The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DECEMBER AND JANUARY - I'm still determined to get back!

In my last post, I had to do some catch up after being gone from blogging for a few months, promising to get back on track! I am, behind again, by a couple of months!   :-(  

Nevertheless, blogging, and following my friends blogs has always been such a joy to me, and I am DETERMINED to get back into the swing of things!  

Life is busy with 4 kids.  

I KNOW, that just made about half of my blogging buddies LAUGH OUT LOUD because you have considerably MORE than 4 kids in your families!  Some of you even run an orphanage in addition to your own kids, and still find time to blog, so I know my excuse is lamo, lol!  But, I just never seem to have any free time lately.   With work  (I know some of you do too!),  and I have several cases in my volunteer work as a GAL (I know some of you all have volunteer work too!), and I am a part of ministry at church (I know some of you do too!), I am stretched thin.  I feel like I am on the go from the time I wake to the time I go to sleep.  

But I found I really want to carve out a little time for my blogging, because it is me-time that is really enjoyable and therapeutic.  I don't have to everyday, but I've decided to take at least a morning every week to jump into blogland, if I can.  Because I LIKE IT!  And I LOVE my blog friends I have made. 

So, here is a catch-up of December - so our Christmas fun of course,  and also January!


Here are the kids at "ICE" at Gaylord Palms Resort.  This "show" happens to be inspired from a city in China called Harbin where every year amazing ice sculptures are designed and displayed.   It was s beautiful and fun, and COLD and they had fun sliding down the slides. Joshua was really excited about getting a photo with some characters from the movie Madagascar!  

Some of the Ice Sculptures from Ice Merry Madagascar - photo courtesy

Christina (17), Matthew (13), Katie Grace Hua Hua (4), Joshua (7)
SO excited Christmas is near!!  

Under the Tree, our sweeties 

Jacob (sweet husband always giving me kisses!) and I at our favorite Christmas party our friend Tony throws every year, "The 12 Desserts of Christmas!"  Yum!

Christina and her boyfriend, Paul, at the Christmas party with us.  Seniors this year!  

One of many Christmas Card poses.  Kids just wanted to keep on doing silly ones!  

That's more like it!  Merry Christmas!

Joshua played the role of "Stable Boy" who asks the people, "Do you know who Jesus is?" in our Christmas Play at Church on Christmas Eve.   Look at that cute little rascally face!

Christina made "Polar Express Hot Cocoa".  Now you might be thinking,  "Can hot cocoa taste any better than it already does??"  YES IT CAN.  This was chocolatey heaven!

Add some whipped cream and we've got at real treat!

Christina also made giant s'mores cookies!!  

Now you can see how giant and yummy that cookie is from the side, cut into fourths.    

After snacks and ready for bed because Santa Clause is coming!!  

Tucked in for Christmas Eve!  Visions of sugarplums danced in their heads....    By the way, Joshua and Hua Hua slept with those Santa hats on for several weeks before Christmas, lol!

Christmas morning and there are gifts to open!

One of Hua Hua's favorites!

Joshua loves Legos!  He put this together that morning!  Lego T-Rex!

Matthew (14) and Tyler (17), who is like another son and came to spend Christmas with us,  played some new video games.  "Madden 13" was this game, I believe.  ;-)

Paul came over to spend part of Christmas Day with Christina and our family.  :)

So I let my kids have a big responsibility.  Christina (17)  drove with Matthew (13)  down to Sanibel Island (almost 4  hour drive), all by themselves, to meet up and stay with my sister and family who flew in from Colorado for New Years.  In the past,  Jacob and I always take the kids for a couple nights, but I could not get off work this time.  My kids did not want to miss out on cousin time, since they only get to see them a short amount of time each year.  So, I let them take this journey driving down the coast.  We planned it out carefully and Christina did a great job driving it!  I figured Christina will be going off to college in 6 months, so I might as well start giving her opportunities to stretch herself.  They had so much fun with their cousins!

Matthew (13),  Christina (17),  Cousin Alyssa (17),  Cousin Alyssa's Boyfriend Michael (17), Cousin Tyler (22)

Cousins Forever.  Alyssa Visiting from Colorado and Christina (Senior Year)


Matthew turned 14 on January 6th!  January 6th also happens to be "Three Kings Day" or  "Dia De Los Reyes"  celebrated in many Latino cultures.  A day to celebrate the 3 Kings bringing gifts to our Savior who was born!   Gifts are given on this day in those cultures.  Since my two older kids (Christina and Matthew) are of Puerto Rican heritage, it is fun to remember and El Dia De Los Reyes!  Happy Birthday Manuel Matthew!   You were a gift brought to me on that day when you were born.  Your names also fit the day and season and who you are.  Manuel is derived from Emanuel or "God with us" and Matthew means "Gift from God".  He is a gentle natured, helpful, giving, sports-loving boy!  Couldn't ask for a better teen!!

Dad taking Katie Grace Hua Hua's "Dance Class" in the living room.  

Princess Dance

Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!  The tiara stays on!  

Dad helping Joshua make his Pinewood Derby car for Cub Scouts!! 

Looks like dad is doing most of the work here, haha!  

Joshua's Pinewood Derby Car is Ready!   Named "The Silver Streak"

Boys and Leaders ready to race their cars!   Dad took him to the Derby while I was at Basketball with Matt, but they said it was a great day!!  

Matthew, far right, with his basketball team.  "Team Jordan" of the "Four Corners Bucs"  We have a new beautiful recreational park right up the road with sporting fields,  walking path,  and an awesome playground, yay!  This is SO great for a lot of the young kids and teens in our area.  We are not exactly a high income area, so this new park is so wonderful for families.  

Matthew in the game!

Tyler, who has been spending weekends with us, was on the sidelines playing with Katie Grace Hua Hua.  She thinks he is the deal! 

Back at the house, you'd think they would have had enough basketball, but nope, they keep playing on Saturdays!  

And Matthew with more basketball... (in style of course!)

Tyler dunks it at the highest setting!  

Christina, Matthew, Tyler 

Katie Grace Hua Hua (4), getting SO grubby!  What a cutie she is!

Aha!  A mud bath!  

Space Night at School!  Joshua making a stomp rocket while Hua Hua helps.

Time to watch those rockets fly!!

Joshua eating the marshmallows instead of building with them in the aircraft workshop.  ;-) 

Okay, so that is it!  I caught up on the past couple months and this post took some time!  I will have to be more diligent now so that I can keep up, one event at a time!  Can't wait to get to all of your blogs and see what's going on!!

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo