Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watch Out Sports World . . . Here Comes Noah J. Charfauros!

Tuesday was Noah's first day of his Jr. Sports program.  It's an 8 week program where 3 and 4 year olds learn the fundamentals of flag football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and track & field.  I had him signed up since the end of August, so there has been alot of talk about this day, alot of hype and excitement geared for this day to come.  Then guess what happens, we get to the park and Noah is still super excited.  Once we start to walk towards the fields, toward his two coaches he stops and declares, "I just want to go back to the car.  I just don't want to mom."  And there were tears in his eyes.  I'll be honest at this point, my first thought was, "Oh no, I didn't just pay $95 for Noah to back out.  He's not shy, he's not timid . . . He's my social bee, he's not supposed to back down!"  Jay looks at me and I at him.  Noah literally turns around and starts to walk back to the car.  I will say this, Noah is a forced to be reckoned with . . .he is strong-willed, strong-minded and not at all afraid to throw a tantrum in public.  I somehow beckon him to come and talk to me; he comes over, but he's still a little reluctant about being convinced to stay.  I reminded him that he was nervous and scared this same way for swim lessons, but once he got in the water he had so much fun!  I told him this was the same thing and that he shouldn't let the nervous butterflies stop him from having fun.  Nope didn't work.  I got desperate . . . I said, "Noah, you know Calliou plays soccer and when he went to his first soccer practice he was so nervous.  But he didn't go back home, he still went to soccer practice.  And don't you remember he had so much fun?"  Noah looked at me, still nervous and said, "I just want to do soccer, I only want to do soccer."  Before he could change his mind I carried him straight over to the coaches and plopped him right down.  The coach said, "Hi Noah, you wanna play some catch with me?"  Of course Noah picked up the ball . .. and well the rest is history.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  And I highly doubt he'll be reluctant next week at practice ;0)

By the way, Calliou is one of his most favorite television shows.  Nicholas watched it when he was little and now it's one of Noah's favorite shows too.

This was right before the nervous butterflies kicked in.

Yes Mom, I got my gatorade.

Playing catch with his coach.  Starting to let his guard down.

Starting to love it.  Stretching . . .gotta work on that!


Giving us a close-up of his football stance

I love this picture . . .love the chubbiness of his legs, love how cute his feet look in his cleats :0)

Gatorade break

Doing drills.  This was just too cute! 

Going for a touchdown!  Look at Noah go!

The end of practice.  Now that's a million dollar smile!  Looks like he had a blast!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Park Play

Last week we were at the park alot!  This was sheer bliss for Noah; he absolutely loves the park!  It's amazing that a quick trip to the park can make a difference in his mood throughout the rest of the day.  Outdoor play is so important and I need to do it much more often than I do.  Once we even went to the park twice in one day.  Nicholas has been coming home after school and meeting friends at the park so Noah and I would join him up after Noah woke up from his nap.  The weather has been beautiful, perfect park weather!

I love these pictures of Noah.  They were taken with my (or my mom's) point & shoot camera.  I love being able to have a camera with me at all times!  Something I can easily throw in my purse; it makes it easier to carry around with me.  I decided to challenge myself and try taking pictures of Noah from different angles!  This was so much fun!  I tried editting them on my own, enhancing the colors a bit and adjusting the lightening and saturation. I may have went a little overboard, but I am still in love with how they turned out.  I can always re-edit.  Enjoy!

Happy Thursday . . .yay it's almost Friday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Finds

I just thought I'd share some sites that I discovered on the net this week while blog hopping . . .

I really love the clothes on the DownEast Basics site.  It's such a great combination of the style that I love, modern yet very classic.  Oh and not to mention, I thought the prices were pretty reasonable.  Here are a few of my favorites.

This ruffled sweater can be paired with jeans or a nice dress or skirt.  Love it!

I can totally see myself wearing this adorable top!  This is my favorite for sure!

Love this basic 3/4 sleeve scoop neck tee. 

 I've posted about this bag/purse once before and talked of it several times more . . .  since then a new style has come out.  I love this bag!  I want this bag!  Oh man isn't it just lovely!  The thing I love most is that it's stylish enough to carry around as a purse, and yet my digital SLR can fit right in it.  There are so many other colors to choose from, go have a look here!  Love, love, love it!

