Monday, January 26, 2009

It was hard to say goodbye to Marissa. It feels like a part of our family is missing until the next visit when we are together again. I am so thankful we are able to have these bits of time as a family and though the distance is hard, we know we will be together again soon.
Thank God for e-mail, the postal service, phone calls and facebook! Love you Marissa, you bless us in so many ways!

Cooking with with kids

The kids wanted Mac and Cheese with pigs in a blankets. Total comfort food in this house and I was happy to have the kids help.

Family time

Along with fitting in family outings, we also spent time staying cozy at home. We made good food and played Operation, relaxed on the couch and just lounged in our jammies. Phil took Marisa out for dinner and a movie and also showed how to chop wood. I thought I would take some pics of this momentous event, grabbed the camera and ran outside to see these two doing this....

In the middle of winter and loving it!

This winter has been easy on us as far as snow fall. Oh we still have snow but we have received breaks in between which has been great. During these "breaks" we have experienced below freezing temperatures a few times and wow, that is pretty darn cold! But life still moves on and we are stronger for it. This is my mantra, I say it everyday and I'm starting to believe it!

On to the good stuff.

Marissa stopped by for a visit and we were so happy she did! Phil took a few days off and we squeezed in some great family time. We took the kids sledding which is about a 20 minute drive from the house and you can see in these pictures we had fun! Diana was her usual goofy self, Gabe was fearless and screamed "this is totally awesome all the way down. Marissa was cracking up watching these crazy kids and joined in on the fun as well.

We took the kids bowling and played some air hockey as well. I would love to have an air hockey table!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year

It's been awhile and I have so much to share with you but little time today so I will leave you with a couple of Kid Quips.

Gabe found 4 pennies, when asked what he was going to do with it "I take Mama to dinners".

I had an early hair appointment so I dropped the kids off with Phil.
The next day I was driving with Diana, she is starting to read more and sounds out most words on signs while I drive.
Diana-"Mom what is a B-A-R?".
Me-"Its called a bar and they sell beer."
Diana- "But a tavern sells beer too". "Is that a bar?"
Me-"Sorta, a tavern is a place where you can eat food and drink beer. "Wait, how do you know what a tavern is?"
Diana- "When Pop was driving me we passed a T-I-M ummm..a tavern."
Me- "Oh you mean Timbers Tavern."
Moments pass
Diana- "So a liquor store is a store where the kids eat licorice and the daddy's get drunk".

Clearly Phil had has own way of explaining things to our daughter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Diana turns 7!

It does not seem that long ago, Nov 22, 2001. Phil and I stayed up late with my Dad and step mom playing Trivial Pursuit and enjoying my step moms delicious brownies. We did not get to bed till 2am which was the latest I had stayed up since I became pregnant. I just thought I was excited because in a few hours Thanksgiving would be in full swing.
Phil and I would be hosting for the first time that year. So much to do!
Having my water break in bed 30 minutes later was not on my list of things to do!
Diana continues to surprise us with her spunk and imagination and we feel blessed to be her parents.

I made a special dinner and the requested bundt cake for Diana's birthday.
Let me tell you, it is very difficult to frost a bundt cake but I did my best!
She is full of surprises!

A few weeks later we hosted a small party with the girls from Diana's class.

We played guess how many jelly beans. Autumn won the jar of jelly beans.

Opened presents.

Pizza of course!

You can't go wrong with pizza.

Pin the tail on the donkey.

Oh, and instead of cake Diana wanted sundaes because it was Sunday of course!

The lovely young lady on the left is Micaela, my neighbor. Also known as my mothers helper.
She is better then a box of Calgone. I adore her.

Happy Birthday my turkey baby.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Out of the mouths of my babes.

Yesterday,I was in the bedroom folding laundry and listening to the soothing sounds of kids fighting over a rock.
I hear Phil explaining to Diana that unlike the last stick of gum he can't split the rock in half.
They will simply have to take turns "playing" with the rock.

Diana "you can't cut this in half?"
Phil "No, I do not have a knife sharp enough to cut a rock in half".

Moments pass...

Diana "Well do you have a laser?"
Phil " Sorry I don't own a laser".
Diana "Aw man!".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cooking with with kids

I love to cook and bake and I have always tried to include the kids in whatever meal I am preparing. Most times the kids help me prep the veggies, sort beans or stir the food cooking in the pot, Diana loves to set the table and pick a cd to listen to while we work. I usually have my little boom box blaring while I clean and cook. It helps make the time more enjoyable and I take frequent breaks to sing and dance. The kids love to help out and they seem to have a good time, I enjoy having them in the kitchen with me as well as the added help.

On this day, Gabe and I baked brownies for my organizers meeting that evening.

Welcome to Gabe's cooking show.

He looks so cute with his sister's apron on!

This is Gabe's favorite part, and with Diana at school there will be no sharing today!

Good job Gabe.

Baking is hard work!

On this day we made Banana Berry smoothies. Smoothies are a big hit in our house.

Slicing bananas with a plastic knife, notice how his hand is far away from the knife. Safety first!

Into the majic bullet.

In go the blueberries.

Some soy milk.

