Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jake Szasz, Bar Mitzvah! 12-19-2009

Jake had his Bar Mitzvah service ON his birthday! How lucky is that! For his project, he did the fronts of these pillows. He did the loops by hand. I helped him by sewing on the backs and making them into pillows (also by hand.)

It was his idea to hand deliver them
to the Ronald McDonald House. He wasn't thrilled to be having his photo taken, but I didn't care.
I liked this cross stitch of Ronald himself, so Jake stood by it. Thanks Jake! We waited for some other kids to deliver some gifts to the families who have to stay here to be near their sick kids, then Jake gave the volunteer his creations. The lady was so impressed and so thankful!
She took us inside to look at a Christmas village.
The boys loved the details of it. Then it was the big day! Jake did sooooo well when he was teaching and reading from the Torah. He didn't seem nervous. His big brother Marc and he were the best readers if you ask me! It was a 2 hour service, so we brought a babysitter to go hang out in a room with Dylan and Isaac especially since Steven and I had the honor of opening the Arc of the Covenant when they were putting the Torah back. It was a beautiful service.

There was a professional photographer there, so I didn't take many photos at all. I did get a photo of Jake who was beaming with pride! And of the thoughtful cool candy cake that Jake's dad made for him. He made it from scratch, building the form and gluing every piece of candy on it. (Man I'm in the mood for some Hershey's Cookies n Creme candy right now!)
After everybody sat down with their delicious food, we started the slide show. That thing took hours of sweat and labor from Jake's mom and me finding the photos, Marc, Jake, and Bonnie getting the music together, then me putting it all together. I wish there was a way for me to put it on here, but it's over 20 min long, and unless you know Jake, you may not appreciate it. I do though! I love that all of the "uncles" as Dylan called them sat down in the front to watch it.
How come Dylan looks so much smaller than Jake in the next silly family photo? (I think of these boys as family.) We were all coordinating in black/white and grey and light blue. I love it.

I actually have good up to date wallet photos of them, my boys, and of Noah and Malia in my wallet. I heard that most parents/caregivers don't have up to date photos of their kids, and that's a big problem if one gets lost at a theme park or something. Instead of paying for a crappy ID card, I keep their photos with me, and of course I know their eye color, and hair color, DOBs, and know where their dental records are. I also give good wallet photos to people who are care givers to my kids. After all, I recommend everybody have photos of my kids! Here's the main photo I took of him. I ordered a huge print of it that went on his big sign-in board. Such a handsome grown up little man that I love so much!Mazel tov, Jake!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Abercrombie Park sneak peak

I'm so excited to get back to doing things for myself! When I found out that I wouldn't have Noah today (sad for me and Isaac), I called a friend to let her know that I normally would NEVER have my kids with me, but we could try the photo shoot she asked me for, and our kids could also have a play date. (And this is still my personal blog, so here's a fun photo just for me:)We will do the real photo shoot with the whole family soon. (I promise it'll just be me and my camera that time!) These will be great for my portfolio for when I officially start my Fishy Face Photography business soon. Her twins are so cute, all I did to this was crop out Isaac who wanted up on the bench too.

There are lots more! We stayed at the park for a long time! I can't believe the boys were so good. When I looked at the time, it was way after lunch time and was encroaching on nap time. They were such sweet little guys and I can't wait for the family shoot. I bet the dad will be done before the kids with that one:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Be Prepared

That's the scout motto, right? I have 4 Eagle Scout brothers, so I know it has something to do with scouts.
My sister, Kat, told me about the Preparedness Pantry when I visited her in UT. I bought some Christmas gifts for my brother, actually. Then Kat ordered some hot chocolate for me and brought it on the airplane with her the next time she came to visit. It's delicious! It's in a funny #10 tin can instead of packets. But it's better, b/c I use an old formula scoop, and can add as much or as little mix as I want when we do get cold nights here.

Recently, Kat posted about the company's Food Storage Analyzer™. It's a free calculator that's customizable. I used it just now. The kids are in bed, so I didn't go look under their beds to get an exact count of how many cans of pinto, adzuki, black, garbanzo, and kidney beans I have, or how much rice, wheat, and oats I have, so I guessed. I'll redo it later to really be accurate. (My dad bought a lot of organic food storage, and it's all here!)

Here's why I like the free service.
It's free. It's quick. I can put in how many people are in my family, and their ages/genders so it tells me how many calories we need daily. When I clicked what I have, it has photos so I know exactly what I'm clicking. It's simple. The best part is that I quickly scrolled through a bunch of food storage items and was finding myself wanting more! It tells me the price, and it has things that would be pretty cool to have, like pancake mix! If the hot chocolate is good, then that stuff must be good too. I can do a search for foods with certain vitamins or fiber. So far, my diet is lacking the most in the area of Vitamin A. So after I do the analyzer for real, I'll order something with more vitamin A in it like carrot dices, spinach, or even strawberry drink mix. That would keep my boys happy in time of a food crisis.