Jo Totes Women's Camera bag/purse

I thought that this was a new and fun way to serve pizza.  And it's easy enough that I think I'll make it for an after school snack next week.  But it would also be great to serve as a snack during a football game!  Now that's an idea!  Instructions on how to make it can be found on Tidy Mom's website.  A very cool site, with tons of great ideas and inspiration!

Homemade pizza rolls. 

Okay seriously, this is definitely an inspiring place on the web.  I love all the home organization ideas.  Go check out The Inspired Room I promise, you'll get lost in the sea of ideas on that site!

And here's just one more idea for the home.  Do have a very quote or saying that just speaks to you?  It could be a verse from th bible even.  Well I have always loved words . . .sayings, quotes, and bible verses.  Here's a nice way to incorporate it into your home decor.  I love this idea and have since created my own little simple quote print.  I totally love Becky's Blog  this isn't the first time I've shared an idea of hers and I'm sure this won't be the last!

Happy Friday! Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nicholas aka Nick or Charf, but always Nicholas to me . . .

It's bittersweet watching your children grow up. Everyday I am amazed at both the big things and little things that signify Nicholas is growing up, he is changing and right before my very eyes Nicholas is turning into a young man.

Now I know he's still 11 years old, and hasn't quite hit the teen years.  But still . . .he is growing up.  There is no denying it.  Lately it's most prominent in his voice, it's changing.  It's in his jawline, it looks more masculine.  It's so visible in how tall he is; he has grown about 5 inches from the beginning of 5th grade to the beginning of 6th grade.  Crazy!

I no longer have to tell him that he needs a haircut, rather he's asking who can take him to get his haircut.  He washes his face with the cleanser I bought him, and I don't even have to tell him anymore.  It's common these days to see him texting one of his buddies, or making plans to meet up with friends at the park.  He's mentioned playing more than one sport; basketball this fall and football next fall, all the while continuing to play baseball however much he can so he can continue to develop in his favorite sport.  He says he's doing this to open up more opportunities for sports scholarships when the time comes for college.  And yet he continues to be studious in school, although he's not a fan of it.  But he does well, because that's just who he is.  When he mentions to me that so-and-so asked so-and-so out, I am reminded that we are nearing those years . . .those years when boys start to notice girls and girls start to notice boys and suddenly it's not just about baseball  or video games.  And just yesterday he asked if he could have some extra money so he could attend his first school dance!  All this is going on right now in our house . . . all the while music is blaring in the background signifying that we are approaching the teenage years.

And yet every night he still continues to tell me he's going to bed and he asks,  "Will you be in to say goodnight?"  And I do; I kiss him goodnight and say the same thing I have said for the past 11 years . . . "Love you.  Good night, sleep tight, see you in th morning light."  And he still responds, "Love you too mom, see you in the morning light."  At least that hasn't changed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mom's Weekend in Temecula

It was a fun weekend, the boys and I enjoyed having my mom over. She came Friday afternoon and stayed until Sunday evening. I'm sure we just exhausted her, but I think she loved being around the boys.  And she got a taste of what everyday life is like with two very busy boys in the house. 

The plan was to hit all the home shopping stores here in Temecula; at least the ones that aren't in Oceanside.  But somehow buying baseball catcher's gear was put on the high priority of things we needed to buy!  All in all it worked out, it was an exhausting weekend but in the end everyone got what they wanted . . .

Here are some photos of our outings.  I must say that my mom and Nicholas weren't troopers about me taking pictures.  They kept telling me to put away my camera.  Did I listen to them, uh no!  I kept telling them I was preserving memories . . . and they just rolled their eyes at me! 

Me and Nicholas!  Look at my growing handsome son!  This was the first snapshot of the day, so he's hasn't gotten aggravated with my picture taking yet!

At the sports store shopping around for catcher's gear.

Mom at the Kirkland homestore.  She had a blast in that store!

Mom bought this clock.  Love the color!

This was pretty, love the brick red in this.  No one bought it though.

Eye catching.

Stopping for Jamba Juice.  Nicholas is now aggravated with my picture taking!

So is mom!

Not my little Noah boy :0)

Day 2: Shopping for catcher's gear.  Notice my mom in the background being a trooper.