My secret ingredient. Just a teaspoon is enough. I take any chance I have to add a nutrition boost.
Ground flax seed is good too.

I love this thing, it's capabilities never cease to amaze me. Thank you Nana Stella!

Tasty stuff. I hope we made enough for Diana. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Missing one person..

I have to admit, I love living here. It is very peaceful in Deschutes Riverwoods. Trees every where I look and families of deer are plentiful. There is no traffic whatsoever, and the speed limit is 45 on our 2 lane hwy. Living in Bend has cause Phil and I to slow down and most importantly calm down. There simply is no rush. No wonder the people are so friendly! When we first moved to Bend Phil and I were almost put off by how friendly complete strangers were to us. "What's their problem" we'd ask. Like we were New Yorkers or something!

So now that we have been here over a year and know where everything is, like good chinese food or a good ale, there is one thing that makes this far from perfect.

Not having Marissa with us makes our family not so complete. Marissa came into my life when she was 7 yrs. old. Diana will be turning seven shortly and I can't help but think of all the good times I have shared being Marissa's step mom.
In reality Marissa is my first experience with kids. She tought me so much about what it means to parent.
I learned how to do her hair and spent lot's of time finding meal ideas that did not include onions and mushrooms. I became a great cookie baker and smoothie expert. I woke up in the middle of the night to give her cough medicine or would heat up the heating pad for her tummy aches.
Having Marissa in my life has made me a better mommy and person in general.

So now when I see teenagers getting off the school bus or hanging out downtown I can't help but feel a pang of sadness. Not having her close by to experience her milestones, not hearing the sound of music blaring from the bedroom, not hearing the phone ring for her really makes me miss her and cherish the time I have with her.
I know the years go by fast. I see it happening right now. I came across a few pictures of Marissa when she a little girl and love to look at these. I love these memories I have of the past. I now anxiously wait for more memories. Love you Marissa you sweet girl.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
Diana LOVES Corpse Bride the movie. In fact she is partial to Tim Burton movies (the kid ones of course) it started when we allowed her to watch Edward Scissor Hands with her big sister. I was not surprised when Diana asked if she could be the corpse bride for Halloween.

Nana Nancy found a bride costume at Outgrown, which is a consignment store in San Rafael. I grew up wearing clothes from this store so I was delighted. Nana Nancy mailed to us right away.
I ripped the bottom part of the dress and bought a black rose. I did Diana's make up and sprayed a little white paint on her jet black hair. Diana did not want to look at herself she wanted to look scary for everyone to see. Except she did not want to be scared! Silly girl.

Gabe was a lumber jack. Phil found a flannel and work pants at the Goodwill and I made him a beenie. Phil made Gabe an ax out of cardboard. He was not happy to have black paint on his face he kept wiping it off, also Gabe refused to carry the ax! So he mostly looked like a hobo which was fine with us. Maybe he will be one next year!
Our friend Ed was driving back from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days. It was great to show Ed around Bend. Ed was a good sport and came out trick or treating with us. We had a good time laughing and watching the reaction from the kids when they would dig into their pillow cases for candy. Gabe would say "Happy Halloween" to the other kids as we walked down the street. It was very sweet.
Once we got home we inspected the candy (mom's job) then the kids can choose 10 pieces. I am sure once they are older we will have to throw some cash at them. Until then Phil and I are enjoying these kid moments...and a few snickers as well!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Play date with Abbie, behind them is Diana's school.

Bye Mom!

Fall is here!

Fall is here!

Wow hard to believe Autumn is here. But the signs are so apparent. When I look out the window I can see literally, herds of deer eating the neighbors pears that have fallen from the trees. The squirrels start acting crazy, running back and forth from tree to tree throwing pine cones to the ground inhopes to get the seeds. They jump from tree to tree too! The carpenter ants are all underground and the bugs are walking slower. It's so neat to see the phases of nature, gearing up for a long winter.
We humans are gearing up as well. The wood is starting to show up in huge stacks waiting to be delivered. Weekends are spent winterizing homes. This means covering the outside vents with styrofoam and wrapping up the spout and hoses so they do not freeze.
Everyday you can see neighbors like ourselves raking up pine needles in to huge stacks. I actually enjoy racking pine needles, it is so much easier then raking leaves. Burning season is here and were we live it is important to burn now while the weather permits.
Last year we were late, we racked the needles into piles and then within hours it began to snow. It did not stop for months! Now we are burning twice as many needles. It has been a learning experience for us Ca. kids.
Diana loves school but just like her Mom, she hate's to wake up! Every morning we wait for Mr. Parker the bus driver to pull up at 8:17 am sharp. We were lucky enough to have our address as the bus stop and I will be so grateful during the winter months!
Gabe is home with me and I am savoring this time with him knowing he will be my last baby.

Lately, allot of construction has been going on over at the Baca house. Phil and his Dad built a shed to add more storage space. It was hard work in 38 degrees weather but they finished in one weekend. Also, a carport was finished (yesterday) along with a covered walkway. No more shoveling snow off the cars! We are so grateful and feel more equipped to handle a winter in Bend. :)
So there is plenty more to do here but I will make sure to be in touch!