Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Christmas

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone.  All the preparation and anticipation has ended and now we're catching our breaths.  We have stuff everywhere; our guests have left, Jay is back to work, and I'm anxious to put our house back in order!  Yesterday I received a flyer in the mail that the Goodwill will be in our area next week for donation pick-ups!  Ahh . . . just the perfect time.  I need to do a little of disgarding in every room in the house.

The boys enjoyed their gifts.  Noah was so sweet while he opened each of his presents.  I would tell him who it was from and he'd ever so sweetly say, "Thank you . . ."  He loved every gift he received and he is currently overwhelmed with what to play with!

Nicholas loved all the clothes and money he received!  In fact, we took him out yesterday to pick up a few things with his money.  I believe he had a total of $180 (combination of birthday money too) and he bought himself a catcher's glove, a hitting net, and Noah a sports bracelet.  It makes me so happy that Nicholas is so generous with his brother.  The sports bracelet was $15 and he didn't even think twice about buying it for his brother and with the money he has left after buying all that stuff (it's about $30) he gave it to Noah to buy new shoes.  Super sweet of Nicholas . . .Noah's lucky to have a big brother like that!

Jay and I opted not to give each other gifts.  But Jay cheated and bought me one anyway!  I finally have the point and shoot camera that I've been wanting.  I absolutely love it!  Thank you Jay, you're the best!  We made the choice not to give gifts to each other because we wanted to get new running shoes.  We went out yesterday and shopped around for some good running shoes.  We'll be buying those next week . . .can't wait!  We're also going to sign-up for the Camp Pendleton mud run again.  Can't wait for that.  Gotta start training!

All in all we all received wonderful gifts, in the material form.  But it was such a blessing and the most wonderful gift of all that we were all together.  It was a great Christmas holiday! 

Mommy & Noah before Christmas Eve mass

Charfauros Family before Christmas Eve mass

The boys

Brothers . . .got them to wear a tie! :0)

Milk and cookies for Santa (Noah left Santa Soy Milk :0) )

Christmas morning . . .Noah was filled with such excitement!

Nicholas receiving his sport gear!

One of his biggest wishes . . .a train set!  Thank you mum-mum and Poly!

Handsome boy!  Waiting to eat our Christmas dinner!

Desiree and Angie.  Pretty ladies!

Noah sharing his toys with Ciara!  Iron Man, or shall I say Iron Woman!

Iron Man!

The fam-bam!  Not sure why everyone is tilting to one side :0) hahaha!

First ever stocking exchange and decorating contest!  Good job to all the participants!

In the family room opening gifts and cleaning up and hanging out!  Good times!

Noah and Ciara!

Jay and Nic!

Ciara's posing an extreme funny face!

Mom and the gals!  Kim, me, and Marissa

Jay and I!  Goofing around!

Jay and his parents and sister

Mom, Poly, and Marissa. 

So there you have it . . .the highlights of our Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wish from your Heart

Yesterday was Jay's birthday!  He turned thirty-something :0)  He had to work yesterday and with all this rain I knew he'd have a busy day; so the kids and I waited until a little after dinner to give him a call to wish him happy birthday!  Noah was so excited . . .he asked his dad, "Dad what did you wish for, for your birthday?"  Jay replied, "Oh I just wished for God to bless my two boys and their mommy and to keep us all safe, healthy, and happy."  Noah said, "No dad, on your birthday you have to wish from your heart for a gift.  What gift did you wish for dad?  Like a present dad."  And Jay replied back, "I didn't really wish for any gift."  Before Jay could finish that sentence Noah whispered, "Well we got you a present and it's a  . . ."  He whispered the gift (and thankfully Jay didn't hear what he said) and then covered his mouth.  Too funny! 

Noah can hardly keep a secret . . .:0)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Out-Takes

I have attempted to take family photos a few years in a row. It's not easy, the boys are difficult, and I always feel mad at my family during and afterwards.  :0)  I can smile about it now because we have a whole year before we have to do it again.  Jay says it's harder because I set the tripod up myself and use the self-timer; he's right.  It's hard enough to get my family to cooperate with me, but then I add even more stress to the situation.  Maybe this will be just another memory for my boys, a funny memory they will share when they're all grown up and they say, "Ha, remember when mom used to make us take our family photos . . ."  Yeah, I can just hear it now.  It's never easy . . .but always memorable.  This year I'm a bit more together!  I have actually created Christmas Cards and a letter that I am mailing out today!  I didn't use these actual pictures, for obvious reasons, but I thought sharing some of the out-takes would make for a few good laughs!

