I’m Back!….What happened?

 

 

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Sometimes we get a little antsy waiting at the airport for Daddy…

 

Hey Everyone! You probably thought I got lost or something, haha! Not to worry, after a 7 month hiatus, I’m back!

So what happened? Mostly, life happened.

My computer finally gave up on me in May, after 7 years of faithful service. I decided to wait ‘til October, when we visited the U.S. to get a new one. (Anyone else have bad luck with electronics in Latin America?)

By then I was so out of the blogging habit that it’s taken be awhile to get the nerve to jump back into things. I thought I’d give you a quick update of what’s been going on for the last 7 months.

Right before my computer went kaput (is that actually a word?….yes, I’m the geek that has to look it up now….it is! Yay!) I had just started the Food Cleanse portion of my 2014 Life Cleanse. It went really well, I felt it was very effective, much more so then my last try, and I felt like it did restart my health and get me back on the right track to eating right for my body. The total cleanse lasted over a month with first taking out all processed foods, then going vegetarian, then vegan, then just fruits and veggies, then juice and then back again.

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Yep, that would be two lines alright!

I was just finishing up my Cleanse when I found out I was pregnant again! This was a bit of a surprise since I had just miscarried right before I started my Cleanse. I was so grateful I had, had the chance to clean out my body before starting to grow one inside of it;)

For the next couple months my main focus was keeping my cookies down and trying to find a rhythm of life I could realistically handle with a pregnancy.

Balance is always something I struggle with, especially when pregnant, but the last couple pregnancies have taught me that I cannot be Super Woman because my actions and health don’t just affect me. Thus, I’ve tried to be gentler with my body while pregnant and found that it helps in a multitude of ways which I’m sure I will detail in another post;)

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“She feels it’s important to be prepared….”

We were able to go on a much needed family trip to the beach in May, in which I was once again reminded of how traveling and morning sickness don’t mix well. Thankfully Marvel and the kids were just happy to be at the beach and didn’t complain that Mommy was laying around and not on top of meals nor anything else for that matter:/

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Happy with her castle cake!

We finished up our homeschool year in June and celebrated Elf’s 4th birthday! Man time flies! She is growing up so fast, maturing even faster…4 going on 40! She keeps us on our feet and laughing all the way!

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Wow! Ten years already!

In July we celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary with a dinner out all by ourselves! Gasp! We had entire conversations without interruption and got to talk about each other instead of family and business matters. It was wonderful to reminisce and remember why we fell in love in the first place. Marvel has helped me grow in so many ways and is so patient with me. I will be forever grateful for him in my life.cropped-fonsecas_018.jpg

What would I do without him?

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Too cool to smile I guess;)

We also got to celebrate Engineer’s 9th birthday in July! He is growing up WAY too fast and it’s amazing how much he has changed in the last year or so. He has reached a new stage in his life and it’s been interesting to watch and then adjust as all our girls are really still in the “little kid” phase. It’s been really interesting to partake of Engineer’s wisdom as he has become much more expressive about his thoughts. Loving it and at the same time a bit of the Momma in me doesn’t want my little boy to grow up!

August was my birthday and though Marvel was travelling like crazy he made sure to set aside time to surprise me with Japanese food (my craving of choice this pregnancy;) and the kids and he just about wet themselves from the excitement of trying to keep the secret from me. The girls also threw me a “tea party” in which we had imaginary strawberry soup with carrots, strawberry cake and strawberry tea.

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Oh yeah, Engineer “rescued” a homeless kitten….pets….my favorite:/

I also spent the months of July and August planning our next school year and finishing up our immigration processes to get us all our Mexican residency. Immigration is always a headache for me, honestly, but it’s so nice to get it done and know that with residency we won’t have to renew everything EVERY year anymore. I also finished up getting Button’s Mexican and U.S. passports because Marvel was a sweetheart and got us a surprise trip to the U.S. to see my family in October!

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Engineer participated in a folkdance performance for the Mexican Indepence Day

September was the start of a new school year. I decided to wait to pick up my curriculum in the U.S. when we would go to visit (AKA: saving a BUNDLE on shipping costs!!) we spent September with mostly review and setting up and getting used to some new additions (Piano, Portuguese, and Button being more involved as an almost 2 year old). It was a very useful month because I was able to better pin-point exactly where each kid was and adjust many teaching methods and scheduling before we even got our new curriculum.

