Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Star is Born!

Introducing Maya as "Sir Field Mouse" in the Second Grade production of "Save the Plants"

The backstage, pre-show jitters.

The Performance

The Adoring Audience

The Star with her fans

(This is Mrs. Spear, the best teacher ever!)

(This is Tia Evelynne, my sister)
(These are the cousins and the sister)
Hanging with her co-stars, post show

Anyone that knows our family very well, knows that Maya is kind of shy. Having Eden as a little sister doesn't help in that department. Eden will do almost anything Maya tells her to. For example if Maya wants a sticker at Target she has Eden ask the the lady at the register. If she wants a snack at some one's house she'll have Eden do the asking. It takes Maya a long time to feel comfortable with people and I totally respect that so I don't push her too much.

Well, I was so excited and so nervous for Maya when I found out she was going to have a rather big part in the play. She practiced and had her lines memorized very quickly. As the night of the play grew closer I was shocked at how surprisingly calm Maya was. The big night arrived and Maya was amazing! She spoke clearly and loud and sang her little heart out. The best part was how great she felt about herself. She said she "felt her face getting hot" and that she "got kinda sweaty". But you couldn't even tell. Aric and I are incredibly proud of her. As a parent there is nothing more rewarding than watching your child grow and develop their sense of self. It was not easy for Maya to get up there and perform but she battled her insecurities and conquered her fear. That's my girl!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eden's Tag

My friend Kara Barnett tagged me to do six things about Eden. So here it goes.

1. Eden sings. She makes up words if she doesn't know the song. She will sing/talk like "do I have to go to bed?" or "what is for dinner?" She is a good singer and beats all of us at High School Musical Sing Star. Even though she doesn't know the words she hums in perfect pitch. The funniest thing ever is to listen to Eden sing while she is listening to her MP3 player. (By the way, this song that is playing, read my mind by the Killers is one of her favorite songs)

2. Eden's favorite foods are quesadillas and yogurt. She also loves to eat at Subway, she prefers it over McDonalds. For some reason she thinks McDonalds is "germy".

3. Eden isn't afraid of much, except for animals, bugs and especially worms.

4. Eden has her finger on the pulse of fashion...four year old fashion that is. Her outfits totally reflect her personality.

5. Eden has to snuggle with me every morning, in my bed, before she starts her day. So that means if I am up and going before she is, I have to climb back into bed and snuggle her for a few minutes. The funny thing is she comes in with her eyes almost closed, pretending like she is sleep walking.

6. Eden is the funniest kid. She makes up knock-knock jokes. She talks with her hands and her hips. She thinks she is a teenager. Her famous phrase is "Just to tell ya...."

(I took these pictures earlier today, after Eden went to her friend, Jane's, princess birthday party. As we pulled into the garage Eden saw her umbrella and wanted to show me how princesses walk in the rain. People were driving by and waving at her. I had to document these moments, they were just too precious.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somehow it's the end of May and so far this year I have only experienced the warmth of the sun for like seven days...yup, out of almost FIVE monts I have felt warm for only SEVEN days! Three days ago we had the air conditioning on. Today I wore my wool coat to take Eden to dance class. Eden asked me the other day if Heavenly Father was playing a trick on us. I told her that I wasn't sure. Here it is almost summer and we still haven't had spring! AHHHH! Needless to say this weather has put me in a fowl mood. So yesterday these are some of the things that made me smile even though it was grey, wet and gloomy.

Eden got herself ready for pre-school. Here she is decked out in her rain gear.

Cute kid jumping in adorable...even if it is almost Memorial Day weekend.

I don't have a picture of this, but I had to mention it because it made me chuckle. Eden was trying to help Maya with her homework. (double digit subtraction...borrowing) Although it was sweet, Maya was not appreciating the help and was totally about to loose it with Edee. So I asked Aric to find something to do with Edes to keep her busy. Eden wanted to play UNO. She was very excited to play because she is really good at it and totally beats us. She calls herself "The Reverse-r". She couldn't wait to play and Aric was taking too long to get ready.

Eden says "C'mon dad are you ready yet!?"

Aric says "Hold on Edee, let me go potty first."

This cracks me up mainly because I love that Aric used the word "potty" without trying to be funny. Ten years ago I can assure you that word never came out of his mouth, but now after having two little girls it's just part of his vocabulary.

And lastly...when I picked up Maya after school, I over heard her telling Eden that I looked like I was on "What Not to Wear". (This is their favorite show, it is on from 3pm-4pm so that is what they watch after school. I have no idea why they love it so much...) So when I asked why she would say that, she said it was because I was wearing a nice jacket and looked dressed up.
I realized that Sunday is really the only day I actually dress up and it's usually a skirt or dress. And on any other given day I look like this....workout pants, boring shirt and sweatshirt/fleece.
For obvious reasons, I don't really have any pictures of in my "uniform", but I did manage to find this one.
Well today I looked like this. I can hear the cat calls through cyberspace...
I had to run some errands that involved the mall, I've been feeling sorta frumpy lately so I decided to kick it up a notch. I even wore stylish earings. I have to admit it did make me feel better about myself but it takes too much work to look cute everyday. So today I'm back to my least I'm wearing jeans instead of sweats.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's a Hard Knock Life

We took the girls to see Annie at the local Community College. They were so excited, they have been counting down the days since we told them about it. The first time they saw the movie I think Eden was about two and a half. They would watch it everyday. I remember the first time I watched it with them. Watching it with adult eyes, was very different than watching back in the day...I began to question how appropriate that show really is. Where to begin...

