Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Thank you to all of you who touched our lives this Christmas. It was wonderful spending time with all the ones we love!

(Keep posted for some fun holidays pictures- I have a ton!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

So instead of writing a letter on paper this year, I opted to do it via the internet (gotta love technology!). A lot has happened in our family this year, so for all of you new to our blog-site, welcome!
Our year started off with a very big event- on January 7 little Blake Matthew was born! He has not stopped blessing our family since. He is the happiest little boy and has brought us nothing but joy! His brother and sister love him to death (sometimes a little too much). We are both
amazed at how much we have gotten to enjoy him! We chalk it up to the 3rd kid syndrome. We'll see if it rubs off on us for a #4...
In April, Matt got a promotion at work. He is now an engineer with the LAFD at station 57. He still remains stationed in South LA (by choice) and enjoys his new crew. They are younger guys than his old station, which was a nice change compared to his 'old guys' at 14's. He loves his job- lots of numbers, math, etc. It's right up his alley.
Camryn turned 6 and started kindergarten this fall and absolutely loves it! She is such a social butterfly. We have had some "issues" already with her 'strong-willed' personality, but we just keep reminding ourselves that her will will carry her a long way some day! She is a good girl, and enjoyed playing soccer for her 2nd year. She is looking forward to starting dance again next year.
Tyler is 4 1/2 now and is as active as ever! He is in pre-school 3 days a week, karate once a week and likes to "play" with his little brother. He just recently discovered Star Wars and was instantly hooked! Just today he was quoting Yoda, "Hard to see, the dark side is" (with the voice and all). He definitely keeps humor alive in our family. We are starting to see a little more shyness in him lately, but it doesn't take much to get him talking!
I'm still working in L&D at Whittier Presbyterian, just one day a week. It's the best job ever! I get to stay home with my kids for the most part, use my brain a little, and even make some extra money! It has definitely been a blessing for us. I have also taken up cake decorating recently. It's fun and lets me use a little creativity. The smell of buttercream icing has been getting to me a little lately though. :) I love being a mom and have enjoyed doing all the fun stuff with the kids.
That's just our lives in a nutshell, for now. Please keep checking back on our blogsite, I try to keep it as updated as possible. And don't forget to leave your comments!! May you all have a blessed Christmas and healthy New Year!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Code Yellow

One of my biggest fears actually happened today, and while I had always dreaded this moment, I knew it would happen someday. We were in Target (Tyler, Blake and myself) doing some Christmas shopping, and I had already caught Tyler wandering off twice. I was browsing in the book/DVD section when I turned around and, once again, Tyler was gone. SOOO frustrating!!!! I looked the next aisle over, then the next, and the next, and the next.... no Tyler! There were tons of people there too, which made it even worse! Then I quickly sped up my pace as I ran over to the toy (Star Wars) area, and again, no Tyler. As I'm yelling his name at this point, I start panicking, thinking the worst. Then I thought, "Oh my God, what if he walked outside?!?" I ran over to the customer service area (since they were sans security guard at that moment) and told them my son was missing. The girl quickly piped up on the walkie-talkie and announced, "Code yellow, code yellow!" Oh my gosh, how embarrassing. She asked me what he was wearing, which she, again, announced over the walkie-talkie and I swear about 10 seconds later, she said they found him. And where was he you ask? "Ma'am, he's in the very back, in the Star Wars toy section." Of course he is. And not just the toy section- the LAST aisle of toys section! I proceed to run to the back with a bunch of merchandise on my stroller, only to find about 10 Target employees surrounding Tyler. As my eyes start to well up, I can't decide if I want to hug him or kill him. And of course all the workers were like, "He is SO cute!" Yah, a cute 'wander-off-to-the-Star-Wars-section-by-himself' kid!! I was mortified, embarrassed, relieved and raging mad all at the same time. But, I have to say, I was very impressed with the swiftness of all the Target employees. I wonder if they've done that before?? Just another reason to say Target is still my favorite store! Another day in the life of a busy mom...

Christmas Cheer

I finally got all of the finishing touches done on our Christmas decor, thanks in part to 1) my MOPS party, and 2) a great 60% off sale at Michael's. I am not the traditional 'holly-wreath-and-pine-cone' type of girl, so of course I had to put a small twist on things. I had borrowed Gena's table linens from her bridesmaid's dinner for MOPS (picture soon to come), so I asked if I could use them just a bit longer. I took this idea from the current wedding fad to do a Christmas-themed 'Candy Bar'. It's all the rage at weddings these days to do glass containers filled with candies in the wedding colors so I thought, how cute would it be for Christmas? I got all the glass containers I could find and filled them with red and silver ornaments, candies, and candles. It came out pretty cute, I think, and it's a great treat for guests when they come over!

