Wednesday, February 27, 2013

sharing the LOVE

I must say, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I don't know why... It's kinda silly, really. Maybe it's the pink... or all the flowers, or just the mushiness of love in the air (I'm a hopeless romantic). Whatever it is, I LOVE it, and we do it up big every year. Not just Matt and I, ALL of us. More recently I've focused it on the love we have for each other. The love we have from God- because He first loved us. And gave us the BEST gift EVER in Jesus. So fittingly enough, our theme for the day was John 3:16.
This year, with the kids being home we had a blast "planning" for our day. We spent the whole entire day before preparing, shopping and decorating for the next day. It was SO much fun to see the looks on the kids faces, and being SO excited to cook, create, and just spend time with each other. Totally melted my heart actually.... ;)
We started off with me making them all breakfast. Then we got dressed and gave each other cards and gifts. We watched movies, ate lunch and then started preparing our "fancy" dinner (which the kids opted for instead of our traditional heart-shaped pizzas). We ended the day with chocolate fondue and a cozy fire. All in all, a perfectly LOVING day for us all!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

partying puppy-style

We always start off the year celebrating this little guy...

We are so blessed to have Blake.  He is the strong, silent type.  He laughs when he's nervous.  He ADORES his older brother and would do anything to be like him. He loves singing and snuggling before bedtime, his stuffed animals, and ANYthing sweet (and he knows usually a soft whisper in my ear will usually get him a treat:).  He's our "moose", and one day will probably tower over us all.  And I can't wait for the best bear hugs from him...

But first- turning 5.
January 7th was his 5TH birthday.  I can't even believe it has been that long! 

As we were throwing around ideas for his birthday party months before (my kids know me and my love of anything "party"), a "puppy" theme came up and we RAN with it!  I turned out SO incredibly fun- there were rave reviews from many happy kiddos afterwards. :)

 I had the most fun with this table set-up!  There were dogbone shaped PB&J & turkey sandwiches, mini bags of "pupcorn", "water bowls" of blue Jell-O, pretzel "rawhide", and Scooby snack graham crackers.  The cake was actually the dog bowl full of "dog food"- everyone got a kick out of that (thanks to Half Baked)!  Most of these ideas were from Pinterest, of course. :)

 After the kids ate, we proceeded with the long-awaited...

Each child started at the Puppy Shop where they got to pick and name their puppy, sign their adoption certificate, and choose a collar. 

Next, they chose from visiting the Grooming Station, Pet Supply Store, and the Puppy Hospital (for check-ups, of course:).


All in all, it was such a fun day!!

Happy Birthday, Blakey!
We love you SO much!!

wrapping up 2012

Finally finishing up 2012 means I can move on to 2013, sooo..... 
here we go!!

 Had fun at our church's Christmas Blvd. and pics with Santa... as you can tell, Rowan wasn't too much a fan.  Is it wrong that I find it adorable?? ;)

 I had the pleasure of taking Miss Camryn to a professional ballet production of The Nutcracker by The Los Angeles Ballet. It was AMAZING, but even more amazing was the time I spent with my girl.  It was at UCLA's Royce Hall (awesome!!), and we headed to The Grove afterwards to hang out and have dinner.  My heart was FULL.
Gingerbread house decorating with "school" friends... always a fun treat!!

 Christmas caroling at two elderly homes with our homeschooling group was definitely a memorable experience. The kids sung and passed out goodie bags to residents. This was such a blessing for everyone! And, I must say, Tyler REALLY got high marks for being the ONLY boy there... such a sweet guy... :)

Camryn's Christmas dance performance and party is always fun... We are blessed to be a part of a wonderful dance "family"!!

 One of our FAVORITE traditions of the Season- cookie decorating at Grandma and Grandpa Bonafede's!! This year was extra special because of their NEW kitchen! Always one of our most fun activities during Christmas...

And as always- family time!!! There were SO many more pictures, I couldn't decide...
So we will just sum it up with these...
 These cousins are a BLESSING!!!

Can you just a get the feeling of all the madness?? ;P

We spent the last few days of the year with wonderful friends in Big Bear. It was an amazing time with falling snow, sledding, fires and wonderful company...

Couldn't forget the vans... ;)

Overall, our year was amazing!!!
We are SO incredibly blessed and the the Lord for all we have!!
On to 2013......