Alcoholic Miss Hannigan...seriously every scene she is either drinking or drunk.

Sleezy Miss Hannigan...clearly doesn't have any morals. She throws herself at every man she sees.

Abusive Miss Hannigan...screaming at the orphans, depriving them of food, making them work like slaves and constantly belittling them.

Disrespectful calling, lying, fighting, stealing, not sleeping at bed time.

Children running away...the worst part is that you are relieved when Annie gets out of that dreadful orphanage.

Children hanging out alone, at night, in a big city....and you are hoping they don't get caught.

So, yeah, this is the show I took my kids to. Here they are in the car, with "Holly" or "Holls" (as in Holly Hobby). She had to stay in the 200 degree car during the show. When we got back to the car Edee asked her "So how was it?" If that poor doll could talk...wait...her lips would be melted together so that really wouldn't work...

Here are some shots of the show. I kept my flash off, as to not get kicked out of the show for using flash photography.

Here they are with that sassy, sneaky, smart little orphan, Edee was a little star struck. (They even got autographs!)

And here they are with Miss Hannigan and her "brother" Rooster. Those two are a little too close, if you know what I mean...

After the show, my hard knock life continued.

Hold on to your hats!

Two posts in one day! This was a big deal for me, so it had to be blogged about.

We worked on the yard today. We were working before we left for Annie and then after. I was on a mission. I hung up a hose thingy I bought last spring and I planted my first garden.

Stop laughing...all of you hush your mouths. My three little containers will provide some yummy salad for my family in 50-70 there. This is my very first attempt at growing anything real. So I planted some tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and strawberries. (My girls are praying for our little crop, so I have a good feeling about it.)

A few weeks ago there was a meeting at church where instead of teaching a regular lesson, they had the men and women combine for a lesson on gardening. Yes, gardening. I pretty much tuned it out from the moment I saw a flip chart on watering. Aric and I had conversations without saying a word for about 40 min. He would make a face, squeeze my hand or leg when someone would make some crazy comment about, frost, thinning or fertilizing. WHAT!!??? We tried to be as adult as possible during the lesson and very respectfully took the handout that was provided. When we got home, we were like, "that was weird". I put the handout somewhere and we moved on with life. Over the course of the past few weeks that handout kept finding me. And a catchy little tune I learned in Primary kept coming into my mind...

"The prophet said to plant a garden, so that's what we'll do,
We'll till the ground with rich brown soil and rain and sunshine too,
And if we plant the seeds just right and tend them carefully,
Before we know, good things will grow, to feed our family."

For those of you who know this song, you know how catchy it is. So I caved and decided to follow the council the best way I knew how....whiskey barrel container gardening!

Oh and this is just a funny picture of the girls and the "soy sauce dinner" they made with dirt/water (aka mud) weeds, grass, rocks and fake flowers they found in the garage. Clearly we need a real garden!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Red Cheeks

So this is what your kids cheeks look like after a scooter ride around the neighborhood with her dad.

And this is what your kids cheeks look like when they have "Fifth Disease", yup a disease. At least as far as diseases go, this one is not too bad to get.
Other than the fact that your cheeks get fire engine red and fire engine hot. Oh and you are totally contagious the day before you get the rash, so you expose every kid you breathe on at school. Not to mention it is not a good thing at all for pregnant women to get unless they've had it before. That brings up another positive thing about getting it as a can get exposed to it when you are a pregnant grown up and it won't be bad for you. Luckily your fever is only like 99 degrees and after two days its gone along with your "looks-like-your-momma-slapped-you-good" red cheeks. Just in time for the red lacey rash to show up on the rest of your body. It's not supposed to be bothersome just unsightly....We'll see...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Mother's Day

My wonderful husband and sweet girls made me breakfast in bed. The heart pancake was Eden's idea..

I was showered with fabulous gifts...

Maya made me this bag. On one side it says "My Mom Rocks" and the other side said "My Mom is a Star" so now I have the best church bag ever!

Eden made me a butterfly puppet and a caterpillar made with her hands that said "This is the hand you used to hold when I was only four years old."

Aric got me some much needed casual, slip on sneakers. They are so comfy and I love them.

