Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sounds of Christmas

One thing, out of the long list of things, that I love about Christmas, is the music. Christmas music is the best!! I have my car radio set on the Christmas station and I just sing along all day (my boys love it;) This year both Zack and Matthew performed their own Christmas music.

Zack had a concert at school and he is our own 'lil drummer boy. They sounded awesome!

Matthew and his group K.O.N. performed at the Ward Christmas Party and they did really well. We have video of it but I didn't post it because the video was not very good quality so here is a picture of the band with Santa.

I love Christmas time! It is the BEST!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree Trimming

Once upon a time I had a dream that I would have the most perfect Christmas tree in my home with beautiful, shiny bulbs on it, all matching in color with beautiful ribbon wrapped all around. It would be my own personal Macy's tree and it would be stunning! Well our first few years of Christmases my tree was very color coordinated and it was lovely (unfortunately I do not have pictures) but since having kids my tree has taken on a different kind of look.
Now my tree is filled with ornaments of Pikachu, SpongeBob, Batman, Darth Vader and many other colorful characters.

It is filled with ornaments from all over the world, places we have traveled to, where we have vacationed and things that we have done. It is filled with ornaments of Baby's First Christmas, Our New Home and our first Christmas together.

It is filled with homemade ornaments that my boys have made us over the years, adorning pictures of them from the past.

Every time it is time to trim the tree a rush of memories and good times come back to us as we take each ornament out of the box. It is truly a walk down memory lane and brings us to laughter every time.
My tree might not be the perfect "Macy's" tree but it is one of love and memories of a family that loves one another. To me that is the most perfect tree ever!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally 12!

My baby is 12! Wow! When I look at old pictures it really just seems like yesterday when my boys were small. I remember cuddling with Zack and his sweet chubby cheeks and roly-poly body. Now I hug him and he is a lean, rock hard, muscular young man! They change so much but he is still my sweet, kind, hard-working, considerate and loving kid! I am sure those are adjectives he would not want me to use to describe him but instead use words such as tough, strong, cool, handsome, awesome and studly (which he are these also). He will always be my baby though:) Just look at that it!

Zack celebrated his birthday by having a party and it got me thinking how different birthday parties are at this age. Gone are the days of the "theme" parties that took alot of creativity and prep time. I use to have so much fun planning those kind of parties and would start months earlier in planning and now we plan parties at the last minute! I fondly remember the Blues Clues party where all the kids were Blue searching after the clues to find a prize, each having their own Handy Dandy notebook and taking turns sitting in the 'thinking' chair. Come cute are those hats that I made?
There was also the pirate party that was so much fun and the invitations were a treasure map. The kids had fun dressing up as a pirate and going on a treasure hunt, walking the plank and eating sailboat hot dogs. And look at that cake I made. Wow, what happened to that Mom from the past that actually took more than a day to make a cake!

Well those days are in the past. Now this is what we get - a bunch of friends coming over, playing ping-pong and pool, jamming on guitars and drums, jumping on the trampoline and eating, eating, eating! Pretty much just going wild but having a great time together! You gotta love boys....I wonder if next year I can talk one of them into a Spa birthday party??? I think not.


Well Halloween has come and gone and it is becoming the holiday that does not need much prep time. My boys were very easy this year when it came to dressing up and they figured out what they wanted to be on their own. I did not give them any of my creative ideas, not that they would have listened anyways. Zack decided on his own that he wanted to dress up as a nerd. OK, thats easy and then he went one step further and thought it would be 'cool' to be a beat up nerd. Yeah...thats cool!! lol I told him that he should prepare himself for people saying "Zack, why did you not dress up?" and of course their were some that did not disappoint but most people, to be funny, said instead "That's a great costume! You dressed up as your brother!" Ha Ha (Poor Matthew) It is a good thing that Matthew has a high self esteem and a good sense of humor!

And we are not sure what Matthew was suppose to be so we just called him "purple haired boy". That was his costume....he dyed his hair purple! What?? I think he was dressing up as one of the band members from Blink 182 but I am not sure on that. Oh well they both had a great Halloween and enjoyed themselves...Matthew going to Fright Fest at Magic Mountain and Zack trick or treating with friends. They might have not won any costume contests but they did have a great time!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall is Here

Why is it that our house is the only one on our street that has leaves all over?? I think fall is here but it is only at our house! It could be because we didn't trim our trees thoroughly this last year and they are very full. Every time we clean up the leaves it only takes a matter of an hour or so before the yard and front walk are covered again. It is driving me crazy! I am waiting for the Santa Ana winds and hopefully they can blow them all down in one gust!