In all honesty, my smile is fake . . .I was so mad at Nicholas!  He was beyond uncooperative!

I needed a kiss and a good laugh . . .I was so irritated with my kids and their inability to cooperate!  Thank God for Jay!

Noah beginning to be uncooperative!

This stick was a weapon between the two . . . somebody ended up crying!  Not good!

When one would smile nicely, the other wouldn't!  Super frustrating!

He get the award for least cooperative!

Noah swinging at Nicholas!  Nicholas is such an instigator!

This was the end of the end!  Done!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A weekend without kids . . .

The boys slept at my mom's house Saturday night, without me!  Not such a big deal for Nicholas; but for Noah, well this was his first time sleeping without me and away from home.  He did good; and I thought he would.  But my mom said that when he woke up from him his nap on Saturday afternoon he was upset and crying for me.  My mom said that there was no consoling him for awhile, he just kept crying and crying.  I know how that is . . . boy do I know.  Sometimes, with Noah, he just has to cry it out; he's pretty stubborn like that.

Jay and I went to his Christmas party Saturday evening and we had all of Saturday to ourselves.  Too bad I felt like I was coming down with something.  When we got home Saturday afternoon Jay just worked on the yard and I slept until it was time to get dolled up!  Overall it was a nice evening; it was nice to meet and mingle with the people Jay spends the other half of his time with.  Not to mention it was nice chat with the other wives; it was sort of comforting to hear how they're lives were exactly like mine.  The every other day type of routine, the waiting to see if the hubby will be home or stay at work for another shift. 

Sunday I woke up to an empty house.  The kids were still at my mom's and Jay left to work.  I will admit it was nice to mosey around the house in utter silence.  Straightened up a bit, washed up, and left to go shopping.  Ahhh . . . shopping.  I crossed a few more names off my list!  Yay for that!

Here's a pic of Jay and I at his Christmas party.
Me and my main squeeze!  Love him so much!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A birthday

Last week we had a birthday here in our house.  Nicholas turned 12 years old!  I can hardly believe it.  It takes my breath away. 

We had no birthday party; rather a birthday dinner, per his request.  We went to one of his favorite restaurants, Teri Cafe a Japanese Noodle house.  Nicholas has been ordering the same thing since he was 2 or 3 years old.  No kidding!  He always orders the chicken curry fried rice.  It's good, it's a favorite of mine too!

Right before his birthday dinner we took our family photos for our Christmas card.  Ugh . . .I love taking pictures, especially of my family.  But it's so difficult, no one has the same enthusiasm as me!  Jay was cooperative, Noah kinda was, and Nicholas was not!  All in all it went well, at least enough to get a picture for our Christmas cards.  I'll be mailing those out this week, so be expecting them in the mail!!!

Tired, gonna turn in.  Long week and weekend.  And next week is another filled week as we finish up the last of our shopping and prepping our house for our gathering!

A few pics of last week . . .

This is one of the photos from our family photo shoot.  Me and the birthday boy!

Uncle Kelly and Nicholas!  So much like brothers!

Noah and Samuel!  So happy the Corona's joined us for dinner.

Mom, Kelly, me and the birthday boy Nicholas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Enjoying the Holiday

I can't believe that there are only 3 full weeks left before Christmas.  I have so much to do still, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, baking, cleaning.  And although I should be feeling overwhelmed, I really don't feel that way at all.  I have been slowing down this holiday - enjoying the decor set about our house, enjoying the Christmas movies on the Hallmark & Lifetime channel.  It's been so nice . . .

I had a great weekend!  I went to Oceanside to do my cousin's annual Christmas photo shoot.  It was so nice to see them, to catch up with them and to photograph their beautiful family.  I'm super excited to get their Christmas card in the mail!  The photo shoot was done at the beach and it was a simply breathtaking evening.  So much so that I'm actually going to do ours there too . . . I originally planned to take our pictures at a gorgeous nearby park.  But the sunset at the beach, the way the the sun was glistening on the water, and the smell of the fresh ocean was so inspiring.  So off we go to the beach this week!