The Christmas 'Candy Bar'

I decided against getting the whole city out this year so here's just a few neighbors. Of course my favs, the firehouse, chapel and country cottage. Very woodsy feel... add a fire and it's just faaabulous!! Got to love this time of year...

Fondant Fun

Ok, so I couldn't wait! I just happened to be at Michael's today and had two 40% off coupons that were going to expire, sooooo, I thought I would stock up on cake decorating paraphernalia. And, of course, I couldn't just stare at it on my countertop! I ripped those babies open and got to work!! I just happened to have an extra little cake from my red velvets, so I iced her up and started to play! I had so much fun!!!!!!! I seriously cannot wait to start doing this more! I already have three cakes lined up for January- my friend Riva's little girl Lynnea's 1st birthday cake, then Blakey's, then Brooklynn's. Yay, I'm so excited....

P.S.- Turns out You Tube has 'how-to' videos on fondant... I'm in love!

Red Velvet-y Goodness

I made my first batch of homemade, from scratch cupcakes the other day and were they GOOD! They were for my MOPS Leadership Christmas party that I hosted on Friday night at our house. I have been wanting to try red velvet cake, so I decided it would be cute and festive for Christmas. After using up one whole bottle of red food coloring and being VERY careful with where I got the batter (stains everything!), here's what I got:

They turned out really cute and tasted so yummy with my cream cheese frosting! For future reference, cupcakes are so much easier than a cake... but I still love them anyway!

Casa de Gingerbread

So after Tyler BEGGED me to buy this gingerbread house kit ($7.99 at Micheal's, btw) he didn't even want to help. I pulled it out while I was getting ready for my MOPS leadership Christmas party the other day, as a 'quick', kill time activity. Shoulda known... Never ask an anal-retentive man to put together a structure, I mean cookie house. Only Matt would make this into a full-fledged architectural project! So after he was done constructing (30 minutes later) we gathered up the interest of the kids again to decorate. With much crumbling frosting, sticky gumdrops, and 500 (seemed like) spilled ball candies later, we had our "Gingerbread House". Here's to another one of my "quick projects"!!

The finished product!
(Yes, I helped a little :)

Basket Weaving 101

So here's my last cake for my Intermediate Cake Decorating class. A traditional basket weave, with royal icing flowers. I think there was enough icing on this think to kill someone!! It was for my Grandma's birthday, and she liked it- that's all that matters... Thank God, I'm now moving on to the fun stuff- FONDANT!! I can't wait!! Keep posted for some fun cakes...

Cookie Crazy

Last weekend we had our annual "Cookie Decorating Day" at the Bonafedes. We've been doing it for the past three years or so, and the kids love it! Linda has it all set up with the cookie dough, frosting, sprinkles- you name it! It's funny to see them get a little better every year.

Cami, Ty & B cutting out cookies.

Tyler- I don't know what he liked more, decorating or just eating the dough!

The finished product! They were sure yummy...
Thanks Linda for all your patience and hard work!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. On the day of we went to Matt's parents' house to celebrate, which we've discovered more recently to be more comedy than anything. It is so fun getting those brothers together! They feed off each other and before you know it, you have a full-fledged comedy show. It's hilarious and each time I find myself laughing so hard I'm sore. I'm sure in the years to come we will cherish those memories of laughter together. I know I will!
Then, on the Saturday after we had my family over to our house for another wonderful dinner! I SO enjoyed having everyone (except the Bucklins :( together this year. Family together is always good. Which brings me to my next thought: What am I thankful for? Super easy question for me...

* My wonderful husband- I could not ask for anything more! Even though he has his quirks (who doesn't) he is the first best thing in my life. I will never doubt his commitment to me, and he's such a great daddy. He gets better and better every day at everything he does.

* My three healthy, active and sweet children- The second (third, fourth) best things that have ever happened to me. Who would have known I would have such beautiful kids? They are every bit as special to me and I thank God for each one of them.

* My family- Especially with 3 little ones, I couldn't imagine doing it alone! Our families have been our "village" and I value every person who has effected how we've grown as people, parents, friends, etc. It is because of all of you! Thanks to moms, dads, grandmas, sisters & brothers (in-law, too), cousins, aunties, & uncles.

* My friends- I have never been more thankful in my life for the people who've we've chosen as our friends. You all have such a special place in my heart, and in our lives. You are the ones I go to for advice, to talk your ear off, or just bug... So thanks for letting me!

* Our health- So easy to be overlooked, I am SO thankful that we are healthy and happy! Each day goes by I am more and more grateful to God that he has kept us healthy. There are so many sick kids out there, it seems like you hear one sad story after another. I am thankful for TODAY.

