Christmas 2013

This Christmas season was full of new friends and traditions! I knew, living in Aliso Viejo, that it would be different. Everywhere you go, Christmas takes on a different face, but the meaning never changes.

This year we went to Ethan's class and decorated gingerbread houses! We used a milk carton cut in half and stuck things all over it. I love spending quality time with my boy!

We went to the Newport Beach Christmas ligh boat parade. We never expected to see such amazing displays floating on water. One boat in particular was decorated with fun party lights and they had a guy on a hydro jet pack shooting out the front of the boat. Amazing! Some people invited us to join them on their boat and watch the parade from there. They gave us cookies and a warm place to sit! There are so many good people in this world.
This is our 'Sunday before church' picture. It was a fantastic Sunday centered on Christ.

We don't have a lot of room in our little So Cal town house, so we decided to get a cute little tiny tree to fit in the living room. It turned out to be perfect! I've learned that children have NO expectations as to what Christmas has to be. Any little detail that I add as a parent is just a BONUS. I think I put those expectations on myself. I think Christmas has to be 'just-so' in order to be perfect. That's NOT SO! We had such a fun Christmas this year without piles and piles of presents. The kids were so happy!!

We spent Christmas Eve with some families from our ward. None of them have immediate family in town (like us) so we all came together around some yummy food and laughed and talked and sang Christmas carols. It definitely went away from some of our other traditions but that's what made it fun! 

We came home from that party and the children opened up their Christmas pajamas and slippers and we got all nestled in bed before Santa came!

It was a great season. Xoxo!


(PS please excuse any typos, I wrote this from my phone)



The kids went to the dentist for the first time this week. I have been hesitant to take them because they just have baby teeth and it seemed like a waste of time and money to me! But we took Ethan to the pediatrician a while back and I was "kindly" reminded that I should have had him to the dentist earlier. I have to agree, she did have a point. You want to get them used to going to the dentist so they will not whine when you have to take them later on! Too late for Ethan, he is afraid of getting the shot or getting drilled. Welcome to the family of a million cavities buddy! I have so many fillings in my mouth, I don't think I have any real teeth left!

Anyway, the kids did okay considering it was their first time, will they want to go back anytime soon? Probably not!

Art Hour

Some of my favorite memories as a child were the hours and hours I spent drawing and coloring. My mom taught me how to color. She is the best at staying in the lines and doing smooth even colors. 

Sometimes we get bored around our house and rather than flipping on the TV, I like to get creative with the crayons. I can't help but pull up a paper with the kids and get artsy. They get better and better at staying in the lines every day.

My kids watch me like I used to watch my mom. Ivy often asks, "How do you do that?!?" I just smile because I know she will be an even better artist than I am one day.

These little ones bring so much joy into my life. For the short time that I have them here in my home, I hope I can teach them well.


Meet the Frozen Princesses

We love Disneyland as you can see! These annual passes have been the best investment we have ever made. I will be sad one day to move so I had better take advantage of it while I can!

Ivy LOVED the new movie Frozen! I love it too! We have been listening to the soundtrack nonstop at our house. Ivy got the dollies Elsa and Anna for her birthday! We knew we had to meet the real princesses when on our most recent trip to Disney! We waited in line for over and hour. I would say the wait was worth it to see both of these gorgeous girls together. Ivy was awe-struck and therefore shy! I initially wanted it to just be her in the photo with the princesses. That didn't happen because she clinged to me for dear life! Either way, she talks about how cool the experience was. 

Yay for Disney!!

Happy Birthday Ivy (4)

When I found out I was going to have a baby girl I was ecstatic! Not only did I grow up as a "girl girl," (dresses, sparkly, pink) but I am also STILL a "girly girl" today! I desperately wanted a daughter to share those girly moments with! I feel so blessed that God knew that (he knows everything) and He gave me a sweet little princess. She has been just that! A princess!

These are a few if her favorite things:
Painting nails
Playing dollies
The Frozen soundtrack
Disney princesses
Playing with hair
Wearing pretty things
Cuddling (my fave)
Her daddy (another fave)

She and I have a blast at home every day. She is smart and daring too! She will try anything!

I hope I can continue to help her become a young woman in Christ. I hope she gains a testimony of Christ early in her life so that she can bless others through example and service. 

Happy birthday Ivy! Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back!!


Joe's Ecolab work Christmas party

This years work Christmas party was the best ever! They decided to put the focus on family and kids and had lots of fun things going on.

First, they had a taco company cater it. Yummy! I haven't had Mexican food since we've been here so I was in heaven.

The kids couldn't wait to play on the bounce houses! Joe too! He made me race him on the bounce house. He won of course!

Mrs. Ivy also got her face painted. The lady did a great job!

