Thank You Cards

So I thought it was time that I shared a little bit of my scrapbooking passion with you. I am making Thank You cards for Courtney for all of her baby gifts. I really really love scrapbooking and I am recently grown to love making cards. If you're on our Christmas list, you got a taste last year of what I've been experimenting with. Anyways, Courtney's showers were all baby blue and brown, so I thought I'd make cards to match. I have recently purchased a couple of new tools that I wanted to show off, so here goes...I have this new amazing cutting machine called a Cricut (pronounced cricket)-it's so awesome! You buy different font cartridges and type in what you want to cut out, like names, letters, etc. In this case, the cartridge I used had a "Thank You" on it and I cut it out to be a hanging tag with a little crown at the top. The first picture is a picture of the cricut cutting out the brown hang tags I used. The second cool tool I used is a "tagger". This is similar to the taggers that retailers use to hang price tags, but it's made just for scrapbooking, is pink, and comes with cute little different color "tagger tails". I have had so much fun using this! So, I assembled the cards, cutting out the squares of patterned paper (most of which was scraps from the shower decorations), and gluing them on. After that I punched out the "thank you" tags and then hung them on the cards with the tagger. I added a few extra embellishments like buttons and ribbons to the ones that seemed a little boring. Here are some pictures of the cards I made (close ups are of my favorite ones). Hope you like them Courtney!


I'm back and I'm alive!

Yes, its' true...I've come out of hiding. After about a month of total chaos and craziness, it looks like we're finally settling into our routine. Believe it or not, it takes about 1 month to get established at school. I've finally got my head above water! I have so much to blog about-I can't believe how I've let time get away from me! I'm going to try to give you a rundown of all that has happened since August, as well as share some pics, this is going to be pretty long and for that, I apologize....

In mid-August, Cath and I went to San Diego for the Scrapbooking convention. We left on Friday afternoon, took a class, shopped a little, walked around downtown and shopped some more, shopped even more, volunteered, and then cropped the night away! We spent the night and got up Saturday morning for another class, then headed home to work a concert. It was a whirlwind, but it was super fun and we learned some new tricks and had a great time laughing and cropping. I love croppin' with Cath!

The following Monday, the kids and I went up to SLO to visit Sean, Lindsey, Grace, Lily, and new baby Silas. He is soooo sweet. The kids loved playing with their cousins and they even helped me babysit one night while Sean and Lindsey got some time out for dinner. They played games, we colored, we walked around SLO a bit and thoroughly enjoyed our visit-even though it was only for one day! Those visits are few and far between, but oh, so worth it. WE love you guys!

After we got back on Tuesday night, we went to Wild Rivers on Wednesday with the kids group from church and my BFF Cathie tagged along. I think I only have a couple of pictures from that day, but we had a great time relaxing, playing, swimming, and laughing together (even after DJ left JoJo alone at the big waterpark and we freaked out just a little bit). It was a great day had by all!

The following weekend, we celebrated Shannon's 39th birthday. It was a bittersweet time for all of us, but we made the best of it! Cathi Hamen and I kidnapped Shannon, took her to breakfast, and then we met up with family and friends at my Aunt Lois' house for lunch and games. Shannon was so surprised! We were joined by friends from various walks of Shannon's life-high school, church, kids' friends-it was a very fun time. We even learned a new card game! :) After lunch, we all loaded up and took Shannon on the second part of the surprise-to see WICKED! She was overwhelmed when even more friends met up with us there. It was amazing! (second time seeing it was even better for me!). After the show, we drove around Hollywood looking for a place to eat-missed the closing time at CPK by 2 minutes and they wouldn't seat us! We ended up going to the Lucky Strike bowling lanes and having a very nice little dinner. We laughed alot and hopefully Shannon felt the love coming from all of us. It was a great time.

On Monday, her actual birthday, the family got together at Laguna Beach for some fun and relaxing. We went just before sunset, we played baseball (until the ball went over the railing), three flies up (until the ball went over the railing), and then frisbee (until the frisbee went over the railing). Shannon and the kids went down to the water and played a little and then we all walked around for awhile. It was very nice and Shannon enjoyed the time with all of us.