Thank goodness Jay was with us on the second day.  I have come to realize that it's probably better for Jay to do these types of things with Nicholas.   But can't say I didn't try!

Mom wondering why she tagged along for the second round of catcher gear shopping . . .

Looks like Noah isn't into playing football :0)

It was a filled weekend, but the boys really enjoyed having my mom over.  And mom was such a sport for putting up with all of our antics :0)

Friday, September 10, 2010

A busy and fun-filled week

Hard to believe that a week has passed already! Wow! Time sure does go so quickly.

Our labor day weekend was busy. We were invited to two parties, both in different cities. It was challenging to get to both, but we were a determined little family . . . and we did it. It was fun, but at the end of the day we were exhausted. That was on Saturday. On Sunday we made our way back to Wild Rivers for one final splash before the weather cools down. Well, southern california cool, that is!  Monday was spent just chillin' in Oceanside with family.

Sadly, no photos. I brought my SLR camera, but gosh it's so big and expensive; I get worried to take it with me into water parks.  I'm really trying to save for a smaller point and shoot camera, one that I can pack in my purse and take along with me on outings like this past weekend.

Just some things.
I thought I'd share some recent photos that I took.  Photos taken around our home.  Photos that represent what life has been like in the Charfauros home this past week.

Now that Nicholas is in middle school he is taking electives.  He had a choice between band and explore classes.  He chose explore classes that include 3 12 week courses divided between art, computer skills, and home economics.  Right now he is taking home economics.  He has been learning to do laundry and as part of his homework he was required to sort, wash, dry/hang, fold and put away 3 loads of laundry.  3 loads of laundry!  Don't know who it was tougher on, me or him.  Let's just say it took him almost 20 minutes to sort 3 loads, and I'm talking small loads here.  Good gosh, he even leaned against the wall 5 minutes into sorting . . . :0)  In the end he completed the assignment, and even surprised me at how well he did.  I'm pretty picky about how I do my laundry, especially how I hang dry all the good colored clothes.  And he did good; he complained a little, but that's to be expected from a boy his age . . don't ya think?

Load # 2!  I'm wondering if he'll appreciate me doing his laundry now that he knows his dirty clothes don't magically become clean :0)

Last week, on one of our Target outings, I bought this divided tray after Noah convinced me he needed it.  It has actually been a fun way of feeding him.  And I must say he's been eating a little bit better . . .but I think it might have to do with the special mints or pudding that provide a visual incentive in finishing his main course.
Lunch: grilled cheese, sliced pepperoni, grapes, and chocolate pudding with a capri sun.  Look at that smile!
Over on Becky's blog she posted another photo challenge.  Set your camera on the floor.  This was taken yesterday.  This is what our days are usually like.  Noah in the loft with a bunch of his toys spread all over the place.  He has been so content with books lately and I love it!  We spent a good portion of our morning reading!  He loves me to read to him; and I don't do it often enough.  I need to.
Toys galore . . .Noah is getting better at picking up after himself.  He gets a little upset when it's clean-up time and he doesn't understand why there is so much to put away.  Maybe we need to work more on play and put away as you go; rather than one time clean-up.  Hmmm.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lesson from a 3 year old

Yesterday I was upstairs and both the boys were downstairs playing, once again, with a ball. Yes, don't judge me, I allow my kids to throw, toss, and roll a ball in our house!  But they almost always just throw it.  And yesterday that's exactly what they were doing, when all of a sudden I heard something shatter!  As I hurried down the stairs I hollered to both boys, "Both of you stop where you are at, do not move!  I don't want anyone getting cut."  Of course Nicholas stops dead in his tracks, because that is just who he is; a listener, a follower of rules.  Noah, well he's just his own little person.  This lil' guy ignores my firm instructions, to not move, and runs right to the bottom of the stairs to meet me.  With the biggest grin on his face he declares, "It was MEEEE, I did it!  I broke it off the wall.  Because I hit the ball really hard with the bat and the plate just got broken."  I just stare at him with disapproval and lift him up and carry him to the carpet, worried that he might have cut the bottom of his feet.  I check his feet, nope, no cuts.