Speaking of which, I just got an email today from my dad about 2010 having a major food crisis. I'm only going to comment that food prices have gone up, and there have already been some food shortages, so no matter what, it's always a good idea to get lots of food storage. Of course enough to get through a couple of days' power outage or tornado, hurricane, or something, but a year's supply is actually standard recommendation for the members of our church. We should be prepared.

So, if you'd like to find a way to start your own food storage easily (or add to your pantry), then click the button below. (And you can read about getting a $10 gift card for trying it and spreading the word!)
Gift Card Giveaway

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Busy CHRISTmas Time {Refocus}

A member of the bishopric (Don, my step-dad) told me today at church that he had a blessing for me. After some unnecessary small talk, he knew I was ready for him to get to the point. He then asked me if I would give a talk in sacrament meeting next Sunday.

"Sure," I instinctively replied.

Man, I thought, no break for me. I have Christmas to get ready for this week! I didn't say that aloud though I did ask if he meant sometime in January instead. No, I had heard correctly.

I've been getting a little scattered at my house again, doing a lot of projects, and saying a lot of yeses. I've been to 6 Christmas parties (including Festivus), Dylan's school Christmas program, a birthday party, and a Bar Mitzvah this month already. I've said no to 4 other events, but honestly it's b/c I was double booked and although it was possible to do them all, I was able to decline the RSVPs, although it was still hard. This is my last week to finish getting things ready for my own little family. I have 3 major projects that I'd like to accomplish now that Jake is already a Bar Mitzvah. I don't really have to get them done by Christmas b/c nobody is expecting them, but that was my goal. I'm going to work like crazy these next couple of days, but I'm taking January to be a month for ME! And my photography business-to-be, of course. I have had 3 people ask me to do photo shoots, so I'll do them after Christmas. I'm excited to build my portfolio, get a simple yet memorable logo, get my website(s)/blogs up, and to launch Fishy Face Photography in the spring of 2010!

Anyway, one more thing BEFORE Christmas (giving the speech for our congregation) didn't seem too exciting for me, but then I remembered this short video that the bishop in church mentioned today. So I looked it up. Watch it:

So, preparing a talk will help me keep Christ in Christmas, and I'm sure all of my priorities will fall into place.

Here are some pictures that I have taken this month. My boys are about that little girl's age and have that same innocence.

I have a lot of nativity scenes (a LOT) and I let the kids put them out where they think they should go. (I superglue them back together as needed.) I like to see them rearranged all in a circle and in different configurations. Here's one example.

Don was right, I do need blessings with my hectic schedule. So go to church on Sunday, and hear whatever it is that I come up with! (Pray for me too:) (And watch the video again to see the snowflakes over the manger scene when you show somebody!)


Only 5 more days until Christmas?!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Wish . . . . . .


Could he be wishing for a puppy?
Or for me to tickle him?
Or for a haircut?
Or is he simply wishing you a Merry Christmas?

I wonder what goes through his little messy-haired head.
I know what I'm wishing, that I can capture every memory so I will remember how irresistible his little neck and cheeks are!

Don't you just want to scoop him up to let out his laugh you can tell he's mischievously holding in?!

Monday, December 14, 2009

MY Grandma didn't get run over BY a reindeer,

Isn't she such a fun grandma! This little garage sale reindeer also snuck into our Chrismas card before my grandma ran over him, FYI:)

So, my fully capable grandma decided one day that she might be one of those old ladies who shouldn't be driving any more. Who knows, but she's so smart, that she may be right. She turned in her driver's license, let my mom use her car, and Don got her this trike. We make fun of her just a little bit, so she decided to laugh with us and be silly for my idea of this insert with her Christmas cards this year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

we're dreaming of a WHITE Christmas . . .

This is my office's rough draft Christmas Card. Steven thought of the idea for us, but I took the idea to Dr. Brayer, my boss. I got a friend to be the photographer with my camera, then made our teeth paper white with a bling/sparkel on them to be extra cheezy:) My only request was for everybody to smile showing their teeth. Typical for boys, neither Dr. Nguyen, or his son smiled. SO, I photoshoped some on them which added to the rediculousness:)
A LOT of edits later, this is our toned down final copy that went out to all of out patients.
Here's the back. We're offering our professional teeth whitening treatment for just $99! Dr. Brayer has never done a special promotion for as long as I've known her (4-1/2 years!)
I love my job. I love my profession, and I love my job. I am soooo blessed that I am able to voice my opinions. I am able to deck my halls with photos of my kids/family in my office/operatory. I have my degrees up on the wall, and even bought (and got reimbursed for) a beautiful mirror for over my sink. I also got room numbers and other little improvements for the office.

Come visit, I'll get you a free exam, and you can't beat the teeth bleaching promo!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just another day in December

Last night it was chilly and breezy. I promise, it really was cold! We put coats (jackets) on and went ice (glide) skating in the park. We pretended we were in a winter wonderland. But then we woke up back to reality:)

This morning, Steven went to go help somebody move and was so hot that he had to get a slurpee on the way to unload the truck again.

