Friday, November 20, 2009

Birthday trip to Disneyland

Last Friday Shane took us to Disneyland for my birthday. What is there to say about a trip to Disneyland? It was magical and super fun as usual. It is so great going with Sydney who sees all the magic that I forget about. This was also Violet's first visit as well as the first day of the holiday season so we were able to enjoy all the Christmas decor. Here's a couple of my favorite pictures from the day.

Violet going strong even though it was close to bedtime. She just spent the day staring at everything.

A picture in front of the castle with my sweet girl.

Thank you Shane for making my birthday another special one! Love you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Last week I turned these....

into these!

They are so delicious. It was my first attempt at making caramels and I will definitely be making them again. I found the foolproof recipe here from the amazing AmberLee.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Here is a snowflake garland I crocheted for above Sydney's window. I thought it would be a fun decoration for her room. Is it too early to mention Christmas? Since I've seen it in all the stores and on some blogs already I think it's okay. I like how it turned out for my first try at a crocheted garland. I can just imagine more of them in the future. Maybe flowers for spring??

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween: Fun Fest

This year's Fun Fest theme was Star Wars as mentioned before. We forgot the camera in the car and never remembered or had time to run back and get it. However thanks to my phone we have a few pictures. Sydney was in the skit and it was exciting for me to see her come out of her shell a little bit.

Here's Jedi Paul (formerly Darth Saul) fighting Darth Vader. Sydney and all the other younglings are in the foreground using the most powerful weapon of a Jedi (prayer) to help.

At the end they all demonstrate their best Jedi pose.

This year was once again super fun and I just have to say thanks to all those who spent their time and energy planning, preparing, and serving for this great event. Until next year....may the force be with you!

Halloween Celebrations

On Friday, the day before Halloween, we spend a couple hours at DreamWorks with Shane. Like last year, they had tables set-up for each of the projects they are working on. Sydney had lots of fun playing games, getting candy, and eating lots of yummy food! She was dressed as Ahsoka (from the Clone Wars animated series).

Here she is meeting Fiona (aka Amanda).

Then she played some games.

"Hmmm which candy to choose?"

The best costume definitely went to this guy who was the DreamWorks moon-boy and even had a speaker somewhere because he kept playing the DreamWorks music too.

Here is Violet in her yoda hat! This was hand knit by a dear friend, thank you Katie!

We had such a great time! Next up was Fun Fest, stand tuned for pictures.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feeding Violet

Last week Sydney feed Violet for the first time. She was so excited! It is so amazing to watch them grow together: how they interact even now. Violet will watch Sydney with such intensity. And Sydney will do anything to make Vi smile. I can already see how God is blessing their relationship as sisters. I know it is such a special bond. I am so thankful that they have each other and that they are part of my family! What an awesome responsibility Shane and I have to raise them and teach them but what a huge blessing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We recently visited a local pumpkin patch with the girls. Sydney had lots of fun in the bounce house and on the hay ride. Then of course we let her pick a pumpkin to take home. Even Violet got in on the action and explored the pumpkins.

I just love this time of year and I especially love spending time outdoors with my family. Now if I could just convince this weather to get a bit cooler I would be very happy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun Fest 2009

I can't believe it has been a month since I shared anything here. Wow. Things have been busy but good here. We have been enjoying the changing of the seasons. Sydney has started a little class at the local recreation center, we have been to a fall festival and a pumpkin patch, the first colds have come and gone (the second round showed up yesterday), and there has been baking and crafting going on. I will take pictures and share some of that soon. For today though, I wanted to share information about Fun Fest for anybody local. This is a free event for families. You can find out lots of information here. We went last year and it was WAY funner than trick-or-treating. There is carnival games, crafts, face painting, a bounce house, a magic show, a skit, and food. Plus this year with the Star Wars theme there is also Jedi Training! So if you live near Burbank come join us!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you (from Vi)

Violet has been blessed with many sweet and thoughtful gifts. I just had to share these two in particular. First, my auntie knit these sweet booties for her in the perfect color, violet of course! She also made her a little blanket which is extra special because I still have the blanket she made me from my own birth. Second, Jamie sent her this amazing doll that big sister Sydney keeps trying to claim.

