Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vacation Fundraiser!

Please go visit my friends, The Buitenwerf's blog post today. They are the family trying to raise funds to assist in their adoption of a 2 year old boy from Ethiopia...they need our help! I've purchased 4 of the vacation raffle tickets myself (they were stocking stuffers for Jake's Christmas stocking!) and I urge you to take a look and see if it is something you may be interested in for yourself!

Thanks all and best of luck to all of us in the drawing!

Christmas Recap

Oh how we love Christmas at our house! Christmas Eve is traditionally spent with the Fagundes clan! Christmas Day with the Avila's always changes location - this year was our turn to host Jake's family on Christmas Day.

First things first, we headed to Mom & Dad's (without a nap for Ryan) pretty early in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. David, Michelle and Natalie had drove in earlier and were there to greet us when we arrived. Later, Kevin, Shannah, Bruiser, Porky, Doyle and Arline joined the fun and festivities. The day was spent with lots of laughter, food, pictures, passing Natalie, watching Ryan dance and playing pool. Oh, and we let the kiddos open their Christmas presents! Ryan (and Natalie) were blessed beyond belief with thoughtful and wonderful gifts. Ryan's room and my house will never look the same! Here are some photos of the fun:

We capped off the evening with dessert before heading back home so Ryan could get in bed at a reasonable time and so Santa could get busy setting out Ryan's gifts!

Christmas morning was SO MUCH FUN! We had to wake Ryan up so we could open our gifts as a family before Jake's entire family came over for the day. Ryan was so excited to see what Santa had brought for him, sleepy-eyed he ran to the living room and opened his stocking. Our Christmas Day celebration began around 9:00 a.m. and lasted through the evening, I believe our guests left at 9:00 p.m.!

It was fun to watch all the kids opening their gifts and Jaylynn and Ryan playing with their toys together all day. My Mother-in-Law and I sat in the house and played several rounds of the board game "Sorry" while everyone else played washers out in the back yard. I started getting a head cold so I didn't want to be out in the cold all day. It was fun to sit back and play some board games, I wish we would have taken more pictures (I should not be in charge of the camera!).

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Something interesting

I've been thinking about something interesting to post today -- I WILL update on our Christmas once the pictures are uploaded - but I wanted to say something funny and all I can think of is Ryan's bedtime routine the past few weeks. It will make you smile!

Normally Ryan does not put up a fight when it's time for bed. We ask him if he's getting tired, he usually says, "yes" or shakes his head in that direction. I tell him to go give daddy kisses (because I like to be the one to lay him in his bed) then if he hasn't already, he grabs both his blue blankets, I pick him up, give him kisses and tell him I love him, lay him in the crib and turn off the light. Then before I close the door he asks, "raining outside?" and I usually answer, "no" and he asks, "cold outside?" and I usually answer, "yes, it's cold outside" and he says, "love you!" and my heart melts and I say, "love you too. Good night."

I Love my sweet little boy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How can it already be December 13??

I seriously have not bought! Sorta waiting for that money tree out front to sprout new branches and start blowing dollar bills instead of leaves!

Anyway, I've been getting the e-mails recently asking what to get Ryan for Christmas. I really have no clue. My son is a die-hard quad and dirt bike fan! His new favorite activity is to sit on mine or Jake's lap and watch quad and dirt bike videos on YouTube. How did this new-found love of YouTube start, you may ask? Good question - he is only 2 years old and no, he does not control the computer on his own, but if he continues to beg and cry every time he wants to watch videos on YouTube, I might just teach him how to navigate the internet next week! I think it was an attempt by Jake to get Ryan to calm down one night when we couldn't decide what he wanted to do and offered to let him watch quads racing! That's where our mistake began, because the kid is smart! He knows that he can sit here for 20 minutes each day and never have to watch the same video twice!

Anyway, back to Christmas gifts...Ryan's birthday was only 3 months ago. He was stocked up with winter clothes and enough new toys to fill his already full toy box. So if I'm hesitant when I respond, "Not sure what he needs, really." it's not because I don't know my kid well enough to know what he likes, it's because I really do not know what he needs for Christmas! Fingerpaints, Playdoh...something fun!

