Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Blog!

http://ourchanginglifestories.blogspot.com/

Here is a link to my new blog.  Some may have noticed that I have not posted anything....well, life has changed for us and I think starting a blog that is not about 'Our family of Five' is probably for the best since we are now a family of 4!  With a heavy heart I write that.  I am working on the blog set up, but wanted to let those that read know.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Emma is 7!


This little girl above is now....
This big 7 year old!

I can not believe it.  I really can not believe that she is getting so big and older everyday!

We started her special day by taking a picture for instagram/facebook to share with our friends her special day.  Then off to Chili's for lunch (she always goes there) and shopping for her party.

 In between stores we had to head back home because Grandma was coming over to make her usual birthday present drop off visit.  I really wish I had taken pictures of it:(  Of course, Emma quickly changed from her white ensemble to the cute black floral dress grandma bought her.  Then back to shopping, but now we had cousin Hannah with us!  Those girls are crazy!
**yuck, yes we were at Walmart**

We gathered a few items to decorate her party in a 'pink' theme.  Originally the theme was suppose to be 'Peter Pan' but did you know that the party stores around us only have Tinkerbell?  Thank goodness Emma did not want that...I am not a fan of that flying fairy.  So, pink it was!

Finding pink was not a problem.  Especially, in the bachelorette section of Party City.  I had to draw the line at the naughty princess tiara, haha.  The 8 girls that came got pink leis, pink beaded necklaces, pink tiaras, pink cups, and pink candy.  You get the point, PINK!

**in love with the cheesy happy birthday signs:)**

Emma kicked off the fun at 6:00pm with 8 of her friends for her sleepover!  **I love summer, you can have a party on a Thursday night!**  There was face painting, running a screaming, chasing the monster Derek around, RUNNING & SCREAMING, balloon fights, pin the heart on Emma game, RUNNING & SCREAMING, cake eating, present opening, and of course....RUNNING & SCREAMING!  






 **EMMA!!!!**


Then the best part of the party,,,NITE TIME Slip & Slide!  The girls had so much fun.  I was hoping that no one would fall and knock their heads open!  All of the neighbors commented on how much fun it looked like. Even though it was 8:30 at night it was still super warm outside, like 85degrees!  Gotta love being a kid!


Daddy and Mommy KNOW Emma had a great party!



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Derek's New Toy....

First time the water proof camera in pool!  I plan on using it more!






Big Bear!

We got back to one of our favorite places....Big Bear!  Oh Big bear how I love you and you gave me one more reason.... I FINALLY got to take my family to the museum that is ALWAYS closed when we come up.  It closes early (like everything there) and is seasonal, so unless we plan it just right we can't got.  Well, this time Derek made a point of having our family go and it was so much fun!  There are 5 or 6 sections of the museum which includes panning for gold and an blacksmith.  It was so cool!  Even better since it was nearly empty.  It made my June for sure...haha 





Of course there was horseplay, jiffy pop, relaxing, movie watching in the cabin.  We even found a new park close by.  The kids loved it.  I did not like all of the ants!
We even tried a new burger place.  So good.  Better than In & Out!

funny picture of Drew and I...
Walking?  What? What is that?  Why is there dirt in my shoes?  With all of the activities that we do I am perplexed by the amount of complaining.  Those kids:)   Needless to say,  the walk on the very low lake was over in about 20minutes.  Those kids!:)


 We even went to a movie!  That just goes to show many times we have been up there!  Note to people though...it is super small in there so when they say it is only half way full....it is basically full!

BIG BEAR WE WILL SEE YOU SOON!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peter Pan

Last year it was Wizard of Oz, this year it was Peter Pan.  I am in awe of the school plays at the kiddos school.  They work with a local production company, have less than 10 rehearsals, have a wonderful concession stand, excellent parent volunteers, and of course a wonderful cast that includes my two monsters!  

Last year Drew had a lead and I was hoping this year at least one of them would have one.  Wouldn't Emma make a perfect Tinkerbell!  Well, it was not meant to be..I was so bummed.  haha  Regardless of not having a lead the kids had a very good time.  Momma had fun too doing the below.......


How cute is all of this stuff!  A mother at school printed all of the tags and so on.  We had water bottles with gold duck tape instead of the labels, all the goodies you could ask for and even ice cream!  I have to work 10 hours for my kids and of course....it was a little more than that:)  Derek always says, better you than me:)


**gotta love our LOST KIDS**

The play was fantastic.  These kids had less than 10 rehearsals (I think 6?) with two at the theater...I was shocked at how good it was with so little practice.  Some of the actors even got to FLY!  Hello, FLY!  I told you it was not your usual school play.  Mrs Brenda and Mr. Jerry agreed.  None of our family came to the play (that made us sad) so it was very special to have those wonderful people come and see the kids.  Emma is still talking about it.  I love my dear friend for doing that.  I wish more people would have come to see that it was not the normal 'school play.'  Oh well.  


