Thursday, February 26, 2009

Manuel's Big Day

This post has been a long time coming. But when one has over a hundred pictures to go through, it takes a while to get the post out to the blog.

So here we go....

Who is Manuel?


Manuel es mi primo.


What was his big day?


January 17th, the day he got baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Why was this such a big deal?

Because in my church kids usually get baptized when they are eight years old. That is because at the age of eight children have a knowledge of right and wrong. They are also capable of having a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know this is true because I have an eight year old...she knows right from wrong and she knows Jesus is her Savior.

Well Manuel is fourteen. He has been raised from birth in our church but his dad is of another faith. To honor his father's wishes Manuel was not baptized at the age of eight even though he had the desire to be. As the years have gone by it has become more and more important to Manuel to be baptized. Right before Thanksgiving Manuel asked his dad once again for permission to be baptized and this time his father's heart was softened and to everyone's delight, he said yes. This was truly a miracle for our family, but not a surprise to my Tia Ines, Manuel's mom. She always had faith that this day would come.


Manuel and Tia Ines

Who came to support Manuel?

Everyone!...Duh! Have you not read my previous posts about my family and how we support everyone and everything!

Manuel's Baptism13

Tio Marco, Dani and their kiddos. Uncle Al and Tia Ana


My brother Jason, his girlfriend Beth and my niece Zoe.

Manuel's Baptism14

My Abuelita Hernandez and my mom and Joe.


The Parrea Family

(my brothers lovingly call them the "puh-tay-tah's")

Manuel's Baptism15

Us...of course and my brother Eric (aka Tio Rico)


All of the little cousins were there to support. They sang this precious song called "If the Savior Stood Beside Me"

(listen closely to the words. when your kids are taught these principles at home and at church how can they not know Christ)

IMG_2765 These are the sister missionaries that taught Manuel.


These are Manuel's friends who have been so supportive.

I have been to a lot of baptisms in my time. When I was the Primary President I went to dozens of them. This one was definitely one of the most special I've been to.

Why was this one so special?

~Maybe it was because Manuel is my cousin.

~Maybe it was because my family has prayed and fasted for this day to come.

~Maybe it's because Manuel has prepared himself for years and patiently waited, never complaining.

~Maybe it's because he was baptized by his uncle Joe, confirmed a member of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by his Tio Marco and then given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained to the office of Teacher* by his Uncle Al.

~Maybe it's because my sister gave the talk on Baptism and my Tia Ana gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.

~Maybe it's because I was the chorister...then again maybe not.

~Maybe it's because his sweet little cousins sang this precious song that is playing on my blog.

~Maybe it's because I know the spirit of my great grandma, my Abuelita Tina, was there. She herself was baptized at the ripe old age of 90.

~Maybe it's because I made a very cool video tribute to Manuel that we played on a projector. (I'm still trying to figure out how to load it onto my blog.)

~Maybe it's because there were over a hundred people there, including family and friends. Some of which are not members of our faith.

Well, I believe it was all of these reasons that made it so special. It was a wonderful day. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it. I love Manuel so much and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He is a great example to my children. I look forward to watching him grow up into a fine man who will not only use his talents to better the world but to also build up the kingdom of God.


An office of the Aaronic Priesthood. A worthy young man is normally ordained a teacher at the age of 14. Some of a teacher’s responsibilities are to prepare the sacrament and to teach the truths of the gospel from the scriptures. Those who instruct classes are also referred to as teachers by virtue of their assignment not related to a priesthood office.

**This is only part one of Manuel's baptism. It was a fun filled weekend with lots to document.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Last Saturday I took Maya, Eden and my niece Olivia to a local salon for a "Princess Make-Over". The Paul Mitchell School did it as a fundraiser. I have four nieces that live close by so for their birthdays I decided their gift would be a special date with me and the girls. So this was Olivia's special birthday date.

Princess Olivia
IMG_3287 IMG_3298IMG_3300

Princess Maya

This picture of Maya KILLS me! She looks so beautiful.
She looks so grown up. I can see what my sweet girl will look like when she goes to prom in eight years....UGH!

Princess Eden
And here is my Shirley Temple impersonator...

All Dolled Up.
It was such a fun afternoon with the girls.  With all the stress we've had lately due to sickness, sleeplessness and corrupt adoption agencies, it was a nice break for me and the girls.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jazz Hands and Smokey Eyes

Everyday I pick up Eden from school and I ask her how her day was and if anything exciting happened. She can never remember what she learned, but she can always give me a play by play of the conversations she had.

So last week when I asked about her day she told me about a conversation she had with a boy named Brennan.

B- I know all the weapons in the whole world.

E- I know some girl weapons.

B- There are no such thing as girl weapons.

E- Yes, there are.

B- What are they?

E- Jazz Hands and Smokey Eyes.

Eden likes it when I wear make up, which is usually on Sundays or special occasions like First Friday. She was watching "What Not to Wear" and learned that when I wear eye shadow it looks like "Smokey Eyes". Ever since First Friday she has been obsessed with my outfit/overall look. She wanted to dress up like me so this is what she put on...


She wanted me to do "Smokey Eyes" on her but this was one of my really sick days so all I did was her hair. Besides heaven knows we didn't need any weapons in the house.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

True Story

This morning I decided to go for a run. I live in a community that is all about paved trails and sidewalks promoting a healthy lifestyle. It makes it pretty easy to go for a nice safe run...or so I thought.