I also decided today, December 13, that I would order some photo Christmas cards to get out in the mail approximately sometime before Christmas morning. Another reason I need that money tree out front to start branching out - so I can afford postage!

Happy Christmas shopping everyone! Who else will we see Christmas shopping at the mall next week??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who wants a FREE Computer?

That's right, I said a FREE Computer! Head on over to BooMama's page to enter a giveway for an HP Touchsmart 600. You have until December 24 to enter and will receive an extra entry if you blog about it! This computer looks like the coolest thing since sliced bread, I would love to win - Merry Christmas to us!! I can't even remember how long has Jake been dreaming about a new computer monitor. We can share!

So what are you waiting for???

OH, and cross your fingers that I'm the lucky winner!! haha!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I've Been Saving Up All Day...

...that's what my Grandma says every year, "I've been saving up all day for this" as we sit down to eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. For the past few years we've joked about it as we all sit down and it's something we all wait for Grandma to say before we start eating!

This year at Thanksgiving I think about how thankful I am for everything and everyone in my life! I am so thankful for my loving husband and my awesome baby boy, Ryan! (OK, he's not technically a baby anymore but he's still my baby!) I am thankful that we are all healthy and happy and that in these difficult economic times, we still have full-time jobs! I am thankful for my siblings, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, for nieces, nephews and another on the way! I love the holiday season and look forward to spending lots of time with family in the coming weeks.

I'll update with pictures from our Thanksgiving festivities soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He loves the water

Tonight Ryan has washed his hands no less than 32 times, or something close to that! He has a stool in his bathroom that he can stand on all on his own and he loves to wash his hands, brush his teeth and just play in the water. Tonight I caught him on video singing the tail end of "happy birthday", making silly faces and cleaning the sink! Here's a glimpse of Ryan in action.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Six years ago today was our amazing, beautiful and FUN wedding day! Here are a few photos of us through the years:

Dating in 2002 - 2003

Engagement Pictures

Wedding Day!

Me with Mom & Dad

Pregnant with Ryan!

Ryan's Baptism

Coast Trip in 2008

Happy Sixth Anniversary, Jake! I Love You :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks for the comments on my Truth post. Really, it helped me to think about even more than I was already pondering.

I'm sad to report that I have not ventured outside of my comfort zone and attended church yet. I have, however, been able to be in contact with an old (in years, not age) friend that is very dear to me and we have agreed to be each others support and church attending partner! (Chaundra, if you're reading this now, I just realized that Sunday is our 6th wedding anniversary! Needless to say, I'm hoping to either get away for the weekend with the hubby or at least enjoy his Sunday off together. I may have to attend church on Saturday evening local and then meet up with you the following weekend...Life sure is busy these days!)

Tracy, I look forward to hearing more about your Beth Moore study. Keep me posted on how it's going!

Tamara, thanks for the comments. Our prayer time is coming along and yes I would love to converse with you about these issues! I'll be in touch soon.

Right now though, I have a 2 year old who is running through the house playing "hide & seek" with his daddy and I think I want to join in on the fun!

I'll post more soon with some pictures of our weekend birthday party and visit with family.

**UPDATED** Please know that I DO know when my anniversary is, I just didn't realize until I looked at the calendar that it is falling on Sunday this year! Just wanted to clear that up for anyone who may be thinking..."she doesn't even know when her anniversary is"!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Happy Birthday Mom!

Somehow we always say the least
To those we love the best
And hope our thoughts are understood
Although they're unexpressed -
That's why it means so very much
When days like this are here
To say how very much you're loved
Each day throughout the year!

Love you Mom, Happy Birthday!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Ever since we found out we were expecting with Ryan, I've always pictured us as a church-going, Catholic-practicing family. We had Ryan baptized but we have never made the commitment to going to church every Sunday. In the beginning of our marriage it was difficult to predict Jake's days off and I never wanted to take Ryan (who could, in an instant, become a crying infant in church) to church alone. I read a lot of blogs of Christian women who belong to small groups within their church family and who rely on their faith to see them through every day situations or trying times in their lives. I LOVE it. I am inspired by these women (most of whom I've never met in real life - but I stalk their blogs because I am so inspired).