I can always count of Mia to come to the kids stuff!  My neighbors are so sweet.

Maybe next year the kids will join in the fun at the play again, but even if they do not I know they had a blast doing it for two years:)  If they do it again, PLEASE COME SEE THEM!

Book of Mormon!


For Derek's 36th birthday I surprised him with tickets for his VERY FIRST Broadway play!  Really!!  So of course, there was no way I could take him to a boring one, so Book of Mormon it was!  I thought for sure he was going to hate his present, but he LOVED it.  His mom watched the kids and off we went for a night by ourselves in LA.  We really do not care for LA and try to avoid it at all costs, but sometime you have to go.  So dirty.   

Once we were there we had to find parking and somehow we got suckered into parking in this totally ghetto part of the street...in honesty the entire place is ghetto.  For those that do not understand LA....it is dirty, there are homeless people everywhere, it is old, there are so many pot holes in the street, it is a little freaky, and did I mention it is dirty?  So going to a Broadway show, though exciting, you have to be on guard.  This is when Derek and I ran into arguments.  I wanted to look at the stars on the sidewalk and window shop, but Derek wanted to just find a place to eat and get to the Pantages.  I had no idea that the entire time I was looking down he was looking around to make sure that no one would hurt us.  How sweet!  Even when I walked into the Church of  Scientology (yes, I did that...wow that is a crazy place!) he was outside standing guard.  Love that!!

After dinner we headed to the show.  Goodness, if you have not seen it GO!  Since it is created by the writers of the cartoon South Park, do I need to say more?  It is demeaning, vulgar, hilarious, and as much as Mormons may disagree, pretty accurate at times.  Look at it as entertainment and you will be fine seeing it.  WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We love to get out!

Do something!!!!  Yep, we for sure get out and do things.  Sometimes 'hot mess' style...just like this post...a hot mess!

I love my parents, but we really did not do that much when we were children.  Divorce, three kids, lack of interest to do so, sports...maybe it was not in their personalities.  I digress.  

Culture, is what my children will never lack in their lives.  As long as I am around these babies will go and hunt out beauty, help others, and enjoy the short time that they have here on earth.  We may not travel the world, but I make damn sure we get the most bang out of southern cali:)  Active is what they will be.  I just pray it does not back fire on me!

So, Presidents day...we go to the RNL with the kids.  They even got to see Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt (live actors).  Even though we have been numerous times since they were little it will never get old.  I think this last trip might have been Derek's first?

*I remember when the above statues were bronze*
*of course there is a tree to climb on just past the rose garden*


My new favorite spot is Corona Del Mar.  I am beginning to love South County.  So flipping expensive though.  Over spring break we went to walk the streets and go to Rogers Garden.  There is this sweet shop, SO cute and the kids loved the ice cream.  I am not sure if we will make it this summer because of the tourist crowd, but for sure in the winter!  
Oh and of course my races.  My time was horrible, but I finished 7th in my age group.  So sad to see the pictures of those that have lost their lives to disease, but it is very inspiring.
This and the above picture are out of order...sorry.

So Derek and I have been making more of a point to spend time on dates with the kids.  I take Drew and Derek takes the girls.  Of course, we always hang out on our own time with one child or the other, but we have "date day" so that the kids know/notice them.  Most of the time Drew and I go bowling.  It is cheap and fun.  This time we went for Inn & Out and had a picnic at one of our favorite spots, The Fullerton Arboretum.  This last time we actually got to walk the ENTIRE thing!  All the way to the end.  That is very interesting because when you are there you tend to forget that you are next to the freeway on one side, on another side there is the CSUF baseball field, and at the south side there are the dorms (maybe),  I love seeing that huge smile on my eldest face.
**btw, no more picnics at the arboretum.  I am not sure if it has always been like that, but regardless they are cracking down on it.  That really pissed people off!  Drew and I just found a beach in a lovely spot and ate our yummy burgers there**

Rogers Garden.  Oh I love it there.  The kids and I walked and walked around that garden/gift shops.  SUPER pricey.  Lets put it this way..... the bottom left picture below was about $300.  I am having Derek make me one.  Really I did not realize rocks wrapped up in wire was so pricey!  haha.



Awe, one of my cheap favorites!  The Ocean Institute in Dana Point.  With two old 'working' ships, kid workshops, all the fish you want to see, microscopes, HUGE skeletons, and the beautiful ocean as the backdrop...who would not like it!  Our favorite part was the ship.  Man, those old ships were cramped! OH and just a tad hint of mold!  
Since the kids were wonderfully respectful and patient, we met up with Mr. Kelly at the jetty took some pictures, went to lunch, had ice cream then headed home.  The kids use to love it down there with my mom and Brian.  Heck, I loved it down there when I was little.  Same restaurants, same long line at the ice cream shop.  Our kiddos remember everything!  They could literally give us adults a tour.   I love how Kelly lives in Dana Point now.  It just gives us one more reason to make the 30 min trip.  