Thank you for blessing my littlest babe.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Marissa and I started making these large hexagons for a blanket before completely understanding how we were going to put them all together. It all turned out okay but that middle section keeps bugging me. I think in the future I would change it just a bit. The hexagons were fun to crochet and Shane kept teasing that I was making a giant doily. In the end each one was probably four feet across. The whole blanket all together will fit a king-size bed I think. This was made for a dear friend who was married this past Sunday. Sydney was their flower girl.

Victoria and Gary we hope you enjoy the blanket for years to come. May God bless your marriage abundantly!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I want this....

I have long admired the beautiful prints from Ashley over at Kitty Genius. This print set instantly made it to my wish list. I just wish I had a good excuse to purchase it. As it is we don't have enough wall space to hang all the artwork, painting, and prints we have for the girls' room. BUT if anybody can think of a good reason let me know. ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We have been busy around here lately trying to soak up the last bits of summer. I am definitely ready for fall to come with the cooler weather, celebrations and traditions, and a more predictable daily routine (hopefully). Until all those things settle in though we are still rushing around BBQ-ing, playing outside when it's not too hot, and making weekend trips to see friends and family. In the hopes of getting back into that routine I have been trying to spend a little time each day with Sydney working on words or letter sounds or beginning mathematics skills. Here are some flashcards we made together. Sydney picked a book she wanted to learn to read and we picked some words out for her to learn. Then I added a couple of my own too. We will see how she does; right now she knows what all twelve say so she has the tendency to just guess the words.

Hope everybody's getting ready for the season change too because I am praying it's a cold one.

Friday, September 18, 2009

2 Months Old

Yesterday Violet turned 2 months old. How time flies. It seems like we are still adjusting to being a family of four and yet when I pause and look around everybody seems adjusted except me. I am still amazed each time I look at my girls and think of what an awesome responsibility God has given Shane and me. They are such amazing girls; His creations!

Vi is learning all kinds of new little things these days. It is as if she wants to remind me each day that she is growing up already. This was her earlier in the week giving us a show of facial expressions and smiles to start our day. How can I not feel incredibly blessed? She is wonderful!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Orange Pound Cake

(8:00pm) Mmmmm....that looks good. Do we have all the ingredients?

(10:00pm) Yummy! This is GOOD.

Orange Pound Cake from Barefoot Contessa

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cooking and Baking

My little helper!

Last week Sydney and I spent a day in the kitchen. We love cooking together but haven't been able to much since Violet was born. First on the list was cookies of course!

We were blessed with so many meals from friends when Violet was born so we wanted to pay it forward to other families with new ones. We made lasagnas to go with all the cookies. We also have been making Amish Friendship Bread lately so we made up a regular batch, a batch of the lemon blueberry, and another of chocolate pecan. Yummy! All this baking has really made me ready for fall. I just love baking and especially sharing it with others.

And on a final note, this past weekend we were in San Diego for Shane's last three day weekend. We just relaxed, ate good food, spent time with a good friend, and swam. Shane took Sydney to the Olympic training center while Violet and I napped one day. It was nice to be away from all the smoke. Now we are back home and it is so gross outside. It is raining ash all over and even though we are closed in tight, the apartment is starting to smell like smoke. My prayers and thoughts are with all those who are much more effected then us and with all those fighting the fires.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


For one of Shane's three day weekends we headed north to visit my grandparents. It was great to see them with the girls. One of my grandfather's passions is gardening and he took Sydney outside to pick tomatoes. She loved it and ate half of them before we even left. It was a great visit and just reminded me how much tradition and history I have through my family.

While we were in town we also spent time with the rest of my family (except Richard who was at training). Sydney had tons of fun going shopping with her aunties for baseball gear. She then called for a game with everybody so we played a girls vs. boys t-ball game. Although lots of rules were broken and we all had errors it was lots of fun.

