Aunt "Trash" Comes to Beloit!

We were sooo excited to receive a visit from Tricia over the weekend. We did so much while she was here. Saturday morning we had a big breakfast, it was 70 degrees outside so we went for a long walk in the park. Later that night, Anna and Gabe hosted a big cook out with some of our friends and ended the night with a good movie. Sunday we went out for Mexican food after Mass, and then she helped out with Challenge missions. She even stayed all day Monday!!....I'm so sad she left, but it was a great long visit.


My Peanuts

I have so much fun with my kids. I'm so lucky, they make me belly laugh and give me all the visual entertainment I need most days. This Halloween was one such occasion. Nicholas was Charley Brown and Christiana was Lucy.

Halloween couldn't have been better. Lindsay and John, Samantha, Kristin and Jora, Anna and Gabe, Joe and Marci, Kathryn, Maris, and Kev, and all our kids and twenty strollers, trooped around town Saturday.

There was a full moon and warm weather, perfect for trick or treating; we finished the night with a big chili feed with our over tired and over-sugared kids, but it made for a great Halloween!

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Funny Sayings

Two Months Ago:

Nicholas is screaming. He has a severe red rash on his bottom.
Me: "I'll make it all better. Let's put some cream on it."


Me: "Nicholas, Daddy is very sick."
Nicholas: "You need some tream on it." He goes over to the diaper drawer. Takes out the cream. Opens and applies some to Andrew's belly. "There...all better."

At night...Me: "May Mother Mary watch over you and may the Guardian Angels protect you."
I forgot one night and as I was leaving,
Nicholas: "Mom, may guardan angels protec you."
Nicholas "I wanna listen to "Female Deer" mom. (Do Re Mi from Sound of Music)

Nicholas "I so tired." .... "Say me too, momma."
Me: Me too! (guess I say that a lot ; ) oops)

Two Days Ago:
Leaning over his carseat to Christiana, "I rode on a Combine Pudding" He was so excited to share his big adventure with her.



So it is tricky updating a blog with a faulty camera and no computer. My camera won't take any memory cards and my hard drive crashed so I am borrowing Anna's computer for the evening. And who knows when or where it will get fixed. But if I'm true to my intentions for this blog, its purpose is to scrapbook the memories of my everyday life with or without photos. 

Funniest Stories This Week: 
Christiana: likes to stand on her head (with her feet still on the ground). That plump round bottom in the air is too much. 

Nicholas: Dances to Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire while attempting to sing too. 

Andrew: Is funny when he yawns, he uses every muscle in his face. I love to watch. 

Me: Shoot. Felt completely sore after doing 8 push ups. (well, I thought it was funny and laughed when I realized it the next day). 

Things that I am Thankful For this Week: 
Anna. I love having her here. 

Computers and Cameras are a luxury. 

Andrew and his work ethic. 

My house. It feels like home.

My Challenge team leaders...they truly are beautiful generous girls.


Summer Harvest Festival

Kansas small town living at its best. Our church had the big harvest festival so we took Nicholas to experience it. He was so excited to get a "ham-ba-jer". After getting through the food line holding two plates, two desserts, silverware, pushing the stroller, keeping the diaper bag over my sholder, adding mustard and ketchup, and finding a seat...we sat down, fed Christiana a bottle, shoed the flies away, and I think I ate. All I remember was this killer fresh cherry pie. OH MY GOSH.

The best part of the night was seeing Nicholas jump out of his seat in excitement after seeing balloons. That was all he needed. We bought him two balloons and he told everyone at the festival about them. I love his simple happiness.


Lessons of the Summer

Any marriage that lasts 70 years deserves a closer look...

What I didn't find: no selfishness, no luxury retirement.
What I found:13 children, 65 grandchildren, a simple little house, and 70 years of fulfillment. This, I believe, is the only way to happily ever after.

I think it's about time I leave myself behind.

Pete and Lucia Zuniga renewing their marriage vows, 70 years later.

I cried watching their faces light up as a Mariachi serenaded them songs. They were truly overjoyed.

We attempted to get a picture full of history; someday, I will tell them the fairytale story of Pete and Lucy.