**inquiring minds....no we did not go see Brian/Papa.  Divorce stinks, no matter how old a child/adult you are** 

Wow, we really love the arboretum!  haha.  The pictures below are from the first time Derek has ever been there.  Dare I say....I expose him to things as well.  One day he will appreciate me.  The main picture is located by the children's garden and we were wondering why it was so open.  Well, Drew and I found out when we were there on our date.  They hold wedding ceremonies in there.  Beautiful!

We also enjoyed baseball season for Connor.  Drew played, but that is for another post to come.  Right now Connor is playing on the Al stars for his city.  He even hit a home run last weekend and scored twice! But I must point out our cities team is a little better....hehe.  

Oh and every once in awhile we go out!  Awhile back Derek and I grabbed a bite to eat at DaVine in Brea.  Literally some of the best Lebanese food I have ever had!  There is even a belly dancer!  Sammie works there too, so it makes it even better!
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The doctors and dentist.  We love both of them.  Well, except for shots and fillings.  The babies rarely go to the doctors.  Maybe twice a year at the most.  All are healthy and happy kiddos.  It feels like a family in a $100,000 room.  That figure is purely a guess, but I think I am close.  Each examination room is state of the art.  Good or bad....I am not sure.  But technology has not left bedside manner at the door.  WE LOVE OUR DOCTOR!  The kiddos doctor's son has been in Emma's class for two years now.  Yes, it is a little strange because she knows so much about us and I have to see her a class parties.  Well, not have to in a bad way.  I of course call her Dr. *** and she tells me not to, but I do anyways.  She has known our family for 8.5 years,,,she deserves the Dr. in public.

Then there is the dentist.  The kiddos were one of her first patients.  I am not sure she is super happy about that when it comes to the screams that come from Emma's mouth, but I have referred families to her that have gone and received the same wonderful treatment that our family has.  Once again it is a state of the art office and she is USC (I think their physician is too) trained.  Ipods- flat screens above every chair, Lego's, a wonderful staff that we see around town and can say hi to, balloons, and most of all they LOVE the kids. She even opened her office up to us on her day off and did not charge extra.  Now that is great costumer service.  Now if Emma would just not have a cavity that required 'gas' because she screams bloody murder and if Lilly would some how get a bigger mouth so she does not get cavities that would be AWESOME!  Drew, of course, has had only one.

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It is always interesting to go bowling and miniature golfing.  

First, Camelot is super old and super ghetto. Really it is.  My sister in-law use to make out there when she was younger and they have to post cops at night.  Perhaps because it is close to the freeway or down a darkened street.  Either way, it is a little gross.   Please do not get me wrong, I go to parties there...but they must be during the day.  Then again now that I think about it we took Drew and his friends there to golf  last year at night on the weekend for his birthday.  humm.  I should really think about things better before I do them, well sometimes. Also, the amount of times I had to find a ball was crazy!  I was over it at hole #4.  Tis last time Lilly won.....I swear I did not fudge the numbers...hehe. 

Second, bowling.  It is fun place, but it is a little strange how they are trying to make it hip.  It is bowling, does it need to be hip?  Clean and clean is good for me.  It does not even smell like a bowling alley.  Maybe I should not have been bowling with my dad in the worse blowing ally ever when I was little.  Perhaps my expectation for them are 'low.'  but we do get the mac & chz balls and nachos whenever we go:)  The last time the kids and I went and Lilly WON!  Yes, the baby won.  She was so excited.  It was so much fun and cheap!  I had two coupons so I only paid $9!  Also, for those that do not know sign up for Kids Bowl Free and you can get free games during the day, but you have to pay for the shoes.  


I did tell you this post was a hot mess!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Yes, We Do.....

Yes, yes we do.  We "take days off."  Some may call it 'ditching' but I choose the first.  Many may not like it, but my kiddos are smart and taking a day off in the middle of the week wont affect their studies in the 1st and 2nd grade.  We for sure will not be doing it in a few years when school gets very difficult.  So why not.

So one day we headed to Irvine Park to ride the train, play on one of the various playgrounds, look at the animals at the OC Zoo, take lots of pictures....

Oh and we rented one of these!  There was no one there that beautiful fall day, so the young man working the shop gave it to me for $5!!  I definitely got my leg work out that day.

 We had so much fun.  It was a time that we had together with few people around us.  No time limit, no where to be.  Just pure joy.


**of course, looking at these beauties all around the regional park is always fun.  they are everywhere**