I've also been reading a lot lately about Beth Moore Bible Studies - and don't laugh - but I don't know who Beth Moore is and I am so anxious to find out what it is that a Beth Moore Bible Study is all about!!

So I am going to challenge myself to attend church as many Sundays as possible this month even if it means I go alone or just with Ryan. I want Ryan to be familiar with and understand the Bible. I am also going to challenge myself to incorporate some new things into Ryan's bedtime routine. On top of putting on his pj's, brushing his teeth and reading bedtime stories, I want to start bedtime prayers with him too.

This might all sound really random to most people who know me but this is always how I dreamed my life would be and now that I'm responsible for my own actions and the way I raise my child, I guess I have no one to blame but myself if it doesn't happen.

I challenge you all to make a change in your lives, to do something you've always dreamed you would do but just haven't followed through with. Maybe it's something as small as being kind to strangers, offering a "good morning" to the co-worker that you never speak to, or foregoing the lazy, sleeping-in on Sundays and attending church yourself. If anyone wants to join me in going to church, the more the merrier!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from


Here's Ryan trick-or-treating at Grammy & Papa's house.

And Ryan being shy and not wanting to be a part of the cousins picture on Halloween!

Here are the rest of the cousins (sorry for the blurry pic). Bryce the football player, Kayla the witch, Anthony the baseball player and Jaylynn the lady bug.

We took Ryan with his cousins to the church in town instead of our original plan of the church in Hanford because he skipped his nap and was really cranky. He wanted to be held the entire time. Here we are in line for the Cake Walk.

It was a good but long day. We're hopeful Ryan will be more active and interested in Halloween next year and we can enjoy the church activities a little more next year (Ryan says, "yeah, right!").

Hope your Halloween was fun too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Kid

Last weekend we met up with our friends and Ryan's godparents, Jarrod, Michelle and Preston for a visit to the pumpkin patch. It was a first for both Jake and Ryan! (I don't have any pictures of all 6 of us - we were just trying to get each of our own children to pose for the cameras - which as you can see below, was not an easy task!)

Here's Jake and I on the hay ride...oops, I cut Ryan's head out of the photo!!

Isn't this the cutest Turkey you've ever seen?

And how about a picture of two little bunnies? Here's Ryan and Preston sticking their heads through the bunny cut-outs!

It was a fun time and we came home with 1 pumpkin which we look forward to carving this weekend.

Happy Fall, All!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We have a climber...

...a crib climber, that is!

This morning when I heard Ryan calling me from his crib, "Mommy, up" and "Up Mommy" I opened his bedroom door to find him laying in the middle of his blankets and R6 (his new teddy bear from Build-A-Bear) smiling away at me. He quickly jumped up and our conversation went something like this...

Ryan: Shower?

Me: Yes. I just took a shower. Did you hear the shower?

Ryan: Yes! Shower!

Me: *smiling at my sweet "baby" boy!

Ryan: Out?

And then what I hoped to never see him do because after all he is still my baby, right? He CLIMBED over the side of the crib and landed on his two feet on the floor!! He looked up at me and just smiled and then said, "Mommy, up!"

So, unfortunately for me, because I am not quite ready for my Ryan to be a big boy yet, we will be removing the front railing of the crib tonight and replacing it with the guard/toddler bed rail instead. Hopefully Ryan will understand that he is not to get up out of bed unless we come in to get him up - otherwise I'm afraid we'll hear him on the floor of his room playing with his monster trucks after bed time!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome Baby Natalie

On Friday my sister and brother-in-law welcomed their first child, Natalie Faye, into the world! The whole family was there waiting for the word from Daddy David that Natalie arrived - it was 12:28 p.m. on 10/9/09, she weighs 7lbs 10oz and is 20 1/2 inches long! Mommy and Natalie were both recovering well.

I finally got my hands on her --- isn't she a cutie! Here's our first picture together; Auntie Patty and Natalie.

