The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


Chiara's Birthday Party FUN!

We celebrated the BIG 5!!! I still can't believe she is is so young, yet so big. It was a great time at Lifetime Fitness. We did not expect to be in the outside pool, but the kids had a blast! Most importantly, Chiara loved it....that is all that matters to me.

She wanted the giant cupcake.....I delivered.

The kids eating....the party "helpers" commented on how quiet it was. It was oddly quiet.

Loved it!

My Mom said she ate the cupcake from the bottom to the top. She loved it!!!!
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Two chilly buddies!!! Ethan and Chiara....too cute to pass up this picture!

Leah loved the pool. She walked around with her Daddy and her Grampy. Adorable....especially that big belly!!

Keiley just relaxing!

I love these ladies!!!!

Some serious fun in the pool!!!


My Sweet Chiara Turns 5

Your first child gives you so many of your firsts....she made me a Mommy. I can't see those words without smiling. I have a hard time with the reality that five years have flown by. I look at my front door and see myself walking through with her in my arms. I can remember our laid back days and watching her sleep in her swing. I remember the first time we left her with my mother to go on a date and even though she was over one year old and with someone I completely trust I had a hard time letting go and being away from her. She was an "only" for only 19 months of her life, but in no way has that negatively impacted her. She is my helper, brilliant beyond her years, thoughtful, kind, loves her sisters, motherly, silly, and full of never ending rhythm!

Here I am ready to deliver.....not ready for the c-section that came, but all that is a very distant memory. I felt her come out and that is all that matters to me now.

She slept on me so often. I was head over heels in love. I have so many pictures of her sleeping on David too. Many memories of her naps being with one of us. I used to think it was a bad thing and now I am so glad we did it!

Here is my little princess sleeping in my bassinet. I was only able to use it for Chiara, but I am so happy that I had it.

Here we are at her first birthday party!!!! Can't believe I was pregnant already in this photo! HA! One year went fast.....was that really all that long ago? The cake was a number one (all the girls get a number one).

Her second birthday...gosh I loved that Elmo cake! As you can see this was before we knew about the evils of red dye. She was two and adjusting to her new baby sister Mayah. Life was full and fun!

Three....oh my! She was full into dress up and pretend play. Hilarious. She still played by herself a lot as Mayah was just learning to play with her. And of course at her 3rd birthday I was pregnant again!!! I can remember thinking she was big at three.....

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Four.....DisneyLand...what a gift!!! It was so much fun to celebrate her birthday this way. When she was 4.5 years old we started a Kindergarten curriculum. Some people thought I was nuts and "pushing" her, but I am so glad we started. I love home schooling her and she just makes it so easy. She has a brilliant memory and enjoys learning. My kind of student! Much better than a room full of 5th graders. She continued with dance and smiles almost all of the time!!!

Five....five??!!!!???!!! It seems so little, but so big. No longer a toddler, but not a big kid. She is a big help around the house and with her sisters. She has a giving spirit. She loves to hug and break out in a dance move. She is trying new things all the time....she is determined to teach herself how to jump rope and try gymnastics and a field sport. I believe she can do anything. She continues to rock it out during school with me and is amazing at memorizing her weekly scriptures. Quite frankly, she is just gorgeous too!!!

Not sure what the Lord has in store for this next year, but I know He has much in store for this precious first born of mine.


My Favorite Window in My House

My favorite window in my house is not the biggest window or the one with that lets in the best light. It is the window with the best view though.....

From this window I can wash the dinner pots and pans, tidy up, and enjoy watching the play of my sweet girls. I love this window....

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My Kind of Sunday (Garden Pics too!)

What a great day!!!! Church has started the Easter Trilogy. It is probably my favorite time of the year. Yes, like most people I love Christmas, but it is Easter that we really CELEBRATE! Jesus coming is wonderful, but that he would die for me...that is amazing.

After a wonderful service and lunch David and Mayah had some cuddle time on the couch. I think he fell asleep, but not her. Just too cute to pass up the photo-op!

While they rested and Leah napped Chiara and I did some front yard work. I am excited to work on it more this week...I will post more about it then! I went on a three mile walk with Julie tonight. We opted for that instead of a crossfit WOD. It was a great walk. Came home and made a simple dinner.....Chiara loves 4 step chicken and I tried it with NO FLOUR tonight, but used almond "flour" instead. Sweet!

