Thursday, December 31, 2009

Project Life

day 1: breakfast at IHOP with my boys! Had a busy "shopping day" at Lake Elsinore Outlet but it was so fun to spend time together out and about as a family! These three guys are my "happy world!"

Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas morning

our kids were, once again, very lucky this year. i am always so worried and stressed that they will receive too much and forget to be grateful . . . forget how lucky they are. i am always reminding them that they are super lucky boys - super lucky to have so many people love them enough to work hard to give them such wonderful gifts! jay and i stuck to our plan of giving one gift each to nicholas and noah, plus their "from santa gift!" most of their gifts were from mum-mum & poly. so thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making another christmas for our boys very special and memorable!

nicholas' vans "from santa"

noah's fire playhouse set "from santa

one his favorite gifts! from mom& dad! his exact words were, "i wuv it! tank youuuuu"

spoiled! from mum-mum & poly :-) he got a harley motorcycle
both boys will enjoy this one! from grandma & papa charfauros!

the hug! after he opened his gift and discovered . . . .
the xbox 360! lucky, lucky boy!

madden 10 from uncle kelly!

all their gifts! whew! they are very lucky boys!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


today has just been such a relaxing day. did a little cleaning, laundry, putting gifts away and got to just lay around and watch football and take a nap. so nice, and so needed after such a whirlwind week.

i'm so looking forward to the new year! i love fresh starts and i've decided to start my project life tomorrow. that is a photo a day. and i know, i know i tried doing it for a week a while back ago and failed - but this time (since i won that project life kit!) i'm gonna try and stick with it. i'm super excited to document a year of my life through pictures and journaling . . . it should be fun. and i'm gonna try and take a photo a day - but if i don't - i'm not gonna give up. i'm just gonna try and take pictures that represent moments and memories that represent what my life is about at this very moment in time!

i'm gonna try and create a new look for my blog within the next week. new banner and template. . . . in light of the new year.

okee dokee! i'll post tomorrow with my first photo for my project life album!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

christmas eve, day

up early again. and yet i am still so very tired. why on earth am i up? maybe because i need the quiet . . . the quiet before the house starts to shake with loud, rambunctious "boy" behavior :-)

yesterday was another long day. i was out of the house by 10am and home by 4pm and back out of the house around 630pm and home again by 745pm. then i stayed up and wrapped gifts with nicholas and aaliyah, (noah was sleeping). and i've finished everything - all the wrapping and although i'm exhausted; i feel so accomplished!

i can't wait to see noah's face when he gets to open his presents! he's so used to going to the stores and "just looking" and to have gifts to unwrap that are toys that he always "looks" at is going to be so exciting to watch! this age is so much fun!

and last night, nicholas was watching me wrap his brother's gifts and he was like, "dang mom, noah has alot of gifts! there's not even one for me under the tree." he didn't say it in a mean or ugly way - more like a statement. nicholas is not the jealous "big brother" type at all. (thank God for that!) but the boys both got the same amount of gifts from us - 1 each from mom & dad and 1 from santa. i just happened to be wrapping noah's gifts from his grandma and uncle kelly. nicholas knows that some of his gifts are monetary. but all in all he was a good sport. and come christmas morning - i'm pretty sure he's going to be one happy boy!

this morning i'm going to make my pumpkin gooey cakes. yumO! easy process, easy clean-up, but absolutely delicious!

well the kids are up and about. better get the day started!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

christmas! it's just around the corner (literally!)

i can't believe that christmas is the day after tomorrow and i haven't wrapped one gift yet! boy i sure am behind. not to mention, i still have some shopping to finish up today. oh my goodness.

last night we went out for dinner - what a treat! but it reminds me of how much love goes into our home cooked meals. i am thankful and grateful that we're not raising our kids on restaurant food.

i don't have much to write about - well actually i do. but just kinda not in the mood to. sorry. but to ease my mind . . . here's what's whirling in my head right now:

  • shop for gifts for, Justin, Aaliyah, Joesiah, Marissa, Kim & Seressa
  • finish buying "white elephant" present (the joy of gift cards!)
  • buy table cloths and center pieces for christmas dinner
  • paper products and food list
  • wrap gifts
  • clean house

off to wrap some gifts, and create a "game plan" list for today!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


we had a rough night last night! i was up late with nicholas working on a project that is due today. 25 darn pages of writing and drawing and then creating a cover page that is creative and fitting to his project theme. oh i was so upset with him! i think that's an understatement . . . i was fuming. nicholas is studious and very disciplined about doing his homework - and i guess i just took that for granted. not realizing that his school workload is and will get more challenging, hence he will have to be even more disciplined about getting it done. so on my part as a parent, i failed. i need to be more ontop of checking his workload out and helping him to manage his time better when it comes to projects like that. needless to say . . . he has lost all television privileges during the weekdays until the school year is up. i just wonder . . . at what point do you just let your child fail, and or make a mistake that has consequences in order to learn a lesson. i'm wondering if i did the right thing by helping him get it done . . . i wonder if he learned his lesson. i sure hope so.

here's a picture of that handsome 11 year old boy that made his mama so mad lastnight i thought i was going to punch his lights out! i didn't of course :0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

it's beginning to look alot like christmas!

it's that time of year - and it's coming fast. i don't have all my shopping done, but i have my lists. since we're scaling back this year i don't feel as stressed. my kids will receive two gifts (one from santa & one from mom and dad). i picked up a few gifts yesterday while out & about at target. (my how i love target). and i've officialy finished noah's stocking stuffers - well kinda. i'm still in the hunt for alpha letter magnets (as if i need one more thing on my fridge!)

and now i'm writing out my list for our christmas dinner. we'll be hosting it this year (again). and i don't mind, but it does get kinda stressful. especially since this weekend, instead of shopping and preparing our house for the gathering we'll be spending it all (both sat & sun) day at the baseball field. and although i do love to watch nicholas play - oh my there are so many things that need tending too! so that makes for a busy week this week and next!

not to mention that yesterday i started to feel as if i was coming down with something. so i stepped away from the housework took some meds and just rested. and i feel better today, but still kinda yucky!

and i'd thought i'd share some photos of how it's beginning to look alot like christmas around here at our house: enjoy!
our front room

family room

a treasure craft that nicholas made in pre-schoolour tree
another treasure that nicholas made!
photo of our boys and fireman santa!
cermic set that my mom made (way back when i was little) i love it!
noah in his chrismas jammies!
front entry table. gold chrismas tree is a garage find for $1!
our stairwell!
and that's it! that our cozy lil' home with bits of history strung around our house. maybe that's why i love pulling out our christmas decor every year. it's kinda like walking down memory lane. hope everyone is having a happy week in preparing for the upcoming christmas holiday.

merry wishes your way!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

excited and happy!

i won something! i am so darn happy about it. even better it's something that i really wanted. i won a Project Life Kit! so excited to start that the beginning of the Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

i was thinking . . .

of things that soothe me. soothe my soul. ease my mind from the worries that whirl in my mind and heart. sometimes things get to heavy in life, when we feel like we can't take another minute of it. when i feel like this, when i feel like it's hard to breath or hold back tears i look to the things that soothe me.

the laughter of my children
the prescense of my husband
the sound of nicholas playing the ukulele
my camera & taking pictures
and. . . praying.

when i pray i'm always asking God for something. to help me, to guide me, to take care of me and my family. i feel like i'm always asking for something. is this bad? i never forget to thank Him for all that he has blessed me with. because i am blessed. i am blessed with so many wonderful things in my life. but still i ache for guidance in making the right choices in all the things in my life. i still ache to have His hand to hold when i feel like it's too much to hold back the tears. but i feel sad sometimes, because although i never fail to be thankful to Him for all that he has given me - sometimes i get carried away and caught up when things are going just the way i want; i fail to recognize Him in my life the way that i do when i am lost, lonely, or in need. this makes me feel awful. it makes me ashamed that i could get carried away like that. it makes me feel half empty at times.


so i'm not sure how the interview went. clearly there is always someone out there that is more qualified - so at this point i just have to wait and see. makes me think . . . maybe now is the time to finish my credential - or go back to school and get my masters's degree. either way, the job hunt continues.

i haven't been in the holiday spirit. even though our house is all decked out and noah looks so excited all the time to see the lights and the tree. he really loves all the "fluff" around the house. nicholas is excited too!

that's it. the update on the interview.

we took a picture of nicholas and his birthday cake. i'll post it later. i'm on jay's laptop right now and i don't have access to my photos from here.