Wild at Heart

Grace and Nicholas danced the night away at their grandparents' and great grandparents' reception


I Could Watch Her All Day

This is a simple ordinary six month old moment, but to me, it is sheer enjoyment. I am constantly amazed at my ability to be amazed at watching once again, the growth and development of my little ones. Over and over again, it never gets boring. This is how she was over our trip...hardly two peeps from this squishy face. (Nicholas, however, was another story. He didn't stop talking from the time he got into the car)


The Long Vacation

Vacation officially started when Anna and Gabe moved in!! I still can't believe God has moved them all the way over here to the center of the United States, in the middle of one giant wheat field, to the small town of Beloit, Kansas. I am enjoying the time...morning coffee talks, game nights, movie nights,lots of crying babies those would be mine because we have yet to hear baby Gabe make more than a grunt), and a lot of laughter.

Tired Movers....

Nicholas' new interest...cousin Gaber

We all loaded up in Damaris' suburban to make the St.Louis trip. We had sooo much fun - lots of grill time and pool time.


The First Summer Wipe Out

We were going for a quick stroller ride and he fell out at the same time I accelerated and landed face first into the dirt road. He cried hard for about two minutes and thirty seconds and stopped...I told him he could have a popsicle. He still whimpered, poor thing. I'm sure I'm do for a great many more bigger and bolder bruises and cuts with this little outdoors man. (Please note: the buzzed hair cut is two weeks old at this point. Andrew had some down time when I left for camp.)


Mass with Fr. Scott and some of the girls

I recruited my sisters to help...we had so much fun together.

I spent the first two weeks of June getting ready for and putting on a camp. I was lucky enough to be apart of the Challenge Regional Convention this year at Rocky Vine in Dutzow, Missouri. I am still sleeping off the late night/early morning, 14 hr. days filled with watersliding, bike riding, Jesus loving, conferenceing that went on for a week. The best was seeing the transformation of the girls and my own heart got a good whack in the head. I probably needed it most.


Memorial Wkd in St. Louis

We enjoyed lots of pool time now that Nanna and Pappa have a pool in their new house! Pudding sported her ruffly two piece and a big white squishy belly. Nicholas and Aunt Grace played together and carried on conversations about water, bubbles, and balls. Aunt Gianna, Uncle Paul and Peter also joined in on the fun.

Let's see...night swims, smores, Night at the Mueseum 2, "Relish" and "Nightime" just to name a few fun and funny highlights.


What I Didn't Know about Two

What I didn't know about having the second child was how much fun it would be to watch them play together. It made for an unexpected moment of joy in my day. No one makes her laugh like Nicholas does. This almost brought tears to my eyes as I think they are already the best of friends.


My Morning Cup of Coffee

This is what get's me up in the morning. She is all smiles, warm, and squishy. I usally can't wait until she gets up so I can have my daily cup of pure squish.

Mother's Day Blueberry Scones

These are scrumptious and great with a cup of coffee. They make for a fun gift instead of flowers.

Blueberry Scones


1 1/2 C. Flour

1/2 C. Cake Flour (1tbs. cornstarch in place of 1tbs. of the flour)

3 Tbs. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 Stick unsalted butter (cold, cut into small pieces)

1 C. blueberries

1/2 C. low-fat buttermilk (or 1/2 plain yogurt whisked with 2tbs. milk)

1 large egg, plus 1 egg beaten slightly for egg wash

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Sanding sugar


1. Preheat Oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together fours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter

with pastry knife or with your fingers, until mixture has the texture of coarse meal.

Stir in blueberries.

3. Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and the vanilla. Drizzle over flour mixture, and

stir lightly with a fork until dough forms and small amount of flour remains in bottom

of bowl.

4. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and gently knead dough once or twice just to incorporate

flour. Pat into 1-inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

5.Bake 22 minutes until golden brown, let cool on wire rack. Best served immediately. Freeze up to one month. Thaw and reheat 350 for 10 minutes.


Curious George

We had to change his diaper and we decided to let him run free for a minute. He got curious of what was down there ; )

Everything went into the pool yesterday. I went inside to start dinner and when I came out, my flipflops, every cup, baby einstein cds and the phone were all in the pool.