The other day I was out raking them up into piles and it made me think of a wonderful memory.........My parents lived in Page, Arizona for a few years. My Mom is not one to really love the desert scenery but she was fine living there as long as her home was complete with green grass and trees and not the rock yard with cactus. Well she got what she wanted because they had a big yard at their house and it was beautiful and green and had many trees and roses. In fact sitting in front of their house it was hard to imagine that you were in the middle of a desert! My Mom and Dad love having a clean yard but one time when the whole family was gathering up there--my Mom being the grandmother that she is---thought it would be fun to collect all the leaves for a week and rake them into big piles so that when the grandkids would get there they would have a blast playing in them. She was always thinking of little things like that. Something so simple but a sacrifice on their part, having to keep their yard full of leaves, gave hours of entertainment for the grandkids. Who knew they would have so much fun playing in them? Well she did---she is a kid at heart and always will be and that is why she knows how to have fun and also why my boys have so many great memories from the many moments with Grandma. What was really fun is that my brother's family arrived a little after we got there so the boys hid in the leaves and when their cousins arrived they jumped out and scared them....good times!!

Well, fall is here and the leaves will continue to fall...I have just come to the decision that it is part of our fall decor. There are still plenty to fall and add to the decor of our 'festive' home...

At least Zack still enjoys playing in them.........................

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mustang Matthew

Well the day has arrived! Other parents look forward to it with anticipation but I have been dreading it....Matthew passed his driving test and he officially has his drivers license! Today was his first day driving to seminary and school ALONE....surprisingly a very emotional one for me. You think that I would be ecstatic, no more waking up at 6am to take him to seminary, no more carting him around to his many activities. But I am not ecstatic:( I know that I will still be waking up to see him off (we will see how long it lasts) to send him off to school with a prayer and a "I love you" , I enjoy our mornings together when it is just him and I. But I will miss the time that we have together in the car, learning about his day, hearing the latest news and laughing together...sometimes that is the only time we have to do that! My boy is growing up and this is such a huge leap into complete independence for him!

I was such a sap this morning. After saying a prayer this morning with him (it was especially long) and walking with him outside and giving him my last minute counsel and a step by step overview of his path today from home to seminary, seminary to school and then home he doesn't know the way or something! I gave him an extra long hug, yelled out an "I love you!" and watched him as he pulled out and continued to watch until he turned off of our street, acting as though I was saying goodbye forever...a tear rolled down my cheek. I miss him already! You better believe it that I will be saying alot of prayers today and I will have my cell phone on me at all times. It is really hard to let go and send them out there in the cruel world and to the cruel world of drivers, which some of them I refer to as 'idiots". Sometimes it is very hard being a parent.....

Monday, October 26, 2009


One tradition that I never really did as a kid and one that I don't do with my boys is carving pumpkins at Halloween time. It has never appealed to me. The last time we did it, here at home, was when Matthew was 3 years old and Zack was not even born yet.


Zack has had the opportunity at school to carve a pumpkin so at least he has experienced it. But this year I decided I wanted to carve pumpkins and I wanted the boys to enjoy doing it with me. So I took them to the store to pick out their pumpkins, (Pumpkin patches charge too much for pumpkins so we hit Smart and Final), and they really helped by being excited to do it. Zack had more interest in it but Matthew went along with my whim just to please me.
So I purchased the pumpkin carving kit, complete with scary patterns to follow and I had already picked out some that would be cool. But little did I know that the boys had their own ideas for their pumpkins and they designed their own pattern. Whatever!!
We had a great time cleaning out the pumpkins, nice and slimy and scraping the sides. Matthew was not really into this part so Zack and I handled the pumpkin guts.
We even saved the seeds so that we could roast them later. (By the way....the roasted pumpkin seeds were delicious---YUM!) To say the least it was pretty fun and not too messy. The boys were excited at how they turned out:)
We did not end up with your typical jack-o-lanterns........Zack made his the symbol for the band Blink 182 and Matthew did the name of his band on his pumpkin. So that is why I have appropriately named them our Rock-O-Lanterns!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Studly Sixteen!

