Friday, August 5, 2011

Come home soon Isaac

I have a friend from college (Jamie and Jason Kelley) who are trying to adopt this wonderful little boy Isaac. From her blog Jamie writes, "Isaac is 3 years old and was born with Down syndrome. In his current country, there is simply no place for him in society at this time. If he is not adopted at age 4, he faces transfer to a mental institution where the likelihood of his survival is very low."

I have read places that 95% of kids with Down syndrome that get transferred to these mental institutions DIE because the conditions are heinous. This breaks my heart. And I think about my friend Jamie as she has tucked her kids in bed and the house is quite how she must be dreaming about her little boy coming home. Wondering when she can hold him and tuck him into bed and sing him songs and give him kisses. I miss my kids after a day. I can imagine have this separation. If you would like to help bring Isaac home you can go to Jamie's blog and donate. I have seen the humility that this family has had when someone has donated $3 or $3,000. Seriously even dollar helps. I recently went to an adoption seminar, mainly because I wanted to raise my awareness about the need. What stuck with me was when the speaker said "not all of us may be called to adopt but all of us are commanded to help orphans." So even if you can't give re post this and pray for Isaac to come home soon.

Grab This!

Monday, August 1, 2011

West Coast to the East Coast

Wow where do I begin? Well, plain and simple we have moved. We moved from California to Buffalo, New York. I have a little bit of regret not documenting the last couple months but at the same time it takes a time to move with two little ones and most importantly we were soaking up every minute of our life in SLO with students who were more like friends and friends who were more like family. We went to Big Sur, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, took more walks on the beach with coffee from our favorite coffee shop, we took a train ride up the coast with friends, we went to every farmers market on Thursday night, the kids and I would ride the trolley that stopped in front of our house just for the heck of it and the list goes on. If I wrote this post just even a couple weeks ago I would be sobbing thinking of all that I miss but Jesus is Good and has done a work in my heart. Now there is still a tear prick in my eye and sadness in my heart as a write this but I see God working and feel Him providing and I am starting to trust Him more and more.

Trust in him at all times,
O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Psalms 62:8

Kevin has also been a rock for me. He is adaptable. He welcomes change. And he sees the glass half full. I am thankful to have married a man with the complete opposite nature of mine. The kids are doing well. Nothing phases Dave, he just keeps smiling (my parents nick named him the "smiling machine"). Abbey is adjusting. The first week was hard for her; she missed her friends and the old house. But a week in Colorado with staff kids at our staff conference put her on the fast track to making New York home. This definitely helps my heart.

I guess this post ended up being less about details of our move and more about my heart. Maybe more details in the future but I promise you I have the blogging bug again so a should be in this space more. And I can't promise you that I won't slip in a few old SLO adventures every now and then. You know I will, coming from the women who blogged about Christmas in February.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Egg Fun

We have been having fun celebrating Easter. I bought a bunch of Easter eggs a couple weeks ago and they have been the toy of choice everyday. They are a 101 ways to play with Easter eggs. Here are a couple we have discovered.
1. At first we put them in a big box and the kids pretended they were taking a bath in them. They would "wash" each other in eggs, so cute. And Davey was o cute, he would splash in them like it was water.
2. Then there was always the dumping them out of the box and throwing them all over the house fun. I think I picked up those eggs a thousand times. ahem
3. We had a contest of who could launch the egg the farthest with their mouth. Mama had the clear advantage on that game. But they didn't care, it was always an up roar of laughter as soon as the egg flew from my mouth.
4. We hung the eggs on the bush in our front yard. I think Abbey felt like she was decorating a Christmas tree all over again. But the Easter egg bush has been a hit. I have seen several people walking by take pictures of it.
5. And then there was the o so creative swimming pool idea. Abbey's imagination is in high gear lately so when we picked up some swim goggles at the store from the summer she came up with this idea one rainy morning.
I am sure the kids will continue to find new ways to play to with the eggs this week. But if you have any more ideas leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MDO and Friends

We spent this morning hiking with friends at Montano De Oro or MDO if you want to speak like a local. We were almost a little preschool with all our kids in toe, 9 kids in total. The picture above is not an accurate view of our hike. The kids where out of their strollers running around after about 10 minutes. But they had fun!
This place is gorgeous with the ocean cliffs, huge waves, and beautiful wildflowers. I never get tired of coming here.
It was a little wet after the rains this past month. But the kids loved playing in the mud. They kept calling it the icky sticky mud. You can see my adventurous messy little girl jumping in the mud while her cleanly best friend Emma is knelt down, crying out in horror. I love how different their personalities are!!
Messy best friends!!