For dinner we went to the Sampson's where Aric and Mike grilled Amy and I some very tasty ribs. Along with the ribs we had fruit salad, garlic parm asparagus (my fave), corn bread and baked beans with brownies for dessert. I am still recovering from that feast.
We had some wonderful talks at church and I got to substitute Maya's Sunday School class. I had a great day. I am so grateful for Aric who really makes an effort to make me feel loved not just on Mother's Day but everyday. I appreciate that he shows our girls how a woman should be treated and that it is important to honor their mother. I am blessed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The thing about moms.... that I have a lot of them. Let me explain...(this post will be long so prepare yourself)

This is my mom...Elena.
The one who brought me into this world, without drugs no less! The one who put up with my temper tantrums, allergies, social/sport activities and the everyday drama that was me. I was probably her most difficult child to get along with, and as such, our relationship hasn't always been the best. But despite the personality conflicts and (my) score keeping, I have found my mom to always have the best of intentions and I know that she loves me unconditionally. She has taught me many things, but the most important thing I learned from my mom is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That His gospel is on the earth and the only way to be truly happy and have peace in this life is to live by his teachings and serve Him always. She taught me to keep my head up no matter what and never, ever give up. (Oh and I can't forget....she taught me how to find good deals...never pay full price!)

As mentioned before my mom and I weren't always so close, especially during my teenage years and young adulthood. Thankfully the Lord sent others whom I would listen to and learn from since I wasn't into listening to my mom at the time, this was crucial for me.

So He gave me my Abuelita's...

This is my Abuelita Tina, she is my great-grandma.
(this picture was taken the day she was baptized, she was 94)
Because my mom was very young when she became a mother, she had to work and go to school. My abuelita's took care of me and my siblings and as a result they had a huge influence on our lives. My Abuelita Tina taught us how to be kind to everyone and to love each other. She was always giving, even when she didn't have a lot herself. She was selfless and smart. She loved nature and treated her plants and flowers like they were her children. Above all she taught us that family comes first. She is the matriarch of our family and there aren't words to express the deep love and gratitude I have for this woman. She passed away five years ago, and in many ways is still the rock of our family. In my moments of self doubt or weakness, I remind myself that her blood runs through my veins and I can do anything.

This is my Abuelita Hernandez.
She is my mom's mom. She is the hardest worker I have ever known. She is an amazing cook and can get any stain out! She is smart and knows how to stretch a dollar. She was widowed and left with four children under the age of sixteen to raise in a country she hardly knew and a language she did not understand. She managed to always provide for her family and make sure that everyone stayed close. She taught me how to keep a home clean and tidy. She is a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

My tia's...

This is my Tia Ines.

Unfortunately my earliest memories are of her are chasing me around with an ugly troll doll and making me cry. Luckily I forgave her and have been able to appreciate her goodness and love her in spite of her name calling:) She has taught me about enduring to the end and always having a positive attitude. I admire her for her faith, testimony and forgiving heart. She is also a wonderful tia to my girls and gives them lots and lots of love.

This is my Tia Ana.
Where to begin with this one...She and I are very much alike. It's a little scary actually. She is full of advice even when I don't want it. She can walk me off a ledge even when I resist. She can put me back together when I'm broken into pieces. She too is willing to give freely and put others needs before her own...most of the time:) She loves my girls like they are her own and makes great efforts to be a part of their lives. She has gone on many adventures with me and her love and support has gotten me through all of my life's trials.


This is Karen. She was one of my youth leaders at church when I was growing up. At the time she was a young mom with four crazy little boys and a young wife with husband who was crazy busy trying to make ends meet. They had a tiny house that was always big enough for me to crash at. They comforted my teenage heart with grape kool-aid and popcorn. She gave me wise counsel, the same wise counsel my mom tried to give me but I just wouldn't listen because it was coming from my mom. She loved me and taught me and her influence in my life has had eternal consequences. Today she is still one of my dearest friends, my girls love her and think of her daughter as a big sister.

My one and only sister...

This is Evelynne.
Could we be any more different? I don't think so. But this has proven to be a great blessing in my life. She is 2 1/2 years older and wiser. Except when it comes to home decorating and parties, that is my department. She is patient and she is patient...oh did I already say that? She is braver than she gives herself credit for and sometimes I think she loves my kids more than I do. Evelynne has a love and understanding of the scriptures that humbles me. She is a wonderful mother to her four almost five girls (I'm just assuming it's a girl, that's all we can make in this family). She is the calm when I am the storm.

Those are the women who have mothered me and helped me find my way.

Today I am the mom. I have two precious girls that I am raising to, someday, become mothers themselves. This is a daunting task and I take this responsibility very seriously. Because of all the help my mom had in raising me, I realize that I also need help. I am so grateful for the women that I have in my everyday life who teach me, support me, and love my children.

These women are more than just dear friends, they are like sisters. We laugh at each other, we cry with each other, we vent to each other, we seek comfort and advice almost daily. And of course, we take care of each others children. I need these women to help me raise my girls and to help me be a better mother. The Lord knew this and I am so blessed.

I can't close my mother's day post without acknowledging my mother in law, Kathy.

Without her I wouldn't have Aric. She beat cancer with her faith and courage and she is way stronger than she realizes. I am grateful for the way she raised her son and for the love she gives to my children.

So these are the women in my life who have had a direct impact on me and my children. I wish I could name everyone individually who I love but this post is already bordering a to all you women out there Happy Mother's Day! I hope you feel loved and appreciated for the important job that you do. Big hugs to you!