After some other fun games and treats, we heard some bells ringing from down the hall and in came Santa! The kids told them what they wanted and got a pic! It was sweet!

So the work party was a home run! I hope they take the hint and do the same thing again next year!!


PS: don't mind my typos, I wrote this on my phone. :)

Mom and Dave

This is my most favorite picture of my mom and Dave! 

The more I spend time with this match made in heaven, the more I love them. I can't wait to make more memories with them and our family. 


The princess and the prince

Ivy and I were playing school this morning. We practice writing letters and we practiced writing her name, and then we drew princesses. After that, she wanted to tell me a story and have me write it down. This is word for word her story! I love the part about the witch being pushed out of business...funny!

She is my little buddy, I love having her at home to play with and cuddle with all day...


PS. Please excuse any typos, I wrote this from my phone.

Trip to AZ

We took a road trip down to AZ last weekend (no potty breaks on the way there BTW). We were going for the wedding celebration of my mom and Dave. It was such a nice time! 

Friday night we went to the event and had an amazing steak dinner and watched my mom perform, along with her good friends. They sang some awesome love songs and all of us were enchanted, most of all Dave who smiled sweetly at my mom the whole time!

I was asked to come up and sing "Feels Like Home" with the ladies. Mom and I sang it at Angie's wedding so I knew the words. :)

The next morning we went to the park and let the cousins play together.
We had a nice time gabbing on the bench. That's what moms do!

That evening we went on a date night with our friends Brett, Jacque, Dave and Robin. We rode in Brett's jeep with the top down to Encanterra and had a wonderful meal! I love their company! We actually stayed at the Fergusons house the whole weekend. We had such a nice time and felt so welcome. They even made crepes for us before we left. 
This is a funny wind blown pic of Jacque and I from the evening.

It was a really nice weekend and made me miss AZ a ton!


Daily Hugs

Do I love these two so much?!? I think it's pretty obvious that I do. 

Ivy and I look forward to our daily walk to Wood canyon elementary to pick up big brother. She likes to play around at the front of the school while we wait for him. I always look forward to Ethan coming out so I say, "Oh look, Ethan's class is walking out!" 

One day I noticed Ivy making her way over to his class line and watching him closely. As soon as he left the line, she ran over to him and squeezed him with the biggest hug ever. He smiles from ear to ear when she does this. She's been doing it every day since. 5 minutes later, they are usually getting after each other or tattling about something. But, what's important is these little sweet moments peppered throughout their childhood that make the bond so much stronger. 

(PS: please excuse any typos, I wrote this on my phone)

The Post-It

Dear Ethan,

You really surprised me today. You pulled out this little post-it note all folded up from your back pack. You told me it was a "behavior agreement" for your 1st grade teacher Mrs. Burke. I was immediately curious as to what the chart meant! Then you explained to me that you had been keeping this chart daily since the start of school. You had been drawing different faces to show the mood that Mrs. Burke was in that day. 

Oh buddy! This tells me so much about you! I already know that you are likeable and kind. But this little chart tells me that you are sensitive to the environment around you. It shows me that you are watching the world. Rather than just reacting to the bad moods and ill intentions of others, you are able to step back and see the big picture.

With this gift, you will be able to be a success in so many outlets of your life. You will be the mediator, the calm center that people will turn to for guidance. You will be an awesome husband and father. 

You're probably thinking, how could you know all of this from a sticky-note. Sometimes even the smallest of acts can tell people a lot about our character. Love you big boy!

(PS: please excuse any typos, I wrote this on my phone)


Happy birthday Ethan (7)

What a joy this Ethan boy of mine is! He is so GOOD. Being good is really all a parent wants for their child. Not only is he good, he's also loving, gentle with his sister, funny, sensitive, crazy, noisy, cuddly, smart and driven. 

I remember the day they laid him on my chest after several hours of labor. I was exhausted, and so was he. BUT he looked up at me with his big beautiful blue eyes and we instantly connected. He was my buddy from then on! We had 3 awesome years together just he and I. Lots of blocks and cars. Lots of library books. 

He's an amazing older brother to his little sis! She feels happy to have him stand up for her! 


PS: please excuse any typos, I wrote this using my phone. :)


Happy Halloween 2013

What a great day Halloween was! We started out with a parent-teacher conference with Ethan's first grade teacher Mrs. Burke. She had SO MUCH good to say about my Ethan boy. He is so bright! He is ahead in reading, writing, and spelling. He's also doing great in math. I'm such a proud parent! I love my boy.

At about 4pm we got ready and went to a little party some of our neighbors have every year.
This year, Ethan went as a clone ARF trooper from Star Wars, and Ivy went as Sophia the first. The party was a lot of fun and there was a "witch" who came out and did spells on all of the kids. It was adorable!