April Sun

I am behind these days in my blog posting... these are some highlights from the past week.
They are tearing up the road in front of our house and every morning huge cement trucks and bulldozers are out working. It has been fun to sit on our porch and watch.

Nicholas watching the trucks...we were wearing some short shorts that day.

Puddings new kitchen seat - it fits just right.

Sunday Dress

She's showing us some leg.

For my viewing pleasure....I love chub.


Pooper Scoopers

Have you ever been at a parade and watched these beautiful hoarses march down the street decorated in costumes and pulling important people along? And then you may or may not notice the inconspicous individuals who follow silently to scoop up the poop. I've seen them and I wonder every time I think to myself how they did they get that job out and why would they want to do it.

Tonight, I realized, I am my own form of a pooper scooper. Hidden in the background, out of the limelight, I am here to clean up poop. Sometimes, I realize, I got that job. Yes. Me. I get pucked on, peed on, pooped on, spittuped on, and I change poop several times, ALL DAY long. Some days are harder than others and most days I love my little darlings - just sometimes and some days require more faith.

Sometimes I think, "Did I get my Bachelors for this?" It would be tempting to think there is no meaning for someone who merely cleans up poop, but then I think about Mother Theresa, who, despite the limelight (that she didn't want), did the EXACT SAME THING as well as fed the starved, dressed oozing wounds, hugged those with a stench and whom no one else would touch and she became one of the greatest saints of our time - because she did it OUT OF LOVE.

So the next time I am tempted to disregard the pooper scoopers "low" job, I have to remember that it is not our jobs or what we "do" that has meaning, but as always, who we are and how much we love that gives meaning to our existence and gains Heaven.

Here's to all of us pooper scoopers!!

Don't Let Me Forget

I was reflecting all the little things I loved about Nicholas the first two years of his life. I didn't get to writing in baby book so hopefully I will have this blog to rememer.

Favorite Song: Do You Know Muffin Man (He would stop crying whenever we sang that song)

Favorite Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle (At a really really early age, gosh - 8 months - he would pick this book out of the pile every time. I've read it possible 873 times.)

Favorite Show: Baby Einstein (Our first birthday was this theme. He calls it "Hann")

Favorite Food: Banannas (Every single morning without fail)

Favorite Toy: Puppy and any kind of ball.

Interesting Feats: At 9 months old he had a huge sign language vocabulary, he loved to twist bottle caps on and off for hours, building large towers of blocks and spinning two balls at the same time at 1 year.

Funny Things: Pinching his fluffy blanket to go to sleep. Pinching Andrew's arm while eating, must have a been a security slash sign of affection. From day one he thumped and pumped his right leg when he was mad. He would rest his little chubby feet up on the stroller ledge when we would take him for walks at about 6 months of age and on.


Little Minds

He gets himself a stack of paper from underneath our desk, opens the drawer to pull out a pen and sits himself down for a long time to draw. A couple weeks ago all he would draw was balloons.

I love to look at his little drawings, they make me laugh, and I get inside that little (or very big) head of his.

Turning Two

My sweet little boy turned two on the 4th of April. We woke up on Saturday and drove all the way to Wal-Mart..hahah so funny that it's actually a trip to get there. We wanted to get him a basketball hoop to "shoot hoops". We loved it. It was a beautiful but windy day outside. We came home and I started cooking for his birthday dinner. I went to the store and picked up two big blue balloons. He is so obsessed with balloons that if that was all I got him, he would have been perfectly happy. We celebrated with aunts and cousins and played all day long. It was a wonderful birthday.


Returning to the Blog

Where did March go? Somewhere in between Lenten Six Pack talks and the big Challenge Father Daughter dance, to Dr. Ray coming in town I missed a whole month! We are back to normal. These are some shots of our everyday hum drum life around the house...simple and sweet, just the way I like it.

We love to smile and talk these days.

Christianna has been pulling herself up into sitting position. Is this normal for a 3 1/2 month old? I don't remember Nicholas trying this until he was like 6 months. Why are we so anxious to get up and going pudding?

Nicholas is sporting his hat the Aunt Hilary and Tim gave him for his birthday, which is Saturday! How is my little boy turning 2?