After that, it was time to get ready for school! I had already started prepping for school, but my school actually started on August 30th. This year, Ben is coming to my school for 6th grade. He has very mixed emotions about it. He is, of course, sad to leave his friends from Montevideo, but a little excited at the prospect of being at school with me and his best friend Elijah. The first days of school were pretty chaotic for us as we tried to get our morning routine together-it was even harder because Taylor and DJ had not started school yet! We started a week before them! So we got through that...here is Benny's first day of 6th grade picture....

The following week, my little girl started High School and my baby boy started Junor High! Totally crazy! I can't believe that I have a high schooler, a junior higher, and a 6th grader! Next year they'll all be out of elementary! WOW! Taylor is a freshman and MVHS (where I went) and has already adjusted to High School life. The transition was made much easier by her twin cousins, Ashley and Amber, and almost all of her friends from church all going to the same school. It was extremely smooth. I'm grateful for this! DJ has also transitioned well to Jr. High at La Paz (also where I went). His best friend Ryan goes to school with them and they spend almost every waking hour together. I'm so grateful that God has put the people in my kids lives that they need to be surrounded by, to uplift them, encourage them, help them, and just be there for them. It is such a blessing knowing that they have their closest friends at school with them. Here are their first day of school pics...

So, that leads me to the next big event in our lives-my baby Benny turned 11 last week! I can't believe he is 11 years old. It truly does seem like just yesterday that we were driving to the hospital at 7 AM, I was OBESELY pregnant, and we got pulled over for our registration (Donald hadn't put the sticker on yet). We laughed all the way to the hospital and then everyone got the joy of hearing me spout just about every foul word I know as I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed to get that little boy out of me. They say that your labors are supposed to get better as you have more kids-I went the opposite direction. Benny was deadset on staying in my belly and there was nothing we could do to force him out. It was a very long day. I remember at one point, I was screaming "CUT HIM OUT! GET THE DOCTOR AND CUT HIM OUT!". I think there were a few choice words thrown in there somewhere, but I was truly dilirious and had no control of my mouth. After 4 long hours of pushing, I finally got to where I could start pushing him out. At 9:50 PM, that beautiful little boy came out screaming! I knew he was going to be the one to keep up humble-and he was! He still is! Benny is so unique and special and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. He is a thinker, a questioner, and puzzle-solver and a perfectionist-a perfect mix of me and Donald. He definitely keeps us on our toes-but he also provides some of the best humor and entertainment for us. I love his thoughtfulness and his ability to solve problems and puzzles. Our favorite pastime is the Rhyming game-he's very good at it. If you ever get into a Rhyming war with him, you'd better bring your A-game. Sometimes I let him win. :)

The day after Ben's birthday is my birthday. I had a wonderful day-even though we had to go to school! :) The kids in my class all gave me a rose and a compliment, as well as a gigantice bouquet of balloons-the biggest I've ever seen. Shannon and Courtney came to school and brought me breakfast, Sean called, Donald sent me quite possibly the most beautiful rose arrangement I've ever seen, and then the room moms brought pies and cookies at the end of the day. The class was overwhelmingly generous in their gifting, which you'll never hear me complain about! :) For dinner, we had an Asian feast at Shannon's house and celebrated our birthdays with the family. It was, besides my 21st birthday when I met Donald and my 24th birthday when I had been, quite possibly the best birthday ever. I felt so showered with love and so appreciated-it moved me to tears. I am so so so grateful for the people in my life and to the Lord for placing me exactly where I need to be. At times, we question His plans and we try to make our own plans-we try to solve our own problems and take on the world by ourselves-and then we have time where we can sit back and say "Praise you Lord-you DO KNOW what you're doing! I'll just step back, give you my life, and trust that you're going to work all things for good in my life". And you know what, he does!
BTW-pics of our birthdays are still to come---watch here for more exciting updates......

So, that's about it for now. I'm going to try to be better about posting, now that I'm all caught up-it should be easier, right? :) Love to you all!


Love our visits!