My Sugar Lump

Since "Sweet Sixteen" doesn't quite fit for a boy I thought that "Studly Sixteen" would. Yep - Matthew has turned 16 and I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around it! It sometimes seems like yesterday when I turned 16. So many things change at this feels like the beginning of the end of his time here at home. I can't even think about it because I really do get choked up but at the same time I look forward to his future because I think that he is capable of great things. Ok this isn't good, I am sitting here at the computer crying already. How is it that you can miss them before they even leave??
Matthew has always amazed me in so many ways and continues to amaze me. He is intelligent, talented, confident, stands up for what he believes in, has a strong testimony, he knows what he wants and he goes after it and he loves his family. Sure, he can be irritating sometimes but I guess that is how teenagers could be worse. Matthew is a great son and I feel so blessed to be his Mom!
Here he is in his first car........from Little Tike to Mustang!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

School Pictures

This year I decided to be somewhat of a rebel and not order the boys school pictures. I hate spending too much money on a picture that I don't get to preview and are usually not the best picture of them. I think it is a rip! In years past we have paid for some really dorky pictures, no offense boys, I do believe that they are really handsome but some of the school pictures have been pretty funny! I have many examples, unfortunately, but I will only share one of each:
This one of Matthews we have named:

This one of Zack's we have named:

Hunchback of Notre Dame

This year I decided to take the boys to a studio to get their school portrait done so that I can pick the best shot. I mean I do have to have at least a 5x7 for my mantle! I took them to Picture People and got them done and I think that they turned out pretty good. And it was much cheaper! They will look nice on my mantle and the goofy ones they take at school will at least still be in their yearbooks...ha ha

7th grade

11th Grade

Another Birthday

Last month I celebrated my birthday all month long! Thanks to my good friend Lori who suggested to not only celebrate your birthday on one day but to celebrate your birth month! She is brilliant! I loved the birthmonth idea, so much less pressure on your actual birth'day'! I had a great month with many cards, flowers, gifts and lunches........thanks for the idea Lori:)

Here is a picture of me and some of my friends at a birthday lunch that they had for me. I believe that some of the women had already left, so sorry that you did not make the picture but thanks for celebrating with me! I was really bad at getting thank you notes out this year but thanks to the many that made my 'month' special!

Kings of Narnia.....K.O.N.

Here are some pictures of Matthew's band. I wanted to add them to the post before but I was not able to. These are from their performance and from their "photo shoot". They crack me up! Don't ask me what is up with the Twilight book in some of the pictures....I do not understand it myself.

Where did September go?

I cannot believe that it is already October! Where did September go? I love this time of year and I don't want it to go by so fast! It looks like I never blogged during September so I have alot of catching up......
Football season has began and Zack is enjoying playing for Patriots again this year. I believe he is enjoying it even more this year because he knows better what he is doing and also because so far his team is undefeated. Winning always makes for a great season!

Both Matthew and Zack are in bands and our house has become the place for their practices. People joke that must be the reason that 4 houses on our little culdesac are up for sale, the noise must be getting to them! I really don't think that it is a problem, we always tell our neighbors to let us know if it bothers them but so far no complaints. They practice in a upstairs room and you really can't hear them that loud downstairs or outside, they just have to keep the door and windows closed. Matthew plays the bass and is the singer in his band, "Kings of Narnia" and Zack plays the drums in his band. They both enjoy it and I am just so glad to see that the money spent on piano lessons have paid off. They both enjoy music!

Matthew's band was able to play in a talent show for EFY in our stake and they did a great job.  They have "two gigs" coming up and are having a great time. They are even writing their own songs! I am so glad that they are having such a fun time with it and I am so glad that Matthew has such good friends. I could not ask for a better group of guys for him to be hanging out with:)
It will be a busy school year for the boys with a full load of classes, sports, their bands and social lives but it should be a great one. I am trying to enjoy every minute because I know that we only have a little bit longer with them in our home. Time has got to slow down!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day

First day of school is here! Some parents are very happy for this day but I am kind of sad but I am sure I will get over it ;) Summer was short but we did get to the beach quite a bit and that always makes for a fun summer. We started the summer out with a beach trip and yesterday, the last day of summer, we ended with a beach trip. Good times!
Matthew is a junior this year (can't believe it) and Zack is in 7th grade. Time is flying by and I know I have only a few years left with them in my home. That is a sad reality-
Matthew has a very hard schedule this year and here he is ready to go to school this morning with all his books. Yikes!
Zack, as always, so excited to be starting school! Yeah...right!And what do you know! I come home from taking them and this is what I find. Someone forgot their lunch and I have no idea which one of them forgot it so someone is going without a lunch today! It is going to be a looooong year!