I don't say much while I'm sweeping up the broken plate pieces besides, "I don't know why I allow this kind of play in my house.  No more playing with that brown bouncy ball in this house."  Naturally I'm upset, but I just go about cleaning the mess when I hear Noah say to me, " Sorry mom but I just broke one plate not two."  I stop and look at him and he's adjusting his little fingers to show me two fingers up and then switch them back to one.  And I look at him and smile, what a clever little boy he is.  Because I suppose it could've been two plates he broke, rather than one.  What perspective from a 3 year old . . .

And I'm sure we all go about our days and know this lesson, but we so easily forget that when things aren't so good, remember it could be worse.

Remember, that even though one plate is broken it's not two plates, because two plates broken is a lot bigger mess to clean up. :0) 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall Decor Inspiration

I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs yesterday. It inspired me to edit some photos of Nicholas and Noah from past Halloweens and trips to the pumpkin patch so I can put them in frames as some of my fall decor. I'm not so much into scary-spooky decor, never really was; but I love autumn colors!

For fall decor inspiration go check out Becky's Blog

Here are some of the photos I editted lastnight! I'm gonna have them printed and put in frames. I also love how Becky put decorative pumpkins on candlesticks . . . hmmm I have candlesticks that need spray painting. And so I just might borrow this idea!

I really enjoyed the editting process. I'm hoping to take an online photo editting course so I can learn more!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Clone of a Clone Cinnabon

Have you ever had cinnabon?  If you have, you know what a sweet, rich, delightful treat it is!  Unfortunately, we don't have one near where we live, but there is one near my mom's and when we can we almost always choose to have that for desert!  

A few years back I came across this recipie clone of a cinnabon and I made it for my family and they loved it!  I made it a second time and they were just hooked!  But the whole process with the dough was just too much for me, so I never made it again. Even though my family practically begged me too!

To make a long story short and get to the good stuff, I found an easier way to make the dough.  And wouldn't you know it, it involves using white cake mix!  Can I just say, So.Super.Easy! 

It was a little on the messy side, but Noah had a wonderful, squeal with delight good time helping his mama out with this one!

I've given it a new name: Clone of a Clone Cinnabon

Noah loved this process!  I think he thought this was one huge pacakage of playdough =)

Ahh . . .nothing like the sweet goodness & yumminess of brown sugar & cinnamon

Roll out the dough.  Another fun process for Noah.  And by the way, doesn't his smile just, "melt your heart!"  (okay call me biased - but I am his mama!)

Warning: This is a rich recipie!  It's FILLED with sweetness!

I can't tell you how many times Noah asked me, "Is it done yet mom?  Can we eat it?"  And this was only during the sit & rise part.  It hadn't even gone in the oven yet!

Baking in the oven.  The smell that filled our house was lovely . . .

Here it is!  My Clone of a Clone Cinnabon.  My family was ALL SMILES and I got the "Go ahead" to make it again!  And it's so easy, I just might :)

My helper.  The master mind behind all the bits & pieces of dough on the floor! 

Photo Challenge: To take a picture of your counter or dining table just as it is.  This is what ours looked like last night during all the fuss over my cinnamon rolls.

I love this photo of my dining table just as it is!  I love it because Jay is in the background studying and lately he's been working alot.  I can't tell you how nice it was to just have him home . . . it almost felt normal, as if we had a regular schedule.  And Noah's little crayons are a sure sign of what he's been up to lately.  Drawing pictures!  When he's not assisting me in the kitchen :0)

Clone of a Clone Cinnabon Recipie

The Dough
1 box white cake mix
4 cups of flour divided
2 packets of active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of warm water

1 cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
1/3 cup of softened butter

3 oz. of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (begin with 1 cup and add sugar as you go, it's very sweet, so adjust to your liking).
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

*I literally dumped cake mix, active dry yeast, salt, warm water, and all (but one cup of flour) in my mixer and let it mix on it's own.  I used the remaining cup of flour to knead the dough into a nice ball of playdough (wink, wink!).

After you knead and roll dough into one very nice size rectangle (doesn't have to be perfectly rectangle), spread softened butter onto the rolled out dough.  Next, sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture onto dough.  Finally roll and cut into 1in thick slices.  Set on baking greased baking sheet and let it sit & rise in a warm area for 15 minutes. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 17 minutes.