happy thursday!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


i have an interview today. i am so nervous - i think because i really would like to have this position/opportunity. it's fitting in every way for where i am at in my life as a mom, wife, and professional. hope it goes well - my fingers are crossed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

what a filled weekend. it was fun, but we were in and outta the house most of the time. yesterday i spend most of the day catching up around here. it is definitley looking like christmas around here.

today nicholas is officially an 11 year old boy! wow - it's really hard to believe. it really does go by so fast. i am so proud of him and so proud to be his mom. it's so hard raising children - one of the toughest things but it is also very rewarding. everytime i look at him my heart swells with pride. so happy birthday nicholas. i love you son!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

editting my photos

learning to edit in pse. it's a work in progress. wish i knew how to use actions in pse.

here are two that i worked on. i worked on two more but after reviewing it, i think it needs a little more editting.

i love the deep green in this photo of nicholas.

i gotta work on getting that look with this photo of noah.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a conversation with noah

i decorated our tree yesterday and i'll be doing more today. hopefully it'll be finished today . . . i don't like having our garage in such a disarray.

while noah was napping yesterday i took a nap too. nice. not normal for me, but i needed it. when he woke up i heard him calling for me, when i went to go check on him and asked if he was done napping he said this to me, "i just laying here telling myself a story." i smiled and asked, "you told yourself a story? what was your story about?" his reply, "once a time there was a wil boy named . . . " i ask him, "what was the little boys name in your story?" he said with the most adorable smile on his face, "noah john charfauros mommy!" and he said it so matter-of-fact! i love him to pieces. he may drive me crazy but he is one cute kid! i am so blessed.

this photo was taken a week or so ago. i was testing out my tripod and noah and i got to be silly in front of the camera.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

awesome idea!

just wanted to share this awesome center piece idea . . . and even better - it's practical because the candy won't go to waste!

december, gifts, and photography

i can't believe it's dec. 1 already! gosh time sure does fly by. last night jay brought all the xmas decor down from storage and he put up the tree. it's sitting in our living room without any love! it's got the lights and noah was squealing with delight. this is so much fun for him! today we're going to work on putting up the decorations on the tree and around the house. i'm excited, i always love to pull out my ornaments . . . especially the ones that jay and i made a few years back.

we're scaling back this christmas with the amount of gifts we are giving our two boys. truthfully this year has been a little rough when it comes to the "extra's" in our day to day life. and at first i was sad, but my kids are fortunate to be celebrating this beautiful holiday season surrounded by the love of family. what they receive as gifts, they should and will be grateful for. this has been a topic jay and i have discussed and explored in the past; you see we spent our childhood christmas's differently. my childhood was filled with gifts galore; my mom has always been that way! we always had "one big gift" (be it size/expense) and then serveral small things to open up! because truthfully, don't we all love to unwrap a special surprise. my mom did that, and she still does . . . and it's still as special as ever. jay's childhood was different; they received one gift from their parents and it was special to him too! he was grateful to have a gift and for that he has grown up a humble, grateful man. and so between the two of us we have come to a compromise. three gifts max. one from mom & dad, one from brother, and one from santa. and yes i do santa here in our home. you see i believe that santa brings a little magic to a child's world . . . and they should have that magic. afterall they're children; they have their whole lives ahead of them to live in this great big "serious world." but they also know that this holdiday is celebrated because of the birth of Jesus.

we will also be celebrating the christmas holiday here at our house. my kids are so excited about it. and i am too, especially after i decided to scale back on my menu too. we're going traditional this year . . .well except for red rice and mom's spinach :0) gotta have those two. everything else will be traditional.

i'm toying with the idea with starting up my own photography business. hmmm. . . .i really dislike saying business. it sounds so formal, so impersonal. i am an amateur at best and i have so much to learn still. especially in the editing dept. but i have such a passion for photos, for taking them, looking at them, and experiencing the dynamic of relationships between people that bring out love & life! it's a thought for 2010 . . . and of course i'd be competitive in my fees because i'd be learning along the way.

with that said, here are some photos i took of nicholas & noah last week. they were pretty cooperative - because usually they are not! i'm a mama with a passion for pictures and capturing the moment and my kids don't like to be in front of the camera :0( sad huh.