I went out to water the garden and was SOOOO excited to see our first sings of VEGGIES!!!! We were all so excited. I never thought I would take pictures of my own!

What a way to end the evening.....David bought a fire pit. We have a hole in our second patio that we intended to build a barbeque on, but the cost is too much and we really do not have the time. We hate having this splinter filled board covering this big hole, but it was best to keep kids from getting hurt. Now the hole is covered with a beautiful fire pit. The picture below was taken after David went over fire safety rules with the girls. Wait until we surprise them with making Smores some night!!! I think I am going to have to run that 3 miles to have that to eat!!!
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Good Morning!

When Chiara was a baby we used to get her from her crib on Saturday mornings and lay her in our bed for a while after she woke. It was Saturday morning family time in the big bed. This was when I was pretty anti-cosleeping so it was a treat for all of us.
Since then we have had infants in our bed often, but they move out eventually.

Almost every Saturday morning though the two big girls come into our room and not so quietly come in to our bed. They never fall back asleep and they are chatty from the moment their eyes open, but I would not want my Saturday mornings to start any other way....ok, maybe I would like them to start an hour later than they do!

I brought Miss Leah in this morning after she woke up. She has not been great at Saturday Morning Family Time, but today she was. She kept sharing her bear-bear with everyone and cuddling. Loved it!

Our bed is bigger now....good thing, because we need the room. All those people who never allow their kids into their beds (at least once a week) are missing out. Ok, that is solely my opinion, but I believe my sweet girls will remember that these morning cuddle times. I know I will.

Good Morning!


Afternoon Tea

Late this afternoon while Leah napped I surprised the big girls with a little tea party outside. They were so was I!! I had them wait outside while I put the items on a tray and brought it out.

I surprised them with one piece of chocolate each....they usually have cheerios or gold fish (of course pretending they are some fancy treat!). After finishing the chocolate (I think it takes them .003 seconds) they dined on goldfish and the best pretend tea ever!

They informed me that if you put goldfish in the water it taste like lemonade. I chose to just believe them on that one! They told me that that Daddy says it is gross (he is so sweet to play tea too!).

We do a lot of "cheers" when we play.

Mayah is the best little hostess! She always makes sure everyone's cups are full.

Me and my Mayah-courtesy of Chiara my photographer!
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Chiara sipping her tea....after this I showed her how to drink with her pinky out!

Me and my big girl...CHEERS!

No Pictures Necessary

There are some memories that you can not take pictures of and that is ok.....I will call them "heart memories". The kind of memories you store in your heart, that make you feel warm, and come to you at random times throughout life.

Last week was a very busy one and this one is just as packed. Something every day.....Tuesday is a BIG one. My baby is turning 5 and just writing that I find myself shaking my head in disbelief. But that is for another post....

One afternoon last week I dropped everything (the reason I am still doing tons of laundry!) and went outside to watch clouds with the girls. After a while and some snack the girls decided it would be fun to tag team tackle Mommy. It was hilarious....Mayah was flipping over me and Chiara was pulling me down. Of course my best defense was so good old fashioned tickle torture! They were laughing so hard.....I just loved it. The only "break" we had to breathe was when Miss Leah came over to sit on my lap....and get a little tickle too.

Yesterday afternoon and last night we all went outside to play with Chiara's new badminton set she got from her Great Grandparents. It is a little difficult for Chiara to be coordinated enough to serve and hit the "birdie", but regardless she wanted to keep trying and 'playing'. At times she asked David and I to play together so she could watch. Gosh....I have not playing in YEARS. Actually, not since my grandparents had it set up at their house in MA (the same Grandparents who bought the set for Chiara!). I was just a kid myself. David and I were laughing and having a blast! It is SOOO good to just kick back and enjoy life! I am smiling just writing about it on here. Neither one of us is "great", but I know we are both entertaining when we play! What fun! What joy! What a great thing for our kids to see!!!!

Not everything needs a heart certainly has a memory.....


School Time

I do not take it lightly that I get to stay home with my girls. I know that many women can't do what I do every day and I count myself blessed.