Ok, second post of the day..woo hoo! Today my friend Cynthia from college came down from Fontana with her 8 month old son Jeremiah. He is so cute! Cynthia and I went to Azusa Pacific University together in 1990. We sang in choir together and lived in the same dorm wing and became good friends. We also share birthdays (kind of)- Mine is Sept. 19 and hers is Sept. 26. She and I have some of the best times, just laughing and being silly. She definitely brings out the lighter side of me. We calculated that we have known each other for 17 years now-that makes us pretty darn old! So, we usually try to get together a couple of times a year and today was one of those days! Her little boy Jeremiah is the cutest little slice of cuteness you'll ever see-the kids just loved him! He's in the bouncy, rolly baby stage, so it was really fun trying to get him to be still for pictures-but they turned out alright! We had a great time and I was reminded of how blessed I am to have a few close friends in this world-friends that really know me, laugh with me, cry with me, and bear burdens with me-she is one of them! Love you girl!

We're all alright...

Ok, so the first few days back weren't all that bad...I think I just built up a lot of little frustrations into one giant ball of "AAARRGGGHHHHHH!". Somewhere deep down, I knew that once I got back to school, walked in my classroom, and started prepping, I would be fine. And I was, for several reasons...I think, as with most things, the anticipation level was much too high..meaning, I was thinking about way too much, worrying about way too much, and not praying enough! Once I figured that out, I sat in my classroom Wednesday morning, looked around, and began to pray. And, wouldn't you know...it worked? I took a deep breath, handed it over to God, and my day was awesome! The second reason that I know everything is going to be alright is that my BFF Catherine is going to be my monitor this year! YEAH! In case you don't know, a monitor is like a teacher's aide-they help us grade and file, they sub for us, and they help with the kids on the playground. I was really stressing about this because my monitor from last year was so awesome-we bonded instantly and had a great year..and I didn't really want to total stranger working with me. So, Catherine applied and we waited all summer to hear is she was going to be with me....got the news on Thursday and have already started getting sick of each other! :) J/K Cath! We are so excited and I think God has wonderful plans for our year in the Fantastic Fourth!! :) Thanks to those of you who have been praying for me...please continue to pray as I just got my class list and I have 14 boys and 7 girls-YIKES!!!! Lots of prayer needed there.....
Oh, yeah, I also still have alot of posting to do about the last couple of weeks of summer....they're coming! :)


The last day....

well, I have so much to blog about..we've done so much in the last week and a half and I have pics of everything to post, but for now, I'm wanting to share a little of my feelings with everyone. Usually I'm a pretty happy person, unaffected, easy-going (I like to think), but today I'm bothered. In fact, I think I'm downright blue today. My summer has ended. Today was my last day of freedom as I have to report back to school tomorrow. School actually starts on the 30th, but we have to report starting tomorrow. While I am so grateful to have a job and I do love my job, I have very mixed feelings right now. The summer has passed so quickly. Most of you know that this was my first summer home with the kids and I had great plans for us. I had a list a mile long of things to accomplish and goals to meet, as well as work for school that I intended to do over the summer. Alas, very little of it got done. And I'm feeling like a bit of a failure. I know I'm not a COMPLETE failure, because we did do some fun things this summer, and we loved being home, but I had really high hopes and goals for myself and came nowhere near meeting them. It's frustrating! On top of that, I'm really not ready to go back to school. My kids don't start school for 2 weeks, so now I'm back to scrambling for day care and the busy-ness is going to set in and I don't think I'm going to like it! I was working on some things for Donald earlier today and just got overwhelmed with stress, worry, anxiety-so I threw myself on my bed and had a good cry for awhile. It felt somewhat good-only now I'm exhausted on top of everything else! I know everything will be just fine, I know the Lord is in control, and I know that none of this is earth shattering or anything, but I can't fight the feelings that are overtaking me today-which is unusual because I'm usually a fighter. Right now I really just want to curl up in a little ball and cry some more and pray for one more day! Please say a little prayer for me tonight!


Project Playlist

I have a MySpace and my BFF Cathie showed me how to create a playlist of all my favorite songs-so I thought I'd share. You go to http://www.projectplaylist.com/, sign up for free, and start searching for music you like! It's super easy. It basically takes the links from itunes and other websites and creates a media player that stores and plays your favorite songs for you-for free! They have every genre of music you can imagine and tons you've never dreamed of! I'm going to try to paste my playlist here, but if it doesn't work you can go to my myspace or to project playlist and look me up-it's under "hmac5". I'm so excited. Be warned though-I went a little crazy on my playlist-I went all the way back to the 80's rock and rap, threw in some country, some current rock, and tons of Christian music. I call my list "My Eclectica"-take a look and you'll see why....it's there, you just have to click on the "launch standalone player" button and my player will open in a new window....(or you can go to my myspace)....



We love baseball!

Ok, DJ and I love baseball. Taylor only loves it because she loves the stadium peanuts. Ben only likes it because he gets ice cream. Donald is really only a fan to see who's hot and who's not for his card business. So, that leaves DJ and I as true-blue baseball fans. I was raised on the Angels-my parents had seats behind 1st base for years (until the strike when my dad got sick of the greed and vowed never to support it again-he goes to very few games since then-usually only when someone else has tickets so he's not supporting the greed, I guess!). Some of my favorite memories are of Angel games-my dad used to buy us the program and he taught me how to keep score and stats of the game-I used to love that! We always had binoculars and I loved zooming in on all the action. It's funny, because he always had an "Angel game bag" ready to go for the game and I am that way also! Of course, my Angel bag is an extremely cute homemade bag made of Angel fabric and his was not as cute, but I think it's funny that we both did that! I loved learning all the players names, watching their stats, and hearing my dad tell me stories of all of them. My dad used to sell insurance to a lot of the players-so he had some great stories! Now, that tradition is being passed on to DJ. He LOVES baseball-when he was younger he would actually sleep with his glove! He is a true stat-guy-he can tell you almost anything you want to know about almost every player! So, last week, I took him to a game. We bought tickets from my friend and they were pretty good. We were out in left field, about 12 rows back, and got a great view of Garret Anderson (one of DJ's favorites). It's funny because he's not really fan friendly and later in the game, the fans were kind of heckling him trying to get him to look our way or smile-and he wouldn't break! It got pretty funny-we are all having a great time. The Angels played the Detroit Tigers and KILLED 'EM! The final score was 13-4! Woo-hoo! Another fun thing was that DJ got to run around the bases after the game-that's a pretty cool that the Angels do. It takes a while to get through the line, but it goes pretty fast and DJ loves it! DJ was in heaven and we had a great day! Here are some pics.....

DJ in front of the stadium, me and DJ on the field after he ran the bases, DJ by the field (that's Garret Anderson in the background), DJ in front of the dugout (that was pretty cool), and a self-shot we took. We had a great time and hope to go back soon! :)


Awesome beer girls take 2

On Saturday, we got to work quite possibly our favorite concert , the FishFest.

This is an all-day Christian music concert. Some of our favorite music acts were

there- Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Third Day, and our new fav Aaron Shust. We

worked all day, made a measly $6, but were blown away by the kindness,

positive attitudes, and general feel-goodness of the day. I think our favorite thing was looking out at the crowd from our stand and watching people, especially grown men, raise their hands and worship the Lord full out without shame. We couldn't stop taking pictures, because we wanted to remember that feeling-totally, unabashed, worship of the Lord. This is a picture of one of those guys-never met him, but couldn't take our eyes off of him (and others).

At one point, we were able to step out of the booth andworship with Chris Tomlin. We were sitting with my sister, Shannon, and got caught up in the moment. Before we knew it, we were praising and crying-it was breathtaking. The Lord was truly present that day (He is every day, but you know how sometimes you can actually feel it?) and we were wrapped up in His glory. It was amazing. Almost the whole family was there- Dad, Mom, Shannon, the twins, Tay, Mandy, and DJ. DJ got to work his first concert that day-he actually made more money than me! He had a great time. Taylor worked, too, and had fun with her BFF Nicole in their food stand. Here are some pics of that wonderful day....