Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dinner at the Harpster's

Every couple of months we have dinner with the Harpster's, the Ramsey's and the Schoonderwoerd's. This month Tracy and James hosted and as always we had so much fun. The kids pretty well entertained themselves, but I have to say baby Myla was the best behaved! Can't wait for the next dinner night....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Last night my mother-in-law hosted a beautiful holiday dinner for grown-ups only. We had a wonderful time....

Happy 5th Birthday Gavin!

Gavin turned 5 years old last week! Time zooms by, doesn't it? We celebrated this year with just a family party at home. Jeremy barbecued burgers and hot dogs and I made the cake. It was very mellow and Gavin had so much fun. The next night we took his best bud Ashton to Chuck E. Cheese. I would post pics but my camera died. Well, actually it said quote "camera exhausted." Isnt that a bit dramatic for a camera? Anyhow, Chuck E Cheese on a Monday night with just one friend is the way to go. Fun, but not crazy. Thanks to all the family and friends who remembered his special day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Making Cookies

Derek loves to be in the kitchen. It seems like the only time I can get him to follow directions so we've been spending a lot of time in there! (I'm kidding about that... kind of). Here we are making reindeer cookies. The boys ate half the m&m's instead of making Rudolph's nose, but they had fun.
BTW: nutter butters, red m&m's for the nose, chocolate chips for the eyes, pretzels for the antlers and icing as the glue (I know you were squinting trying to see them)!

Friday, December 5, 2008


So many of you have asked for pics of Dino and Terri's new babe so here he is. And yes his eyes are blue for those of you wondering if he too inherited the Portillo eyes..... apparently my 2 boys are the only babies in the history of the family who don't have 'em! Grrrr...
Isn't he beautiful?

Friday, November 14, 2008


My friends the Cassidy's are so wonderful. They invited us for a day at Disneyland and we didn't have to pay a nickel...... do you know how fun that place is when you haven't invested $300 dollars into your day? We had a ball and the place was pretty empty. We went on 18 rides (that's incredible) and I only counted Buzz Lightyear once when we actually went on it 3 times! The only things we waited for were Autopia and the new Toy Story ride at California Adventure (my new fave ride, btw). The kiddos were close to perfect and the weather was lovely. Couldn't have asked for a better day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Kaanapali sunset

Kimo's in Lahaina

view from our hotel

What a wonderful week Jeremy and I had in Maui. I would love to sit here and write about all of the exciting things we did and sights we saw, but I would be lying. We didn't do much at all but relax and enjoy the breathtaking views. It was truly one of the best vacations ever. I have been lucky enough to visit Hawaii multiple times and I never tire of the place. In fact it probably makes me love it more. Many thanks to all the relatives who pitched in with babysitting/driving/entertaining of our children, etc. And of course thanks to my two new nephews who made sure they entered the world before we left... thanks for simplifying matters. Auntie is forever grateful. :)

Benjamin Dean

Jeremy's brother Dino & his wife Terri welcomed baby Ben on Dino's birthday, November 4. He weighed 7 lbs even. I don't have any pics yet, but he is super adorable and has tons of black hair! Two new nephews in 1 week.... what a blessing!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Joshua Timothy

Welcome to the world my beautiful nephew!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Caped Crusaders

I hate Halloween. Always have. Even when Iwas a little girl I couldn't stand it. I feel bad about this so I tend to overcompensate for my kids. I don't want them to be a big scaredy cat like their mom so I go out of my way to make sure they have fun. Gavin had a parade at school followed by dinner at our house with homemade mac and cheese and dump cake. I love hosting our extended family and this turns a dreaded holiday into something I look forward to instead. Seriously, if you tried my mac and cheese you'd agree. Halloween is absolutely yummy!
We skipped the church "trunk-or-treat" this year and opted to do it the ol' fashioned way instead. Jeremy, Dino, Grandpa Rich and Grandpa Jerry took the boys and Macey around the neighborhood door to door. They had a ball. Of course it was not near as much candy but please.... it's still more than enough. I think their favorite part of the night though was answering our door and passing out candy. They would literally sit on the stairs in our entry waiting for the doorbell to ring. And if too much time passed they'd open the door and holler out to kids on the street! It really was too cute. Even I have to admit: it was a fun Halloween this year.
Added bonus Tim's wife Sarah went into labor after we went to bed last night. Stay tuned for details!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

My good friend Stacy hosted a pumpkin carving party at her beautiful home. We had a lot of fun and although the kids were more interested in playing than in carving pumpkins, the dads and mel did a great job. Thanks Stace for starting such a fun tradition!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

