Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celebrating Christmas 2010

I love and enjoy everything about Christmas. The music, the beautiful Christmas cards received & displayed in our kitchen, the sparkling lights decorating the city, the pretty festivities all around and most of all I love that we celebrate the birth of Christ.
2010 was my first year in the primary presidency. I received the assignment of picking a present for each child in our primary. The gift had to focus of Christ and the budget should stay around $50 for 51 children. After some research I found a beautiful advent calendar that instructed the children and their families to read a scripture about Jesus a day for the 25 days until Christmas. The calendars got laminated and then I included 25 golden stars with each calendar. This way the kids were able to mark the scriptures they read and after they were all done they could take the stickers off and use it again next year. If any of you would like a free copy for your family for the coming Christmas let me know and I can email you one.
On Christmas Eve we read the birth of Christ from the Bible as is a tradition in our house. After which everyone is allowed to open one present. The children were very excited with the presents they received! We closed the night with prayers as always and after the children were asleep Jeremy and I finished getting the last details ready for Santa. Christmas morning was perfect! I think that I am more excited now as an adult than I was as a child. I love seeing my little ones reactions, their happiness on Christmas morning makes the holidays magical. It is better than you can imagine! Jeremy recorded it all while I made sure to take as many pictures as possible with my camera. The presents were beautiful and everyone seemed happy with their new gifts. One family gift stood out as a favorite, the xbox360 Kinect which has been great fun. River rush seems to be the kids favorite game.
Later on Christmas day we had the elders over for dinner. It was a great Christmas! I feel so blessed to have so much and I thank Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for all the wonderful people he sends in our lives to help and enrich our days.
Obositi dupa o zi plina de cadouri si joaca

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Holiday decor

2010 was the fist year when we decorated a 9 1/2 foot tree. We set it out the day after Thanksgiving and with a ladder plus everyone's help it was done in parts in about 3days. It sure took a long time to finish due to the large size of the tree but also because three little cuties need me constantly. Anyway, the final result was stunning and we received many compliments from everyone entering our home, the best one I heard was: Wow this is the most beautiful tree I've seen!
I decorated a little all throughout the home and I will share some pictures with how cozy and inviting it all looked. Above the entertainment center I made a little village where I incorporated 2 gingerbread houses with our collection of figurines. You can see the crafts that we made in some of these pictures too.

Let's not forget all the sweets that get consumed around this time of year. I have not baked any of the ones in the pictures. They were all delivered to us by friends and this is just a part of it. Thank you dear friends. We all loved them but now I am paying dearly for them. Jeremy and I starting doing P90x to burn off all we gained over the holidays and it is killing me slowly every day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas crafts 2010

I love making crafts especially with my children. Several weeks before Christmas I noticed some cute snow globes in a Martha Steward magazine that looked easy enough for us to make as a family. The children were excited to help make them for one of our family home evening activities and then deliver them to friends. They turned out super cute considering we used baby food jars from Michael's past meals, figurines from the dollar store ( 6 for a $1), water, glycerin drops and glitter. Very inexpensive.

We also painted a store bought wood nutcracker. The vibrant colors that the kids used makes it pop on our mantel.
To go with the nutcracker on the mantel I made some Christmas trees out of card board paper and fabric. I have seen them in expensive stores and they always look so good in groups of different sizes or just by themselves. The only problem is they cost more than I would ever pay for things that I can make myself. The one on the mantel is put on top of an old lamp base. It really is just a cardboard cone dressed in fabric. They only cost me $3 total and that was for the fabric, so much better than $80. The rest is just stuff I had already in the house. I think they turned out so whimsical. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I was able to teach another fun lesson to my preschoolers at the beginning of December about oceans. Andrew loved it so much that he played with the sensory table for hours after the lesson was done. Jasmine joined in after school and enjoyed playing just as much as the little ones. Here is the outline of the lesson.
Arrival to 9:30 Welcome and Gather
Sharing time
Coloring sheet – Games / letter L
9:45 – Story/ Lesson time
All about oceans. What is an ocean? How many oceans are there in the world?
What does ocean water taste like? Who lives in the ocean?
Books : Look who lives in the ocean!
           The Rainbow Fish
Science -- Salty Ocean
Discuss with children that sea water is salty. Have two plastic containers filled with water, and discuss how they are same. Show children the salt. Then add large amounts of salt to one of the containers and stir until dissolved. Are they the same? Why or why not? Let the children smell and taste the difference by pouring into small paper cups and use craft sticks to taste.
Egg Float experiment
Fill two containers with water; add generous amounts of salt to one and stir until dissolved. Place a raw egg in each container. The egg in the unsalted water should sink and the one in the salted water should float.
Sensory table(sand, water, ocean animals, etc...)
10: 20 -Snack
10:30 – Craft
Make your own jellyfish
10:55 - Singing time (if there is still time)
Fish Story
One, two three, four, five (hold up fingers while counting)
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten (hold up additional fingers)
Then I let it go again.
Why did I let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
The little finger on the right (hold up pinky on the right hand) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thanksgiving 2010

