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!
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 but I will not go without leaving you with some pictures!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Kids- Out of the mouthes of babes.

1st grade is 2 weeks away and Diana is not so sure how she feels about "growing up".
What does this mean for a 6 yr.old anyway?
Last night Diana was crying in bed, I asked her what was wrong.

Diana- "Mommy I do not want to grow up"!
Me- "Diana, I promise you, you will be happy to grow a little each year".
Diana- "No I won't!"
Me- Let's think of things you can do when you grow up."
Diana-" I can stay up later."
Me- "yes"
Diana- "No naps"
Me- "that's right what else"
Diana- "I can say bad words."

This girl knows how to throw me curve balls, she does this often. I thought for a moment and asked "what kind of words are bad?"
Diana responded "I don't know, isn't that what teenagers do, say bad words?

I love my girl.

Gabriel is funny little man, he starting to use his words more which can feel like we live with a caveman. We tend to look to Diana who is fluent in whatever language Gabe is speaking.
Lately we have been living in potty training land, it's an exciting place. The thought of saving $20 a week is close to being a reality. Gabe has done shockingly well "knocking on wood".
Phil and I give Gabe 3 jelly beans after each trip to the potty until one day.....

Me-Gabe you went potty that great!"
Gabe- "Momma no jelly bean."
Me- "No?"
Gabe- " No jelly bean Momma, Gabe want jelly sandwich."






Monday, August 11, 2008

Family Fun


August has been packed with family visits and boy have we been busy! My Dad, Step mom, Janet and little sis, Ruth paid us a visit the first week of August.
We had allot of fun doing the tourist stuff. We walked along the Deschutes River and watched the locals float down the river in inter tubes, canoes and kayaks.We walked along Mirror Pond and took the kids to the park. We even managed to fit in a light hike at Shevlin Park, one of my favorite walking trails.
We experienced gorgeous weather that weekend which kept us outdoors through out their visit.
I am so grateful that the trip worked out for all of us and I hope they will consider Bend as their next vacation spot!
Marissa and my MIL, Stella drove up this past weekend for a visit. We had a good time showing my MIL our favorite spots and again enjoyed the beautiful weather. This was Marissa's first visit in the summer. The time went by fast but looking back we kept busy. We made two trips out to our local swim center, drove out to Sisters OR. drove out to La Pine OR. and picnicked at the lake. Diana and Gabe were so thrilled to have their big Sis to hang out with them. They adore Marissa and I loved watching all my kids play together.
Stella made her famous tacos which taste even better after waiting a year! It was so worth the wait.
It was so great to see them both and we look forward to more visits in the future.
As far as pictures go, I will have to ask my step daughter to send me what she has so that I can post here on this blog.
Our camera is dead and we have been taking our time researching our next purchase in hopes to not have to buy one for a long time!
Until next time family and friends!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer in full swing


We have had a few visits from the Grandparents this summer which has been great. Phil and I actually had a date night last weekend. We went out for Thai food at this cool funky spot called Typhoon. We savored the time without the kids and even had a celebrity sighting.
I can't remember is real name but I'm sure he heard me say "Oh my god it's Jack from Lost!"
What is Jack doing here in Bend?
Anyway we had to share the experience with a fellow Lost fan my step daughter, then off to see Hancock.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's going on in our neck of the woods....


Let's see where are we now...
Marissa will be finishing up her Freshman year (that's right) at the Marin School of Arts and Technology. Her passion is photography and since we are prejudice we think she is very talented. We miss her terribly but luckily she has been up to visit us twice since we have moved to Oregon. Also,Marissa has started her first job and Phil and I are so proud of her. Marissa has grown to be a very self sufficient lovely young lady.
Diana will be finishing Kindergarten next week. I have signed her up for swim lessons and drama classes, I hope to have found an outlet for all that energy! Diana will continue with her Daisy troop and is very excited about her first Girl Scout Camp out.
Gabriel will be 3 years old this July. Hard to imagine our baby is now a ruff and tuff little boy. Gabe's favorite activity is digging holes in the yard and terrorizing huge ants that live in the dirt. He also has an obsession for trains and cars. Gabe is a Daddy's boy and pretty much buys time with his Mom until his Pop comes rolling up the driveway.
Phil has just completed his first month at St.Charles hospital in the technology dept.
It feels good to see my husband leave for work with a smile and come home with one too!

I joined a Mothers Group as soon as we moved to Bend which has been incredibly helpful.
I have made a few friends and in turn my husband has made a few friends as well.
Phil and I are both excited about our first summer in Bend. We hope you all will come make a visit to see us soon!