Monday, January 30, 2012

ice skating in the desert

chris' firm rented the outdoor ice skating rink downtown for a family event in december.
it was the first time the boys had ever ice skated.
and the first for chris and i in many many years.
look at how cute these little ice skates were for john john:
it was a beautiful day, so comfortable to be out on the ice.
i cannot imagine ice skating where it is actually cold and snowy-
i am a true phoenician, i cannot take the cold.
just look at that lovely blue sky...boy are we lucky to live here.
the kids all did well on the ice - ella has been a few times for birthday parties.
the boys slipped & grabbed the wall several times, but i was proud of them for keeping at it.
and it was much harder for me than i remembered!

daddy and johnny went around like this several times.
and then chris came up with another way to try with him (see next picture).
they were able to go a little faster the second way.

santa came for a visit and handed out candy canes.
and they had hot chocolate and cookies.
we (or rather i) did a little shopping (didn't buy anything) afterwards and had lunch.
it was a nice family afternoon together downtown.
we had a lot of fun - that amazing fresh air and being outside together always = a success!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

happy birthday, grandpa

my father-in-law's birthday is the day before christopher's.
i remember going home from dinner at my in-laws and waking up a few hours later in labor.
christopher was born the following day on his exact due date.
i had really hoped i'd have the baby that weekend so that i wouldn't have to go back to work on monday and be overdue!

i worked right up until i had him, even all day that day before going into labor-
we needed the health insurance...chris was in law school and i was supporting us!
happy birthday, grandpa - you are so kind and loving...
and we are so blessed to have you in our lives!

thank you for being so present in our children's lives.
and for the special day at the horse tracks with christopher.

*pictures taken last year on grandpa's birthday


these pictures are from last year when ella was in first grade.
i have a bunch of posts i downloaded pics for and then never wrote anything.
so, i will be posting them occasionally to get them out of my drafts folder.
the playground they have for the primary grades is wonderful.
the younger siblings could just play there for hours, and they do when they get the chance.
it's so nice to be able to hang out there with them after the class parties or what not.

i love that they work hard (academically) and that they also play hard too.
the school really does an amazing job of providing opportunities for both.
and with this playground they have, they get to really play everyday.
the fresh air, sunshine, sand to dig in...what a wonderful break from the classroom.
of course it has great playground equipment too...can you tell i love their school?

Monday, January 23, 2012

a championship of a birthday

christopher turned 12 on saturday.
his 6th grade basketball team had a big end of the season tournament all afternoon/evening.
they won in the championship game by one point!
it was truly awesome...everyone in the gym sung happy birthday to him after the game...
i know the above pictures is blurry but i just love seeing those kids laughing like that.

our principal (who is a nun) led both teams in prayer before the game.
i love that they pray before the games.
i did not get any pictures during the game...i was too busy cheering!
chris and i both had raspy voices afterwards, we both cheered so much.
it was a close game the whole way through, so exciting and nerve wrecking!
but i did get one shot of them warming up before them game...
it's always so great to have family there to cheer you on, especially when it's your birthday.
grandma and grandpa were there too, wish i would have gotten them in the picture.
we all went to a local ice cream parlor after the big win for a double celebration.
my mom gave christopher that hat after the game for his birthday.
he wore it the rest of the night...we closed the place down.
we let the boys get the 'grand canyon'...that's eleven pounds of ice cream.
they got to choose twelve flavors and seven toppings.
here is christopher ordering it all...
and here comes the 'grand canyon'.
the kids noticed the staff taking pictures of it before it came out and said, 
'if they're taking pictures of it, its gotta be good!'
i love katelin's expression in this picture, mouth dropped wide cute.
and all the boys who have phones took pictures too.
it was pretty funny to see them all taking pictures at the same time...
and here they are digging in...
and it didn't take them long to get this point...
we had a nice little birthday breakfast in the morning. 
grandma provided some pastries, 
and chris did a good job writing the kids names with the frosting...
we were able to sneak in a little birthday lunch after andrew's game before the tournament.
tio bobby met up with us for lunch before he had to head to work.
what could have been a better present than a championship win?!
it will be a birthday he will never forget.
thanks so much to all the family and friends who celebrated his special day with him.
happy birthday to our first born!
you have accomplished so much in your 12 years and we are so proud of you.
congratulations on the championship!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

a surprise from nature

we were pleasantly surprised to find this heart shaped potato in our bag of potatoes.
funny thing is i cannot remember the last time i bought a bag of potatoes.
usually i just buy 4 or 5 at a time, or else they go bad.
but i stocked up on groceries a couple days before christmas.
with hopes of not having to go to the grocery store at all over christmas break.
and i never did!

so, we were all thrilled with this potato.
i left it propped up on our kitchen counter for awhile.
i haven't used it yet, and it has not gone bad!!

i have never seen a heart shaped potato before, have you?
thanks, mother nature, for bringing this excitement into our kitchen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

just a few - (christmas 2010)

pictures from christmas last year.
the kids noticed awhile ago that i had never posted any pictures from last year.
and i found that i had started this post (downloaded pics for it at least) and never finished.
so, here are just a few pictures.  i really didn't get that many last year.
ella was thrilled with her roller skates, she wore them for about 8 hours straight.
and we didn't even know until the next day that she had strep throat.
she took some motirn for feeling down and then was happy go lucky all day.
but then the next day we were into the dr. getting her throat cultured.
and yep, it was positive.  she was a real trooper though and luckily no one else got it!
the boys were very happy with their wii games, legos and books.
and the stocking stuffer treats are always broken into right away.... 
john john got a drum set from nani and tata.
he put on a show out back for quite awhile...
ok, so now it's documented.
christmas 2010...we are very blessed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a time to gaze

i took the three younger kids to get hair cuts after school yesterday.
we had an hour to kill before christopher's game.
these pictures are all from two years ago.
i love having the chance to sit and really soak up my kids, and just stare at them.
as sat there i found myself gazing at their beautiful faces.
i couldn't help but stare at each of them fondly.
a small and wonderful smile appeared on my face.
when they were babies, it was part of the wonderful daily routine -
to stare at their own individual beauty...
while nursing, holding, or bathing them - you just can't help but stare at your beautiful baby.
as they grow older this opportunity presents itself much less frequently.
but i had the chance today.
there was no fighting, no noise, no rushing...just me watching my kids sit peacefully.
so peaceful for them that andrew fell asleep.
but, it also brought peace to me.
our days are filled with so much noise,
i really noticed how peaceful it was to just sit and watch them.
it is these little moments in life that are actually very big moments.
when we sit back and pay attention we realize how meaningful they really are.
something as simple as a mother watching her children get their hair cut.
can actually be so very profound and wonderful.
the peace and love it brings to her can just make time stand still.
the next time your kids need a hair cut, i encourage you to just sit there and stare at them.
forget your phone at home, like i did, so you will be forced to really look at your children.
it will bring you so much peace and happiness.
you will walk out feeling so refreshed and you will cherish that simple & wonderful day.