After that, we came to our little neighborhood and met up with some friends and took the kids trick or treating. It was the BEST candy haul we've ever had. Our neighborhood is a big circle with lots of little houses close together so the kids could get a whole load of candy in a short amount of time. I would say they each got about 5 lbs! Oh what fun! Ivy was so funny this year because she finally "gets it!" She ran as fast as her little legs could carry her all night. Her little blonde curls were bouncing all over the place. I was so happy. 

So now we are on candy overload. And that's okay!

Happy HalloweeN!

(PS: please excuse any typos, I wrote this on my phone)


Campanio and Pop Quats!

My little Ivy was born with a funny sweet endearing little accent. She doesn't ever say her "R" sound. So when she is saying Barbie, she says "Bobbie." She also gets the letters mixed up on some words.

There are two words that are especially funny. Campanio is Piano, and pop quats is Pop Tarts. She knows so many words now that we are trying to hold onto these two as long as we can. :)

Thingers and Incept:
Although Ethan speaks almost perfectly and can read and write, he still says two words in a funny way. Thingers is fingers, and Incept is except. 

I love my children for their little imperfections. It makes them so special.

PS: please excuse any typos, I wrote this from my phone.


In an earlier blog post, I talked about "Didgi and Dodgy" who were Ethan's imaginary friends when he was 2 and 3 years old. Now I want to tell about Ivy's little imaginary friend. Her name is Debbie. I think she came up with that name from hearing me talk to a lady named Debbie on the phone who used to be my visiting teaching companion. Anywho, she calls her Debbie. Debbie has pink hair and she's a little older than Ivy. Debbie is also very mischievous. Sometimes when Ivy is caught doing something naughty, she tells us that Debbie was the one who did it, or that Debbie told her to do it! But Debbie is a good friend too. Ivy calls her on the phone often. They talk about Terrence and Eugene and plan parties and what not. 

I LOVE that my kids have had imaginary friends. I encourage it. I love to talk with them about it. It expands their imaginations when they create scenarios in their mind.


Ward Trunk-or-treat

There's something about the annual ward trunk or treat that always gets me excited! Maybe it's the fact that I can visit with the people in my ward in a cool Halloween setting, or perhaps it's that I don't have to traipse across the whole neighborhood with my kids to fill up their candy bowls.

This year, Ivy dressed as Sophia the first, and Ethan was a Star Wars ARF Clone Trooper! Little cuties!

I signed up to bring a decorated pumpkin as a table centerpiece. We put this baby together in 30 minutes! It actually ended up winning the award for "Most Creative" so we were pretty happy! 

We ate yummy chili and corn bread.

Then we went inside for some carnival like games and a costume parade. I LOVE sharing the magic of Halloween with my children. Ethan held Ivy's hand the whole time they walked around the gym. He's SUCH a good boy.

After that we went outside for the trunk or treat. By the end, Ivy was tired and cranky (we don't have her nap anymore) so we went home. :)

PS: I wrote this on my phone so please excuse any typos!

Disneyland for the first time!!

So! After a couple of months of wavering on the idea of getting annual Disney passes, we decided to bite the bullet. Sure, were gonna be dirt poor for a month, but I'd say it's well worth the ramen dinners and date nights IN.
Some of our friends and family were planning on going that same day so that helped seal the deal.
I LOVE my friend Jacque! I have missed her so since we moved the California! She totally "gets me." If that makes sense. It's funny, I'm kind if like her baby monkey because she is often grooming me and picking things off of me, but that's what friends are for right!

So here is a pic of when our family arrived.
It was a perfect day. We loved all of the rides. Ethan especially loved the Star Tours ride. I can't imagine what that would be like for him considering he LOVES all things Star Wars! Ivy loved the Peter Pan's flight ride. That ride is one of my favorite rides too! One of my childhood memories is riding that with my mommy. She rode all of the princess rides with me since those were my favorite!

A funny thing happened when Joe decided that he wanted to ride the Tower of Terror with Brett. I thought I would sit it out with the kids, but Ivy (3 years old) decided that she REALLY wanted to go, even after looking at the ride and seeing how spooky it looks! So Joe reluctantly took her on it! He said she was so enveloped by the story of the haunted tower that she asked at the end, "daddy what world are we in?" She also told me, "when we did the big drop, I didn't even beep!" She liked it, but also said she doesn't want to ride it again...

All in all it was an amazing tiring day! We can't wait to go back and have more fun!

PS: I wrote this on my phone so please excuse any typos!



I am so excited to be blogging from my phone! This is an amazing tool and I can't wait to use it more often. My issue with blogging has been that I don't have time to sit down to my computer to write a post, also that I don't have time to Upload my photos from my phone to a computer. Now is the time to get back to it!
Here's a recent pic of my kiddies to start. Talk to you soon!


PS: I wrote this on my phone so please excuse any typos!