
this made me smile, and laugh, and then sometimes cry because then i would get homesick.
girls are pretty sensitive like that, you know.
that is one of my favorite bobby stories.

feliz cumpleanos, hermano!

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy birthday, tio tim

today is my sweet brother-in-law's birthday.
we celebrated last night.
his lovely girlfriend is taking him out on a surprise dinner date tonight.
we hope you have a wonderful birthday, tio tim!!
thanks for being such a good uncle and awesome brother-in-law.
enjoy your special day today!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

every little girls' dream

is to be a flower girl in a wedding, right?
well, ella's is at least.
and it has been for quite some time (she has 7 unmarried uncles!).
but especially recently since there has been an engagement in the family.

her uncle greg and fiance peggy asked ella to be their flower girl in a very sweet way.
she received a very special invitation from them in the mail over the weekend...

this is the front and back of the card.  
and there was even a response card for her to fill out too...
to say she's excited would be a real understatement.
she is ecstatic.  
and so am i - my seven year old daughter's dream is coming true...
thank you greg & peggy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

summer snapshot - week 10

yes, we are ending our second week of school.
so, this post is officially over 2 weeks late.
i still have other ones i started at the end of last school year.
who knows if i'll ever get back to them.

but, just to feel a sense of completion on our summer 'snapshot' weeks here goes.
that last week consisted of all the typical errands you run to get ready for school.
school supply shopping, shoe shopping, grocery shopping, more school shopping.
and some fun too:
one last movie, sleepovers with friends, late night swimming in the pool.
and i have not a single picture of any of it.

so, i will end the series with this picture that i love.
even though not all the kids are in it, it just seems to capture the fun of summer.
piggy back rides around the house with dad, because it's just too hot to be outside.
that is, unless your in the pool which is fun to do with dad too.
chris was a real trooper this summer jumping in with the kids just about every day.
and they sure loved swimming with him and getting thrown up high into the air.

good-bye summer.  hopefully soon we'll be able to say good-bye to the heat too!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

somebody's ready

for cafeteria duty.  and he was very excited about it.
especially since that meant he got to take his lunch in his lunchbox.
and he got to eat with his two best friends who are in kindergarten.
they are two years older than him but he's used to hang'n out with the older boys.
like the 6th graders who all went crazy when they walked in and saw him.
it was pretty darn neat to see one of christopher's good friends get a big smile on his face when he walked in and there was john right there to greet him.
it really was priceless.
then he went and sat with andrew and the 4th graders for awhile.
and too bad i didn't get a picture of him sitting on ella's lap as she ate.
he is a good boy, that john. and so are the other kids.
it is always fun to be at school and see them in their own environment.
to be a part of 'their world' at school for a bit and to make it a priority to be there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

sports weekend

we were major sports fans this weekend, making three trips downtown for games.
it was quite fun.  it felt like we were on vacation.
just one fun event after another.
friday night we all went to the arena bowl to watch the rattlers in the final game.
the end of the game was crazy exciting, but we ended up losing in the final seconds.
they thought they had it in the bag.
but the other team caught a pass for a td in the last 2 seconds.
you never can be too sure, i guess.
the game was rather loud, and so john started to cover his ears after they scored.
they would fire off some super loud cannon.
smart kid, that john john and fast learner.
on saturday, chris took the kids to the dbacks game where they sat in the 15th row.
a very good family friend had given us these amazing tickets.
the first baseman, paul goldschmidt gave a game ball to andrew.
andrew and ella got on the jumbotron flexing their muscles.
sunday we were back at the ball park courtesy of the summer reading program.
right when we walked it, we ran into these guys...
this time the kids got on the jumbotron three times.
three times.  in one game.
it was my first time ever getting on, and i've been to a lot of games.
this is the only one we got a picture of...
they got on another time, holding this sign they made...
and the last time was for dancing to a song from madagascar.
it was such a fun afternoon and weekend to boot.
and a big thank you to my in-laws, they are awesome.
they fed us a delicious dinner after our day at the ballpark.
and a wonderful brunch before the game...
yes,we are truly blessed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

summer snapshot - week 9

we're lucky enough to have relatives with a cabin up in the cool parts of the state.
and they are generous enough to let us use it.
so, we drove home from lori's cabin just long enough to do laundry & shopping.
we packed up the car again a day later adding chris and our dog lady,
and spent some quality time together as a family enjoying the outdoors.
we went fishing a couple of times.
there are some beautiful lakes nearby.
here is john taking a break from eating his breakfast to pray in the car on the way.
this picture was taken right before ella fell into the water.
luckily we were able to use chris' long sleeve shirt for her to change into.
it actually looked pretty cute...tall dad's shirt  = cute shirt/dress for daughter...

wow, just look at that gorgeous scenery.
it is so beautiful and peaceful on the lake, we really had a lovely time there.
some father/daughter fishing took place too...pretty darn cute.
at the cabin, lots of baseball was played...
lots of atv rides were taken...
and lots of campfires were had...
the swing was also a big hit...
and lady really made us laugh with how scared she was of the dog run/leash thing...
tata even got to come up and go fishing with us.
he tore off the tails of the crawdads to use for bait.

 and he really encouraged christopher to hold one, which he finally did...
we really enjoyed hanging out with him.
here are a few shots of our second day of fishing/hiking...
john really wanted to hike around independently, which made me a bit nervous.
there were some really steep parts, but he really managed.
i was impressed and so happy he never fell!
we had a wonderful time, it was so nice to be out of the heat for a long stretch.
and we are so thankful to our relatives for sharing their lovely cabin with us.
now, only one last week of summer to post on!