We feel so blessed in this day and age to have all that we do, and I don't mean monetarily. After seeing people losing their homes in this recession and the recent fires, all that matters is the people who surround us. I pray that all of you are happy, we love you all!!!

My Thanksgiving table

Place cards
(Aren't they so cute!?!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fancy Schmancy

So this cake really the showed the severity of my perfectionism when it comes to making cakes. This is called a "chocolate-wrapped cake", as I was told by my teacher. Whu??? My thoughts exactly! I had never heard of it before either, which was partially the reason for my assuming that it would be like any other cake I have attempted. WRONG! This was the hardest thing I have ever done! Almost close enough to make me quit this new realm of cake decorating altogether! "Why?" you say? Let me just take you step by step...

1. Melt two different colors of chocolate in separate frosting bags.
2. After you have cut out an exact, measured template of freezer paper (yes, there's such a thing) to fit around your cake, use a stencil of your choice and spread on the first chocolate color. (That would be orange in my case, although it looks more cream) BTW, this step-not so easy...
3. Let it dry for a tad, then spread on the other color chocolate (brown) over the top, making sure not to smear the orange layer underneath.
4. Wrap the chocolate laden paper around the cake and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
5. Take the cake out and CAREFULLY peel the paper away and, voila! There you have it... a tried and true "chocolate-wrapped" cake! (Do you feel my enthusiasm?)

All in all, easier said than done. I really was astonished to see that even with a few smudges (much to my dismay) the cake turned out really well. I added some choco leaves and a dot border to finish it off. The Bonafede fam were great sports in trying my cake on Thanksgiving. Thanks for the thumbs up guys!! I think in the future I'll leave this one to the fancy pastry chefs...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Little Pumpkin

So I went to my really good friend Gina's baby shower today, and I just had to blog about it. It was one of the cutest baby showers I've been to! For starters the invites were so cute, brown and orange color scheme and read:

Baby smiles, giggles galore
Gina and Larry are having one more!
Big Brothers Dylan, Jake and Owen
have plenty to share.
This is just a "sprinkle" to show we care.

Trains & Trucks or Ribbon & Bows... Boy or Girl nobody knows!

So cute, right? The theme was Gina's favorite, Fall decor! Who would've thought 'Fall' for a baby shower? There was a cute sign that said "Gina's Little Pumpkin" that was hung across the patio. The tables were decorated with fall leaves, flowers and had super cute table favors:

If you can't see, there's a caramel apple with a cute 'Thank You from Gina's Little Pumpkin' tag on it. There was a candy bar table with different fall colored candies in glass containers, along with orange, yellow and brown chinese take-out boxes to take some home in.

Well most of you know how much I love to decorate and party plan- this was right up my alley! Gina told me that when she first saw it she thought of me... that was so sweet. :) So who's gonna have a baby next fall so we can do it? Ha Ha!! (Seriously, let me know...)

Thanks for inviting me, Gina! Can't wait to meet your new little pumpkin!!!

Movin' On Up

Ty had another karate belt graduation last week. He is officially now a white belt with orange stripe. It is so fun to see his improvement. Although this particular time he was having a tough time because he was almost asleep in the car on the way there. That just ruins any moment! So after he woke up a bit, and warmed up a little, we convinced him to go join his friend Jake on the mat. He did, and we got some cute pics afterall. He is running with the "Jedi" karate training lately. That just means that anything I want him to do I just add the word "Jedi" to and he thinks it's the coolest in the world! Works for me! :) He has definitely turned into my 'shy guy' lately. He is such a sweet and sensitive little one... (I guess he takes after me- when I was little anyway!)

Reading Rainbow

It's images like these that I can't help but think what a wonderful life I have. Cam has been so excited to write and read and lately these have been her favorites. Just melts my heart...

Burnin' Up

Here are a few shots of the fires that were close to our house here in So Cal. This was from our local Target store's parking lot. Very eery and creepy! So glad they are contained now. Matt went out to the fires in Sylmar for a couple of days putting out some fires on that side. He said it was amazing. Very hard work though! The kids got a little bit of cabin fever staying inside most of the time. They couldn't go outside to play at school either! Thanks to those who put these monsters to rest...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last Hoorah