If you can recall last year's post about our trip to the pumpkin patch, you remember that my children's concept of a pumpkin patch is a giant bounce house in the Kohl's parking lot. Not exactly what I, kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, want for my kiddos. This year I was determined to drive their little behinds to a real life pumpkin patch with dirt and all. Last week that was. This week I had the privilege of taking my kinders on a field trip to one of them real patches and you see, I really didn't feel like going again. It's kinda dusty and I have allergies and petting zoos sorta give me the heebie jeebies. With Jeremy and I working opposite schedules these days I thought it would be the PERFECT opportunity for him to spend some quality time with the boys. So, he invited his dad and they headed out for Live Oak pumpkin patch. Pumpkins on the vine, petting zoo and a castle built out of hay. Now that's what I had in mind. And of course everyone was happy, even without the bouncers. (me too)!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Field Trip to the Fire Station

Gavin's preschool had a fun morning visiting the local fire dept. And no I did not pick out the bright purple and yellow tshirt. And no its not because Gavin loves the Lakers either. Its the school shirt they were told to wear today. I suppose that if someone got lost, the teachers could ask, "Have you by chance seen an adorable 4 year old running around in a horribly ugly purple tshirt? You couldn't miss him. In fact it may have damaged your vision when he ran by???"

You can tell I love the shirt. And wouldn't you know .... it really is one of G's favorites. Blech!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Have you tried Wordle?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have you met Mimis?

Pronounced "mee-mees." I feel a bit guilty journaling about our lives without mentioning this ever present member of our family. Well, sort-of. She is a cuddly blanket type thingy with a lamb head. Sounds like no big deal, but I am telling you-I do believe that there are many days when Derek prefers her to the rest of us. Think Linus and his blankie- peanut butter and jelly. If it were up to him, he'd take her everywhere. The market, the park, even the bathroom if we let him. Anyhow, now you've met. So if we have a play date or something prepare for 3- Gavin, Derek, and a reasonably well behaved bodyless farm animal....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seven Years!

Monday night Jeremy and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. It actually seems like so many more than that. As most of you know, we met in middle school. I was 12 and he was 13! Although we didn't date back then we can certainly say we've been friends for almost as far back as we can remember. Those of you who knew jeremy back then probably have a hard time remembering that he is the same guy from back then. He is such a wonderful husband and father. Here are my favorite things about Jeremy and my marriage to him.
1) He always tells me how beautiful I look even when I'm fat and cranky. (I'm vain, what can I say)?
2) He makes me feel safe.
3) He held me while I screamed in agony for HOURS after I lost our 2nd baby even though I was huddled in the corner of our room with blankets over my head like a crazy woman and he never once complained or told me how to feel.
4) He works so hard to support us- he even took on a second job when we needed it without any grumbling.
5) He plays endlessly with the boys and is their absolute hero.
6) He understands my need for me time.
7) He is totally silly and is kind of goofy- he makes me laugh all the time.
8) He can cook like a super star- I just need to figure out how to get him to do it more often!
9) He is a hopeless romantic.
10)His eyes.

I love you Jeremy and am SO blessed that you are mine. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Daddy and Derek

Just swimming at Aya and Papa's yesterday and I caught this shot. Don't you love those moments of tenderness between daddy and child?

Free Lunch!

Monday the boys and I had such a fun afternoon at Chick-fil-a. They were running a promotion where if you wore football logos they would give you free lunch. So the boys got decked out in their Chargers gear and I threw on one of Jeremy's Giants hats and off we went. Lunch was really good and Gavin and I were completely entertained by Derek's imitation of the guy dancing in the Chick-fil-a cow costume. Everyone in the whole place was wearing Chargers or Raiders except for me.Even so, I only got heckled once about my hat and although it was by a Raider's fan, she was only about 8 so I wasn't too worried. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gavin's 1st Day of Pre-Kindergarten

Isn't he so handsome????

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tim and Sarah's baby shower

I am so darn excited to be an aunt again! This fall I have 2 new nephews on the way and I can't wait to hold them. Saturday Sarah's parents hosted a BBQ/shower for nephew #1. (The other new baby is on Jeremy's side). Aside from a ton of gifts, the new babe now has more Dodger apparel that Tommy Lasorta! Please note in the pics how beautifully my boys express their love for one another. Lovely!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day at the park

Today we celebrated our twin cousins' birthdays at a wonderful park in Lakewood. The boys loved climbing on the trees and walking through the "jungle" (a path that had a bunch of ferns). It was so fun to visit with all of the Portillo relatives. Happy
1st birthday Anthony and Brandon!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vacation Bible School

It has been a while since I posted on here. We've been without a camera for a couple of weeks. I had left our Canon on the counter along with some toiletries from the market of which I was being too lazy to carry upstairs. Gavin decided he wanted something from one of the upper counters and climbed up on the counter spilling a bottle of shampoo. No big deal I thought and just mopped up the mess. Well, come to find out the shampoo had seeped inside the camera! :( So we had to go get us a new camera. I copied my friend Shannon and got a cute little Nokia which was put to good use this evening.

Gavin ended a week long VBS with dinner and a little musical performance. It was so cute. He really enjoyed himself, especially all the arts and crafts. They had a pretty hip music lineup which Gavin was enthralled with. He asked me when HIS daddy could go up on stage and play guitar and when HIS mommy could go sing. I started to say "when &*%# freezes over," but figured church wasn't really the place to say that. Gotta love this age. Still too young to understand that mommy can't sing a lick and that daddy's air guitar is much better than his real one.... HA!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I survived!

My first week back that is. The first week of kindergarten is over. It's always the hardest one. I have been blessed though.... a sweet class. Hooray!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New blog

Well you have all been picking my brain lately on how I find all my bargains, so I have started a new blog. Add it to your favorites and check in daily for the latest cheap finds I come across. Please read all the posts from the bottom up so you don't miss anything!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun Day

I love my month long breaks so much because they give me time to do so many fun things with my boys. On Friday I met my friends Elyse (AHS & UCSB) and Brandy (UCSB). It was so nice catching up. Between the 3 of us we had 6 boys all aged 4 and under. Would you believe me if I say they were pretty darn good? They actually were. I had a great time girls. Let's do it again soon. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Last Day of Swim Lessons

One of my favorite things about summer break- swim lessons- is over. I am so happy that Gavin is SWIMMING!!!! On the last day the man who runs the lessons has all the kids swimmers or not jump off the ledge so they know what it feels like to fall in and to see if they can swim to the side. (Of course there is another instructor right there to catch the ones who can't swim). Not only did Gavin jump off on his own but he thought it was SO fun that he went back a second and a third time. Last summer they had to toss him off kicking and screaming. Hooray :)

Catalina Island

For those of you who know the background on this story- yes I gave in. You win some you lose some. If you don't know the background here it is in a nutshell. My in-laws moor their boat each summer off Catalina Island. Jeremy really wanted to take Gavin but I was hesitant. VERY hesitant. The boat is moored not docked meaning it is surrounded by water all on sides. Deep water. And Gavin is only 4 and he has only been swimming for a few weeks. I panicked at the thought of Gavin sleep walking right off the edge of the boat so at first I said no way, no how. I eventually gave in after deciding that 4 adults to one child was a pretty good ratio. And seeing as Gavin has never walked in his sleep before. And seeing as Jeremy swore he would sleep with an arm on top of him in one of the downstairs bedrooms. And seeing as my brother in law would be sleeping upstairs next to the locked door. And seeing as I was losing this battle anyhow. I finally said he could go. He had a ball (being spoiled rotten) and he came back in one piece. Jeremy on the other hand came back with a swollen knee (ouch). Like I said you win some- you lose some.....

Eleven Dollars.....

I'm getting pretty good at this bargain hunting thing!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Join me

Jessica (our dear friend and babysitter's daughter) is having surgery tomorrow. On her last MRI they found 2 more lesions and have decided to go in to remove them tomorrow. (Go to her blog for details) Please join me in prayer for this beautiful little girl and her family. I'm already on my knees.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Picnic at the Ramsey's

Jeremy had a rare Saturday night off so we headed off to his best friend Myles' house to see new baby Myla Grace. The Harpsters joined us for a picnic by the lake. The kiddos got to try fishing and run around. The baby is just beautiful. Congrats Myles and Maria!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's official....

Derek is potty training. Wish him luck (and us too)!

What the heck????

If you've ever seen our older son Gavin's room you will know that it is pretty darn awesome (if I do say so myself). It is the perfect match of PBK and comfort. I loved decorating it in a beach theme (my favorite) and it is truly one of my favorite rooms in the house. From the super cool bunk beds to the white beadboard it is the perfect little boy room.
Then there is the room that belongs to my second child. I'm not sure what happened to my decorating gusto that I used to have but I am SO not interested in decorating anymore. Maybe I'm too tired or maybe we're too broke but poor Derek's room looks like we bought a big boy bed and threw it in a tiny baby nursery. Oh yeah- that's exactly what we did. So now that I'm on vacation I thought I would TRY to bring his room together (on a budget of course). So I bought these things called "wallies." They are repositionable stickers used for decorating and they only cost nine bucks. So I put them up the other day and they looked all right. Nothing great but anything was an improvement over what we had. Well this is what I walked into yesterday morning. The dumb thingys are falling off everywhere you look. (And no that colorful one is not supposed to be on the picture rail). I got out the directions and I didn't do anything wrong but they apparently don't like our textured walls too much. So there you have it. Derek now not only has barely any decor up in his room, but now he must watch out for falling stickers in the night. Nice....