I was fortunate enough to get a teaching certificate post grad and I really believe part of the reason I was presented with that opportunity (and the opportunity to be a teacher) was because I would feel led to home school my own children. Another blessing I do not take lightly.

I do love home schooling. It presents me with the unique opportunity to first hand witness my daughters learning to read, write, etc. I love that I am the one teaching them. Yes, we are together more, but the more I talk to veteran moms the more I realize that time goes by too fast.

I am slowly introducing Mayah to 'semi-structured' school time. She has had a lot of fun the last two days. I have had fun.....we really celebrate her success and I love how excited she is to tell Daddy what she has learned. It also shows her Mommy that she has good recall!!! Yesterday we sang the letter sound song, reviewed colors, shapes, and numbers with flashcards, and went over how to spell her name. I did not know she knew all her colors, every shape but a rectangle, her numbers 1-10 and she spelled her name MAYH...not bad at all!!! I have not formally taught her so I am excited to see how she is just picking things up from her surroundings.
Today she made letters with play dough. She loved this because she could use her hands it since it is play dough she thinks she is playing. Fun. I am excited to start preschool with her come August (she will be 3 months shy of 4 years old when we start).

I am continually blown away with Chiara and how she just "gets it". I have come to the realization that she is probably going to be a lot smarter than her Mom!!! I have been looking at her differently these past few weeks as we quickly approach her 5th birthday. FIVE!!! I can still feel her as a newborn in my arms, how can she be turning 5 next week?

We are working our way through this Kindergarten curriculum. I am adding a bit here and there to ensure I know that Chiara is mastering the ideas she needs to move on. We go at our own pace. Math she seems to zip through and reading is right on track. I am 'nervous' to move on to long vowel sounds, but in 2 weeks we do. She is excited to read and write more words without asking.

This week in math we introduced addition. I just sit and watch her in amazement. I loved math growing up, David is good at math, and her Grampy is a math whiz. It's in her genes! I know that is why I am already looking at curriculum for next school year-I need one that better suits our needs.

Today we found that one of the princess workbooks she has contains addition and she wanted to do that after she finished her other work.

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My Kind of Morning

Many people think it is 'crazy' to wake so early in the morning-usually between 5:15 and 5:30. It may be, but since I have a husband who leaves by 6 AM and children who wake before 7 AM most days it is necessary. I love seeing David first thing in the morning, talking with him and sitting at table while he has breakfast. It's uninterrupted time....even if for a few moments. It starts our day off connected.

For one week now I have changed my routine a bit. After I shower and get ready instead of getting on the computer to check emails and such I open up my bible and read. It varies each day how long I read, but just starting my day in the Word makes a difference. Our pastor spoke two Sundays ago about feeding the spirit before feeding the flesh. It was an awakening moment.

Last week I read Hebrews. There were so many things said in there that stirred my spirit. Last week a friend of mine was talking about prayer and mentioned Lamentations. It is not uplifting at all, but after reading Hosea I know now that even in the worst of it we can see God's grace. So, I read Lamentations these past two days. It reminds me that it is ok to go to the Lord with our sorrows and raw emotions of failure and pain.

I still use the bible David bought me when I was a freshman in college-it was the first gift he bought me. I like to have my coffee in hand- an added bonus when I have a mug he bought me or my Okinawa one from my dear friend who moved there. Just another touch of love in the morning!

Joy really does come in the morning......Psalm 30:5.
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The Garden-Part 2

I know it is a good weekend, when I don't have time to get on my computer to blog or do more than a quick email check. David blessed me Saturday by taking the girls on a "triple date" to the Phoenix Farmer's Market, a meat shop, and Cabela's for lunch and to watch a fish feeding. It would be great to post pictures of this, but somehow he forgot the camera in the car. I have no idea why...I mean, managing 3 kids and trying not lose one in a fish tank!

When they returned home we spent some family time out building the garden. It was so exciting-we are praying everything grows.

Here is my amazing husband waking at some roots left over from the plants we had in there.

Mayah planting the parsley. She was so excited and really just wanted to water the plants....anything to make mud!

Chiara planted the squash. She also made all the signs.

Here is our very first garden. I am excited to see it grow and feed our family. I am also looking forward to using our compost and teaching the girls about plants, seeds, water cycle, etc. Talk about hands-on home schooling!!!

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