The boys and I went for a morning walk, ate some tropical oranges and bananas for breakfast (they can peal clementines themselves if I start them!), then we went to go see their uncle JT wrestle.
It was so nice outside that we ate string cheese and sandwiches real quickly so we could go out back. I went back inside to change into a tank top and shorts b/c it's NOT jeans weather. I pushed the boys on the swings, then they pumped their legs by themselves.
I started cleaning the leaves out of the pool (a weekly task now that it's so windy) and Dylan set up his baseball stuff, bases, batting hat, and all.
He even ran them in order!
Then, b/c he was hot and sweaty, and Isaac was already having fun with me dumping water on himself from the pool, Dylan asked if he could go get his swimsuit on. I asked him to feel the pool first b/c it's only 70 degrees. He felt it, then ran in to change. He jumped right in and kicked all the way to the steps! Crazy kid. Crazy weather too.
I love living in Florida!

Oh, and it's our anual Festivus for the rest of us party tonight! December is sooooooo busy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Isaac, my little handful

I hear/see Isaac singing
"Ha BIRD you, YAY!!"

and "no-why no-my uh uh beee"

And "I uh OOOOOOO, Oooo uh EEEEEEEE"

Can you name his 3 songs?

He's naming superheros, "ma MAN, I MAN, huk, . . ."

I was going to sit down to my computer to be productive while he and Dylan take a nap, but it's too entertaining to watch him on the little monitor.

Now he's counting "one twoooo freeee, one two weee, one we, one two freee, one two"

I may as well say a little about the little man. He's sweet and cute, but is also such a handful. He can bother Dylan and Noah so much. He pulls chairs over to the counter to try to get up to the marshmallows.

He can feed himself all the way, and his favorite foods are Yo Baby yoghurt and marshmallows. He likes oranges, bananas, and even ruben caserole! He likes shoes. He has been holding onto a hotwheels little motorcycle morning, noon, night, then when he wakes up it's still there. He likes to play independently some, but also seems to need my attention. He will climb over his railing to plop himself in bed when he's ready to either jump in there, or if I give him enough notice so it's not a surprise that it's time to go to bed.

He loves to run. He learned how to side-step/hop. It's almost like he's skipping along sideways and is so cute and silly looking.

Have I mentioned before how I used to think that moms were almost heartless when they would talk about loving nap time for the kids so they could have some of their own "me time?" Well, now that's me. It's not selfish at all, on the contrary really. I play ring around the rosie, duck duck goose, Sorry, books, jumping jacks, running, swinging, coloring, ABSeas fishing, etc when they're awake, but then I get to lounge at my computer or clean up the messes when they nap. I don't want to ignore them when they're awake, but the house won't clean itself, slide shows won't create themselves, Christmas cards won't address themselves, dishes pile up, photos stay stuck inside my cameras, projects don't sew/glue themselves together, so all that magic happens at nap time. Although, sometimes I have to admit, I too LOVE naps for myself, so if I get a nap, then the magic happens at the midnight hours. I love my little kids, and know that I need to give them lots of good attention so they won't go do something to get put in time out. The other day I was wondering if Isaac was doing that b/c he knows I have to sit accross from him when he's in time out to make sure he folds his arms and stays put. He always gives me a big hug after time out too. The next day, he was a little angel, and even took a 2 hr nap at the same time as Noah! I was giving them lots of good attention that day. Now I'm thinking that Isaac just wasn't feeling well on that bad day. I wasn't either, so maybe my patience wasn't what it should be for a little 21 month old.

Shhhh! He's asleep now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Behind the Scenes of our Winter Wonderland

Here's my step-brother taking our Christmas Card Photo. I don't think I could have just used a self timer this year:) THANK YOU, STEPHEN!!! He's into photography, in case you can't tell. And here's his helper. THANK YOU too, JAKE!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Busch Gardens

Our passes are about to run out, so on a day off of school, I took 4 cute kids to Busch Gardens.

I ran into my friend from work there! We didn't stay together b/c we had things to do! Dylan and Isaac and I mostly hung out with our stroller while Brent and Jake went on every ride they wanted to go on. Some rides had things next to them to keep them occupied.
Self portrait of Isaac looking down at the animals from up on the sky ride
This where Dylan wanted to stay while Jake and Brent rode roller coasters.

And this is where Isaac wanted to stay. He walked in one tunnel and was on inside of the monkey area with windows all around! Here's another cubby hold where they could walk under the water in an Alice in Wonderland type of tunnel.
He could touch the ceiling/glass/water!

Dylan has gotten a little braver lately. He touched the snake!
A fun day with some of my favorite boys who were all so good (except for one little miscommunication about how many times they could ride a certain ride.) We rode the carousel then tossed a football while we waited.
We stayed as long as we could.
Then we were all exhausted:)