Check out the Video of the Beautiful Day CLICK HERE!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Seeing the Fatties

Pre kids Kevin and I would take drives up the coast at least once a month. I loved stopping at the cute little town of Cambria and browsing through the antique shops. Sometimes Kevin would lovingly suffer through a lunch at the Tea Cozy with their flowery china, pictures of the Queen of England everywhere, mini tea sandwiches, and a waiter who pronounced scones in snooty way. Now Kevin's favorite stop is this beach where the sea elephants or what we like to call them "the fatties" always are. And what we both love is the breathe taking views of the ocean crashing on the ragged coast line and the rolled hills (Irish green in the spring and golden wheat brown the rest of the year) sprinkled with crows grazing and vintage windmills.

So we decided to take a trip with the kids.
First stop: the fattiesNext: Cambria for some pie. No antiques and tea for us this trip. But the pie and hot chocolate was amazing and clearly Abbey loved her present pastry.
And on the way home there was a surprise...zebras!!! Yes I said it, zebras. There are zebras that live on the Hearst Castle property so very once and awhile you can see them from the road. But this day we could almost touch them. So fun!!See, Davey was excited! He is ecstatic over the zebras.
And in Abbey fashion she showed her excited too!!
Just another fun day on the central coast.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been trying out different laundry soaps in order to eliminate more chemicals from our house while helping the environment and our wallets. I tried the environmentally friendly soap at Costco which still have chemicals in it. Then I tried the all natural soap nuts. I LOVED that these nuts are from trees and so they are literally all natural but I wasn't thrilled about the stain removal. So, for the last couple months we have been using a homemade soap from soule mama.
Here is the recipe:
Homemade Laundry Powder
(Makes approximately 5 cups)

2 cups (finely) grated castile soap*
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup soda ash (washing soda)

*(we used Dr. Bronners. Half peppermint half plain. Next we will try lavender.)

2TBS per load.

It isn't the same as the regular detergent but so far it is working the best out of everything I have tried. Especially if I spray the stain with a little oxy clean before a wash. It is super easy to make and Abbey loved helping so give it a try and let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parents Weekend

Here are a few wonderful moments when my parents visited for Abbey's birthday.

I heard it has been the hardest winter in a 100 years on the East coast this year so of course we spent some time soaking but the sun at the beach.
The pool was too cold at the hotel but Abbey loved the Jacuzzi.
My mom came to the rescue to help finish all the kids crowns for the birthday party. Couldn't have done it without you mom. If you look closely you can see Davey's little hand holding onto my mom. So cute!
Abbey and my dad having a tea party. What a sweet moment. By the way Abbey is trying to figure out which is her pinky finger so she can properly drink tea.
It was a great time together eating good food, going to the running warehouse many times, stopping by the swap meet and just enjoying being together. Thanks for coming all the way out here. We love you!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Birthday Video

Kevin made this video of Abbey's birthday party. Didn't he do a great job!!

To my beautiful little girl:
Abigail you are an amazing kid. You have accomplished some major milestones this past year. You are completely potty trained, you sleep in a big girl bed, you can count to 20 (pretty much) in English and to 10 in Spanish, you can say your ABC's, you transitioned from being an only child to being a big sister, you are starting to dress yourself, you saw your first movie at the drive in (Tangled) and you are learning to ride a bike.
You love being in the water; pool, shower, bath it doesn't matter. Your favorite TV shows are Seaseme Street, Dora the Explorer and any thing Princess. Your favorite foods are mac and cheese, raisins, pancakes, apples, red peppers, and anything chocolate. You make friends very easily where ever we go, especially if they are girls. And in the past few months you have been captivated by princesses., you wear your princess daily almost daily. You don't like wearing things on your head, you aren't very interested in coloring, and you won't eat mashed potatoes.
You are still an energetic fun loving kid but you are starting to be a little shy. You have a tender compassionate heart and you are an affectionate little girl who loves to give kisses and hugs freely. You hate to see others sad or hurting, you sing to Davey whenever he cries. I just love your beautiful personality. I love having flash light dance parties in the dark with you. I love seeing you hug your brother. I love snuggling with you under a blanket to read books. I love that you reach for my hand to cross the street. And I love when I say the final goodnight you respond with " I love you Mommy". I absolutely love you Abigail. Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

She's 3 Years Old!!

My little girl turned 3 on January 21st. We started the day with pink chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Then we had a Dora Princess party at the beautiful Islay park to celebrate. It was an amazing day: there were lots of kids, good friends and my parents were there all the way from NY! It was so sweet having them there. They bought Abbey princess dress as seen above which was perfect for the party.