Camrym had her last soccer game last weekend and it was a blast! I have to say, we had such a great season this year... so much better than last year! The parents ans coaches were great, not to mention the weather! Cam really seemed like she actually enjoyed it. It's fun to see her improvement, not only physically but mentally. I love seeing the joy in her face when she realizes she can do something. Nothing warms my heart more.
At one of her recent games she scored her first goal. We had kind of a running bet that if she scored a goal she could get Dippin Dots (an overly priced novelty ice cream). Every time she got out on that field she would say, "Mom, I'm gonna get Dippin Dots today!" And every time I would tell her, "OK babe!" So she would try and try and try. It was the perfect shot and the perfect kick into the net that got her first victory, and the second she did, she just looked over at me, shocked, and ran over to me for a HUGE hug. The look of shock and bewilderment on her face was priceless. I swear I almost cried! Later that week she told me "Mom, remember when I scored my goal at soccer? Well when I did, I almost cried." Needless to say, we trecked over to Dippin Dots that day. I think that was the only time I've ever told her to get a BIG one! (Secretly I wanted some too :) And of course it was the day Daddy wasn't there. Next time, I told him.
So here's to a great season, my big girl, and to whatever she decides to do next. (Hopefully I can talk her into dance again!) Don't worry, you will be updated!!

That's Cam in action on the far right!
Camryn playing Goalie
No, I didn't make this one...
These were the gifts we gave all the girls. Blankets with each of their names embroidered on them (Thank you Linda!! I'm so lucky to have such a talented MIL!!)
All the girls at their pizza party. The coach said really nice things about each of them.
Good job Ladybugs!!

My Teeth Hurt

Here are a couple more cakes from my beginning cake decorating class. I mean it when I say my teeth hurt just smelling the frosting anymore! I had a lot of fun in the beginner class, but now I must move on... Bring on the Advanced class baby! I am definitely ready for more than clown heads and rose buds! Who uses those anyways? So I am looking forward to the next few weeks when I can do something more with my new found love. BTW... who's my next volunteer for a practice cake?

This idea was actually inspired from my 'Hello Cupcake' book, I just decided to do it on a cake! The centers of those sunflowers are Oreos... mmmm...

Monday, November 3, 2008

My First Meme

Only Type One Word .. first word that comes to mind (Not as easy as you might think!).

1. Where is your cell phone? Counter
2. Your significant other? Matt
3. Your Hair? Brown
4. Your Skin? Tan
5. Your mother? Linda
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Forgot
8. Your favorite drink? Tea
9. Your dream/goal? Happy
10. The room you're in? Living
11. Your ex? Huh?
12. Your fear? Pain
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy
14.Where were you last night? Bed
15.What you're not? Mellow
16.Muffins? Sure!
17.One of your wish list items? Bedroom
18.Where you grew up? Here
19.The last thing you did? Blogged
20.What are you wearing? Jeans
21.Your TV? Occasionally
22.Your pets? Chloe
23. Your computer? Bliss
24. Your life? Great
25. Your mood? Tired
26. Missing someone? Dad
27. Your car? Filthy
28. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
29. Favorite Store? Target
30. Your summer? Fun
31. Like someone? Kids
32. Your favorite color? Yellow
33. When is the last time you laughed? Morning
34. Last time you cried? Weeks
35. Who will respond to this? Riva?
36. Who's Answers are you anxious to see? Anyone

Apple Adventure

This past weekend we got to go apple picking in Oak Glen with the Bonafede fam. What a great time we had! I was so glad we all made it, it ended up being a really fun time. It was beautiful weather, actually crisp and cold like Fall should be. The kids had a blast and we got some really great family pics for the Christmas card! If you've never been there, I highly recommend it. This first pic is already on my screensaver... Yay Fall!

Halloween fun

This Halloween was good, but it just didn't seem the same with this weird weather! It's hot one minute, then raining the next. Can't make it's mind, I guess! Anyways, the kids' school parades and parties went well, along with our traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Here are some pics of our fun festivities...

Cam with her "big buddy" at the school parade.
Mrs Ancich's kindergarten class!

Ty at his school's parade as Annakin Skywalker (of course)

'My Three Monsters'

Pumpkin guts?

Yup, pumpkin guts!

You have the priveledge of seeing Blake in his monkey costume for his first Halloween. You should feel special, not many people got to...

Tink & Annakin :)

Sinful sweets

I got to make Mickey's 10th Birthday cake for him and, I must say, it turned out so cute! I found this recipe for a 'Ship's Ahoy' ice cream cake in a mag and thought he'd like it. He loved it, and it really wasn't that difficult! I had fun...

Here's some more practice stuff from my cake class. This class was on cupcakes, and for those of you who hate clowns, BEWARE! There are images that are not suitable for your eyes! I have to admit, they are pretty scary looking. It was fun, but the smell of lard frosting is starting to get to me...

Monday, October 27, 2008


Last night was our church's 8th Annual Trunk-or-Treat and the kids had a blast!  It's so cute- the cars park in the parking lot and the kids go "Trunk-or-Treating" from car to car.  They also played some fun games, and ate hot dogs and mac & cheese, and did a cake walk.  Here's some pics from the festivities...