And of course we had to get a bow on her right away!

Here's a photo of Ryan holding his cousin - look at all that dark hair Natalie has (and what happened to my little baby? Ryan looks so grown up in this picture!).

We spent the weekend at the coast so we could check in on the new family as often as possible. We spent some time with Kevin and Shannah at their place, eating dinner, watching football and enjoying Ryan being his usual talkative, playful self.

Here's a picture taken while we walked the pier in Pismo with Grammy and Papa. Papa bought Ryan a seashell so he could "hear the ocean"! Ryan was intently listening to "the ocean" through that seashell!

We had a fun weekend with family and look forward to catching up with them all again soon to love on Natalie and see how much she changes in her first few weeks home!

Congratulations Michelle and David on a healthy, beautiful baby girl!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Journey 4 Hope Auction

My friend, Tamara Buitenwerf, and her family are hosting an online auction on their blog, A Journey 4 Hope Auction. The auction will be up until October 23, 2009. Please visit their blog, read their story, check out the auction items and bid on an item (or 2, or 3) if you find something you like! Thank you in advance for helping them out!

A Journey 4 Hope Auction

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Picture Post

I've been lacking in posting pictures lately. Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks around here.

Here's the birthday boy on his birthday. He doesn't look happy here but I promise he was having a blast swimming with Addy!

The monster truck cake!

Opening presents ---

And playing with them as he went along ---

The big finale gift --- thank you G.G. for the new bike!

Wearing Uncle Kevin's cowboy hat and acting goofy for everyone ---

Giving Baby Natalie kisses! Next time we see Auntie 'Chell and Uncle David, it will be Natalie's birthday!

Papa and Ryan sharing a lollipop!

We had a busy and fun weekend. Now time for laundry and getting ready for the busy work week ahead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dear Bob & Jillian...

After watching last night's episode of The Biggest Loser, this is the letter I would like to write to The Biggest Loser team trainers:
Dear Jillian & Bob,
I am a faithful watcher of The Biggest Loser and have been for the past several seasons. Although I am glued to the television each Tuesday night to tune in to how well the contestants are progressing along their weight loss journey - I must admit that I am not excited about the joint effort in training all the contestants together this year. I guess I liked the competition side of things between the two of you better. I do appreciate the contestants working together towards their common goal and I suppose that is what truly matters.
The reason for my letter is to ask you a question: Why? Why the black leather jackets on weigh in nights? And if you must wear them, Bob, can you wear one that doesn't look like it should be worn by a girl walking the halls of the local high school? I mean, let's face it, this season was most-likely taped during the summer months in sunny Southern California, it can't be cold enough for a leather jacket. The poor contestants are standing next to you wearing nothing but spandex shorts (and sports bras for the women)! I'm just sayin'...
On a lighter note, way to go BL Contestants for surpassing your 150 pound weight loss goal on last night's episode!
Biggest Loser fan but not a fan of the leather jackets!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ryan

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday dear Ryan...

Happy Birthday to you!

I had read somewhere a long time ago about a good way to "journal" your child's favorite things throughout the years. I'm going to start this with Ryan this year and continue on until he is too embarrassed to answer my silly questions! I will make a binder to add a page each year on Ryan's birthday but I'm also going to post Ryan's answers here for you all to read. The "interview" went a little something like this:

Mommy: Happy Birthday Ryan! How old are you?
Ryan: Two! (holding up his right hand instead of 2 fingers!)

Mommy: Ryan, what kind of birthday party are you going to have this year?
Ryan: Monster trucks!

Mommy: Ryan, what's your favorite color?
Ryan: number

Mommy: No, what's your favorite color?
Ryan: blue!

Mommy: Ryan, what's your favorite number?
Ryan: Six!

Mommy: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ryan: Barney grow up.

Mommy: Who's your best friend?
Ryan: Mommy best friend!

Mommy: And who else?
Ryan: Daddy best friend!