We celebrated with pink and orange Dora cupcakes. Abbey helped with putting all the candles in cupcakes, maybe she thought she was older then three?
The kids played pin the tail on Swiper the Fox.
Little Freddo was the tough guy.
Martha Stewart helped with some decorating ideas. Don't you just love these.
Stewart took a swing with Dora
Davey was entertained by the grandparents the whole party. Looks like he had a good time!
And Wyatt had a blast running around with the balloons.
And here's our attempt to get a group kid pic with their crowns. I used Soule Mama's pattern for the crowns. I love how Abbey is attached to her best friend Emma and don't you just love Fred's expression.
Abbey had a blast and so did we. Happy Birthday Abigail!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

O Christmas Time

I know it is totally ridiculous I am posting Christmas stuff in February but I just have to.

First we packed in our Christmas fun with local festivities...

We went to the Victorian Christmas Lights in Paso Robles. It is 12 blocks of houses lite up with Christmas lights and all kinds of fun stations to stop at along the way: live nativity scenes, random people sings Christmas songs or at least their version of Christmas songs, free Starbucks, roasting marshmallows, free cookies, cake , hot coco, live music. And there was even actors acting out the Grinch and Ebeneser Scrooge and a real snow to sled down. Kevin and I love it. Abbey however was so tired she slept in the stroller the whole time, the first and probably the last time she will do that. And Davey slept in the baby carrier so it was almost like Kevin and I were on a date.
We had to ride the holiday Carousel in the Mission Plaza.
taking walks downtown to get some treats

When we head to Tucson to visit family and friends for a couple days.

This is my Grandma Carol and my Aunt Linda in the picture. I love this picture of my grandma and Dave, it is so represents how my grandma loves being with the kids and they love her. Abbey was leading grandma by the hand around her own house tell her all the things she needed to see. So cute!
And here is my strong Italian grandpa, we call him Poppy.
I cry every time I leave my grandparents, they mean so much to me. Our visits are too short and too far between.

The last night in Tucson we had party with all our college friends. And boy was that fun! We had the party at our best friends the William family in their beautiful Victorian (I think) house and we had fine food from Brooklyn Pizza (my favorite!). It was simple and fun, we laughed a lot and kids were running around every where.
After all that we headed to Prescott AZ for the grand finale Christmas celebration with Kevin parents. Sadly Davey was so sick the whole time we were there but it didn't stop him from learning how to sit up on his own on Christmas day.Feed the neighbor horses some carrots.Decorated the treeI always try to knit with Kevin's grandma. She is a knitting guru and the best teacher. Christmas morning!! This was the first year Abbey really understood opening presents and she had so much fun. Dave just tried to eat all the wrapping paper. That kid is crazy about paper.
And to celebrate the reason for the season we made a birthday cake for Jesus.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beef Bourguignon...yum!!

I don't know if it is all the rain or what but I have been on a mad cooking spree. Today I made beef Bourguignon from some stew meet that I got on sale. And may I say is was AWESOME!! Seriously you just have to make this. You can find the recipe over at Passionate Homemaking and I made it with her amazing Garlic Mash Potatoes. It did take some time to make but oh so worth it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Party

I have never been into celebrating valentine's day. Kevin and I don't buy big gifts for each other and we usually stay in for dinner. But this year I was excited to have a party for the kids. What really got me excited was thinking about celebrating God's love for us. Besides the fact the decorating with red and pink and hearts is beautiful, kids exchanging cards is priceless and the sweets are awesome.

Some yummy snacks. These are peanut butter and jelly stars and hearts.
A couple crafts: we made heart necklaces. But Calvin wore his in boy fashion.
We also made some crayon melts. First you shave crayons then sprinkle the shaving on wax paper then cover with another piece of wax paper. The next step is the fun part. Take a iron and run it over the wax paper and you get this cool tye dye effect. The kids love it! You can cut shapes out too. We made heart and taped them to the widow. They look great with the sun shining through.Valentine bags
Giving of Valentine's
Receiving the Valentines
My little cupid! Isn't he so cute? The funny thing is that I didn't even need to undress him for the picture. I think we crawled around wearing only his diaper the whole party. seriously who has time to dress their kids. We were just too busy having fun!!

You may have noticed that I have been neglecting my blog for months and I am sad because so many fun things have happened since December. That is why I have decided to post some very outdated events now and then. So don't be surprised if you see a Christmas post next.