Shane has two more Fridays off so we will have a couple more three day weekends to enjoy before getting back into the routine. This extra time with Shane has been great!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big Sister

Above pictures by Amy Agadoni Photography

We were wondering how Sydney would react to a new baby in the house. Sydney has been an only child for four years. Plus, for most of that time none of our friends had children so she was the only child period in her little world. Everybody was telling us stories including some of when I was younger and my baby brother was brought home.

We should not have worried though. Sydney is great with Violet. She is still learning how to be gentle and to leave her alone when she is sleeping. But for the most part, Sydney just wants to help: help wash the baby's clothes, help feed her, help bathe her, help change her, etc. She is a wonderful big sister already.

Here's one of their first pictures together.

So what special things to big sisters get to do? Swimming of course.

And learning how to embroider too.

Shane has Fridays off as part of his paternity leave so we have been busy. I will share more as soon as I have another good day with the girls and have a little extra time. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Violet Olivia

I would like to introduce Violet Olivia to this blog. She will undoubtedly make more appearances here in the future. She was born two weeks early on July 17 at 6:16am. She was 6 pounds 15 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long (same length as Sydney and exactly one pound lighter). Shane and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie with friends and as soon as it was over my water broke. She is such a good baby overall. She is sleeping fairly well and eats great. She mostly grunts and only cries when really hungry or when the grunting doesn't get her the attention she wants. She is such a joy and we are in love with her. She already seems like she will be stubborn and patient, even though those two things seem to contradict each other. The picture was taken by a good friend Amy Agadoni who is a great photographer. They were taken when Vi was two weeks old, which was the day she was due. More to come soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Turning Four

Sydney turns four today! She still manages to amaze me all the time.

She is so independent yet needs reassurance and lots of encouragement.

She is using words like persevere and intelligent.

She loves helping with EVERYTHING I am doing including laundry, dishes, dinner, and crafting.

She loves the park and devours every book we bring home from the library.

She is so excited for the baby and will be a wonderful big sister.

Here are a few pictures from her birthday celebrations which have taken place over the past week or so.

A minature cake and cupcakes to create a caterpillar. Inspired from this amazing cake.

Opening presents with friends at her party in the park.

We made a spontaneous trip to San Diego for the rest of the weekend to visit my parents. The trip included a Padres vs. Dodgers game where Sydney made friends with the girls sitting next to us.

After the game Sydney took her first ride on Opa's boat for a cruise around the harbor and then across to Coronado for dinner.

Today I took her to Chuck E Cheese to play and then to the local art supply store to pick out some new activities for her road trip this weekend to San Francisco for Shane's graduation. Tonight she gets the dinner of her choice. She decided she wanted 'build-your-own-salad' for dinner. Seriously that kid cracks me up sometimes. What four year old asks for a salad bar for their birthday dinner?

Sydney you are such a wonderful daughter. I feel so blessed and filled with love since you have been in my life. These past four years have been so amazing and it is neat to look back at all the ways God has blessed our family through you. I know after this month our family will grow and change but I am so excited to see you in your new role as big sister.

Many hugs and kisses on your birthday,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Preparing for a party

Sydney turns 4 in one week! I can't believe that my little babe will be 4, but it is true I checked her birth certificate to make sure. haha

We are having a party on Saturday for her. Of course, she is super excited. We made her a paper chain to keep track of when the party would be so each evening she runs around the house yelling about how many days are left. On the other hand, I am sort of wondering why I decided to throw her a themed party while 36 weeks pregnant. Call me crazy if you must. Since Sydney is an avid reader and artist I decided to throw her a birthday party all based around Eric Carle's books and artwork. I will try to share all the inspiration and pictures after the party but today we started preparing.

These will be cut up into shapes for the kids to use to create Carle inspired butterflies. More to come soon. I am going to try and post more in the next couple weeks because soon I will be distracted by a new bundle of joy.