Here are a few beautiful shots that I happened to capture!

Just underneath the pier .  . . goregous!

As we were leaving I looked back and this absolutely took my breath away!

These two were such sports during the shoot!  They had a good time running about and playing ball!

The Cousins . . . call me biased but these four were the most handsmome guys on the beach!!! The Charfauros Boys & The Corona Boys!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Traditions and a Fantastic Deal!

Traditions are filled with such sentiment and I love them, especially during the holiday season.  This year I began a new tradition, one that I'm very, very excited about!

Not too long ago I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to create some sort of advent calendar to countdown Christmas day.  I was so excited when I came across this idea!  I read about it on the morning of Nov. 30, which sent me into a frenzy . . . my entire focus for the day was to buy 20 Christmas books!  My Christmas book collection is scarce, 3 to be exact!  I was determined to do this Christmas Book Advent Calendar, and I only had one day to gather the books and wrap them!  I decided to begin my search at the local library where they have a used book store.  I was extremely lucky . . . I came across 14 books that I liked and that were in good condition!  Not to mention they were $1 or .50 cents and in addition to their already dirt cheap prices they were running a half-off holiday special!  So I paid either .50 cents or .25 cents for the 14 books I found!  I walked away spending $4.25!  I am still giddy over the good deal!  Next stop, the paperback shack, I found two more books for very inexpensive.  In total I bought 16 books and spent $8.50!  Can't beat that.  I still need to buy 5 more books; but that didn't stop me from wrapping all the books that I bought that day.  I am so happy to say that we are on day 2 of selecting, unwrapping, and reading a Christmas book.  Noah just loves unwrapping something every night and he loves me reading to him!  All the books are new to me, so it's equally fun for me too!

This is going to be a new Christmas Tradition in our house and in our family.  It is a tradition I hope the boys share with their children one day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving & Christmas!

Our Thanksgiving was, yet, another blessing! We spent 5 days at my mom's and it was a nice little time away from home. The boys really enjoyed themselves; but now we are back to our little routine!

I wanted to share pictures of Thanksgiving before we get too far into the Christmas holiday! I meant to post these pictures Monday - but I have been busy with laundry and cleaning and Christmas decorating! Enjoy the pictures!

I was in charge of the centerpieces!  I loved how it turned out - simple!  Just my style!

The centerpiece for the round tables where guest sat.

The food table as we all gather around to give thanks . . .

Nicholas & auntie Naik!  Nicholas the official greeter :0)

Nicholas playing catch . . . kid always has a glove & ball in his hand :0)

Angie & her dad, uncle Peling

The boys, Nicholas, Joesiah, & Noah!  This is a classic Noah pose :0)

The teenagers getting their grub on . . . Des, Aaliyah, & Nicholas!

Noah being a big boy holding his own plate.

Not the best background, but here's a pic of all the girls & uncle Peling and Noah boy!

Giving Thanks!  A beloved tradition around our Thanksgiving table!

After dinner entertainment.  Everyone was singing and enjoying the music provided by the older teenagers; I happen to catch Noah strumming along with them :0)

Playing around with the self-timer on my camera!  Mom, auntie Naik, Angie, and me!  Getting ready to play some cards!

Mom & auntie Naik!  Nice picture!

Mom & Kim!  Another nice shot!

Ciara & Noah catching up!  They haven't seen eachother in a long time!

A great shot of Poly and his daughter Marissa!  It's always nice to see her!

And now, on to the Christmas holiday! 

Yesterday we spent most of the day decorating the house.  We still have a few finishing touches to add, but overall we got the banister decorated, the tree up, and all the little Christmas figurines set up around the house.  The house feels festive and cozy; I'm looking forward to snuggling around the tree and watching Christmas movies with my 3 favorite guys!

As far as Christmas shopping . . . This year I'm trying to tone it down.  Take in the season in the most simplest of ways.  Both the boys' gift shopping is almost done and as far as the grandparents, well, I have a semi-homemade gift in the making!  Should be a hit!

More Christmas to come with photos and a new tradition we are starting here in our home!