I'm about half a mile into my run just enjoying some Coldplay (Viva la Vida to be exact) when I notice the cars driving towards me pulling over to the side of the road as if an ambulance were coming. I don't see any flashing lights...I turn down my Coldplay and....nope no sirens to be heard. So I keep on running. Then out of the corner of my eye I see this:


No joke. I see a mama moose and her baby, her enormous baby, on the other side of the street trying to cross over to my side. On my side there is a fence lined neighborhood. They are... oh about half a block away from me. So what would you do?

I start running in place sizing up the situation. I realize my choices are to keep on running pretending to be invisible hoping that the moose wouldn't see me. Or I could try to climb over one of the six foot fences into someone's backyard. Or I could run as fast as I can the opposite direction back towards my development.

I decide to run back towards my house in full sprint. I don't look back just run. A good long minute into my sprint, a nice couple in a silver PT Cruiser pull up next to me and offer me a ride. They said the moose were gaining on me and there was no way I could out run them. So I hop into the strangers car and they drive back into my development and drop me off so I could continue my run. I was a little freaked out so I cut my run short and after another mile I headed for home.

I can only imagine what that must have looked like... five foot three me being chased by a seven foot something mama moose and five foot something baby moose. I'm just glad I lived to tell you all about it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eden's Exciting News


For the past two and a half years Eden has been waiting for her turn to have a loose tooth.


We took this picture the night Maya lost her first tooth. Eden thought it was so exciting. For the past two 1/2 years she has been asking me to check her teeth regularly to see if she had a loose tooth. Well about a month ago she bit into an apple and started to cry because she thought she broke her tooth. When I told her that her tooth was actually just loose. She squealed with delight. For over a month now she has been waiting for the big day that it would actually come out. She would bring me string and ask me to get it out, because that is how we got Maya's out.

So Sunday night was the big night.


It took a few tries because mom wasn't as strong as she thought she was. I would flinch every time.


But I finally did it.


And here is my new toothless girl.


Big sister stood by and supported this time.


And thank goodness our tooth fairy understands that our country is in a recession and only gives out $1.00. Shame on those tooth fairies that give $10.00 per tooth. What are they trying to do? They may as well teach kids that money grows on trees. Before you know it those kids will be pulling out their own teeth so they can buy a Build A Bear. That would be way easier than actually earning the money.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

V-day...Feelin' the LOVE

Friday the girls had their class parties. I had to plan Maya's so I had to go to hers first to get it off and running...



Then I went to Eden's to party kindergarten style.


Normally I make V-day special by making heart shaped muffins for breakfast, heart shaped sandwiches etc....see last years post.

But this year was pretty lame. I started getting a sore throat the night of our party. By Saturday morning I couldn't swallow and my body ached and my eyes watered. I slept in until 9am. The girls actually waited for me to get up before opening their V-day pouches. I didn't get a picture of the pouch emptying but here is a picture of Eden enjoying one of her v-day treasures...


And here are the fun valentines...we are all about homemade.


Here are two of my favorite valentines...

(Maya made this one for Aric from Camden)


(Eden made this one for Camden, they are sitting on the couch with two pillows)


But my favorite valentine was this one:

Aric wrote me a love letter, I'll treasure it always.


After the pouch opening I laid on the couch and watched the girls play High School Musical Sing Star for two hours.

IMG_3184 IMG_3181

Once drugged up, my throat felt a little better so I sang two songs and earned Eden the party dress for Sharpay that she had been trying so hard to get.

After I scored the dress for her I went back to my bed and then didn't emerge until 5pm. I seriously slept almost the whole time. I felt so much better after that.

Aric made a yummy V-day dinner. Stroganoff made with steak that melts in your mouth, bread sticks and salad that we ate in our heart bowls.


Like I said before a very lame V-day but Maya got her wish, which was to play in her jammies all day. Just for the fun of it I stayed in my pj's all day too (notice how lovely I am in the above picture). Thank goodness we celebrated on Friday too. Here are some V-day pics...

My semi-sweet girls:



My super sweet boy:


That outfit is seriously the cutest and I have to thank my friend Becky Fry for sending it for Camden. It fit him perfectly!

So that's what our Valentine's Day looked like this year. Not a lot of excitement, but a whole lota LOVE.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First Friday 2009

(Read Previous post for definition of "First Friday")

And the theme was.....(drum roll please)

.......Rock Star!

It was hosted by....


...Pat Benatar and Maurice Gibb

In attendance we had:

First Friday2

Ann Wilson w/Punk Rocker and Elvis w/ Madonna

(The Stockman's and The Brunts)

First Friday

ZZ Top and Madonna w/ Barry Gibb

(The Romneys and The Sampsons)

First Friday1

Pink w/ Axl Rose and The Biker Punks

(The Nebekers and The Hansens)

Hey Kyle, just because you can't see us, doesn't mean we can't see you...silly Kyle.

We played a lyric game which Ann Wilson (Ev) won.

First Friday3

Then Sing Star "Battle of the Sexes" was on!

First Friday4

I'm proud to say that the ladies won and I got my title back from Adam...there are no pictures of this but there were witnesses. It was a close match and Adam, a worthy opponent.

First Friday5

This is our "We Are the World" picture.



As always there were some priceless moments like...Maurice taking his performance to a whole other level. And a shimmy that went terribly sorry Kyle.

It was a fun night with great friends. I can't wait for next years festivities...'til then....Rock On!

**On a sad note...The Jenkins couldn't make it. They were sorely missed as they are the only ones who had never missed a First Friday. But when flu strikes there's nothing one can do.

Oh and don't be surprised if I show up at church looking like this:


Eden thought I looked soooooo pretty and she told me I should wear this "elefit" (outfit) to church on Sunday, except for the tights because they have holes in them...we'll see.