So there you have it, Ryan's birthday interview on his 2nd birthday. :)

Happy birthday, little man. Mommy and Daddy love you so much! You're growing and changing every day, never missing a beat along the way. You're talking from the minute you wake up in the mornings until the minute the lights go out at night. You're such a joy to have in our lives and we hope all your dreams come true, even if you want to be Barney when you grow up! Love you!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is That Really Possible?

Is it really possible that tomorrow my little munchkin will be 2!?!? Where oh where has the time gone? I feel like it was just yesterday I was frustrated not knowing my true due date and being taken off work a month early due to stress, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Having to really watch my food intake and check my blood sugar 3 times a day. Those are great memories. But what's better is having my little companion, my cute little cuddly boy who has given me more great memories in the last 2 years than I ever could have imagined.

One quick story: Last night Ryan came running in the living room and jumped up on the couch with me, laid in my lap and just giggled. I held him tight, rocking him and told him that this is what I used to do when he was just a little baby and he laughed! I rocked him and pretended to burp him and he thought that was so funny!

Tonight we go birthday party shopping. Tomorrow we party!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Recipe for Confidence

  • Choosing a top that you're not so sure is work-appropriate.
  • Throwing on a cami underneath the top you're not so sure about and deciding it's a "go"!
  • Going in to wake up my (almost) 2 year old, realizing he's wet the bed, picking him up out of the bed and having him say, "Mommy pretty" while pointing to my top that I previously was not so sure about!!

Needless to say, he made me feel good about my wardrobe choice today and my co-workers even commented on the top too! Apparently there is no reason to second guess my work attire. Ha!

Haven't posted much lately and that's only because I haven't got much to say! Nothing new going on around here. We're planning for Ryan's 2nd birthday party next weekend but that's about it. I suppose I'll be back with more pictures soon.

OH - a quick shout-out to Tammy!! Tammy, I went to the Madera District Fair last night with some girlfriends to see Gary Allan! It totally brought back memories of the year my parents bought me tickets to see Gary Allan, Shelley Wright and Mark Chestnut at the Hanford Fox Theater for my birthday and I took Jessie with me to the concert. Can you believe that was 10 years ago!?!? Two words to sum up the Gary Allan concert last night: Handsome; Perfection!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

cry, cry Baby!

Last night my in-laws offered to keep Ryan for the evening and take him along to run some errands and have dinner. I was excited for the little break in my day between working 8 hours and doing the nightly routine at home! I opted to skip the gym last night so I could go home to (catch up on As The World Turns and lay on the couch) make dinner, put away some laundry, clean the kitchen and relax. When Nanny and Papi brought Ryan home at 9:00ish last night, Nanny walked Ryan up to the door and I could immediately hear crying. NOT crying because he couldn't wait to get in the door to see Jake and I - crying because he DID NOT want to come home! I tried calming him down explaining that Nanny and Papi needed to get home and go to bed too and that he would see Nanny first thing in the morning but he was having no part of that explanation! I told Ryan he was hurting Mommy's feelings and that I was so glad he was finally home but again he was having no part of my reasoning! We finally told Ryan to wave bye-bye and took him in the house where he proceeded to cry and throw a fit.

While out and about with Nanny and Papi, Ryan got some cool little plastic dinosaur toys. One of said toys makes noise like a dinosaur when you press the button on its belly. I was able to get a smile and a few laughs out of Ryan when he tried scaring me with the dinosaur sounds! We shared a few laughs and colored a little with his new colored pencils before I changed his clothes and put him down for the night.

I only got to spend about 20 minutes with Ryan last night but it was probably the longest 20 minutes of my day! I love this kid more than life itself - but he can throw quite a fit when he's not getting what he wants and obviously the last thing he wanted yesterday was to come home and spend some time with his Mommy who missed him dearly for the 4 hours he was gone!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Thanks to Rachael Ray, we had a delicious dinner tonight!

We had Honey-Mustard Pork Chops with The Works Baked Potatoes.
This is the sour cream, bacon and shredded cheddar cheese waiting for the baked potatoes to be done...then I scooped out the potatoes and added it to this mixture before adding it all back to the good!

And here's the finished product (that Pepsi is Jake's!). Thanks Rachael Ray for making recipes so easy even I can follow them!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.