Every thanksgiving that we have celebrated here in Kansas has been with Jeremy's cousins in Burlington. We have had a great time with them enjoying delicious food, chatting and playing many games. We really love spending time with them but this year we broke that tradition and hosted Thanksgiving at our home for more than 20 guests.
It all started when we attended stake conference and heard elder Scott's talk. Jeremy felt inspired to invite his home teaching families and the list kept growing and growing.
It was a wonderful celebration with plenty of food to feed a small army. Jeremy cooked a big turkey and 2 juicy chickens in our rotisserie and there were mashed potatoes, fresh veggies, sweet yams with marshmallows, deviled eggs, several pasta salads, roast beef with sauce, green salad with cranberries and apples, olives, pickles, green beans with onion chips, stuffing, fresh rolls, salata de beouf, cranberry jello, pumpkin pies, apple pie, cherry pie, cheese cake, chocolate cake and many kids of juices and sodas. It truly was a feast and we enjoyed everyone's company.
Ingerasi mei obositi dupa petrecere

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Until spring...

I was so excited to have my parents here; my dream had come true. I always wanted my children to grow up with grandparents nearby and when my parents said that they were coming to stay I thought I had won the lottery. I really don't know how it is to win the lottery since I've never played but I imagine you would be pretty excited. Even though I knew how wonderful it would be to have them here I also knew how hard it is to adjust to a new culture. I struggled with the language for many months when I moved to the USA. There were days when I would try to speak English and I could see on everyone's faces that they could not understand me. It was so frustrating! I also remember how all the food tasted sweet including the bread. It was hard but I was young and very in love and that helped in overcoming many of the cultural differences. I hoped that my parents would adjust just as I did but I was wrong. My mom did great since this was her third trip to the States but my dad struggled with everything. Most of all not being able to communicate in English. Without communication skills jobs were hard to find for them. They stayed a little over one month with us and then they returned to their house in Spain. It was so hard on everyone and it involved many tears, hugs and kisses. I had this feeling that I was carrying a rock in my stomach for days. After my parents made it back to Spain safe I started feeling better little by little. The week after they left I had people calling about hiring them. I guess they left a little too early. We have skyped many times and talk on the phone almost every other day. With the holidays done and a new year begun my parents said that they are ready to return back. We hope that this spring will be better especially for my dad and that they can adjust a little better to the American culture. If not we will have to make sure that we take a trip to Spain every year to visit them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Halloween 2010

For Halloween Jeremy and I dressed up as exterminators. It went well with Jeremy's business. As for the kids, well, we had to exterminate something so we needed some cute bugs. Jasmine was a ladybug, Andrew was a venomous spider and Michael was the cutest bumble bee ever.
No bug was harmed in the process of taking this picture.

We also enjoyed some fall parties at the school and in the neighborhood. My parents loved their first Halloween in the States and look forward to next year when they plan on recording all the kids in our neighborhood. We gave over 600 pieces of candy on the night of the 31st in two hours. Jeremy said he never had a second to sit down as the door bell kept on ringing with trick or treaters. We had fun and the kids loved all the candy they received!!!

Pumpkin Patch 2010

More summer 2010

I will eventually get caught up with this blog even if I have to post tons of 2010 in 2011, nothing will be left out from our family book.
With that said, here are some more great pics from last summer with my lovely family having fun.