Also in September I went to the OB/GYN for the first time! Yes, yes, I know, I know, believe me I’ve had the lecture about pre-natal care…let’s just suffice it to say that I’m not a big fan of doctors in general, haven’t ever really found one I’ve liked here, would prefer a midwife but after finding out about the minimal qualifications needed for them and doctors in Mexico decided not to risk it while we’re here, and in all humility I have done this pregnancy thing a few times now and basically know what is normal for me and what is not. So, all that said we were able to go to a basic check-up as a family and everyone got to see the baby on the sonogram, which is always fun. We also found out at this appointment that we are expecting another baby GIRL! January 19th is the due date…though at this point this Momma would go for earlier J

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Cousins! Actually only a few of them….

In October we continued our concentration on school and then the kids and I got to go visit my side of the family in Washington State! It had been 3 years since we’d visited and we’d only seen my parents in the meantime when they came for Button’s birth and another visit here.

It was WONDERFUL to see my brothers and sisters, many of whom had begun their families since we last saw them, and meet all the new additions to the family. It was so great to reconnect with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles and even my close friends from my childhood.

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Birthday Girl!

Fiesta got to celebrate her 6th birthday while we were in Washington, which was a special treat and she was delighted with all of the attention! As usual, she was sure to tell us exactly how she wanted her cake, chocolate and vanilla with PINK frosting! As her nickname implies, if it had been up to her she would have invited every person she had met in Washington to her party, but we tried to keep it to close family;)

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Two Cakes???!!!!

It was really a wonderful visit and so fun for my kids to feel more connected to family that we talk about all the time. I was once again reminded of what an exceptionally loving and supportive family I have. They work so hard to stay connected and help whenever they can even with geography in the wayJ

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Can we forget Halloween?

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Why is she touching MY cake?

November we got back into the rhythm of school and also got to celebrate Button’s 2nd birthday! She was a little shy with the attention but made sure everyone understood that is was HER birthday and HER cake and HER presentsJ We had a smiley face theme because Button’s favorite song is “If you’re happy and you know it.” And she is truly one happy little girl!

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Guess we were too hungry to take the picture when the food was pretty!

We also celebrated Thanksgiving with our usual turkey dinner and this year the kids each picked a dessert that they wanted to make. We ended up having a leak come through our entry way, coming from the upstairs bathroom, a few days beforehand. So even though I wasn’t up to inviting some of our friends to share in the festivities as we usually do, we did have the plumber join us for our dinner;)

As soon as Thanksgiving was over we started on our Christmas preparations, more with our homemade gifts than anything. We knew Christmas was going to be a little different this year. Marvel had been hearing mixed reviews on his Mother’s health over the past few months and we all wanted him to go and see her himself to see what was going on. Though business wise travelling during December would be the best, he really didn’t want to leave in case the baby came early. He had decided to go in March.

Then he realized that his passport had run out of Visa pages. He travels a lot for business and Visas are often needed. Normally this isn’t a big deal but because his country has different regulations on passports the only way to get more pages was to return personally to his own country and get a whole new passport. So we felt that with that and his mother’s health deteriorating, it was best he leave before Christmas and be back by the end of December.

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Oh the ever frustrating star!

That meant we would postpone our own little family Christmas a few days. The kids were very understanding and everything was arranged. This also meant we had to adjust our Christmas preparations so that we wouldn’t just be sitting around waiting for Daddy to get home. So we moved everything over about a week and saved our Christmas baking for the real Christmas day so that we would be so busy making and delivering goodies we wouldn’t have time feel like we were missing out.

We’ll have a day of cleaning up for Daddy’s arrival and our Christmas celebration and a final day of cooking and baking and wrapping and preparing for our celebration of Jesus’ birth on Monday.

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Can you tell we like glitter?

We’ve simplified our schooling during the last part of this month and had many more activities and reading together than usual. We had a study of snow (which is interesting to do in a place where it never snowsJ We’ve made ornaments and gingerbread houses and the kids made all their gifts by hand this year. The kids also made their own Christmas stories, which was fun to see their creativity. Between that and being involved in Christmas get-togethers with friends and a Christmas program at church we’ve really had lots of fun memories made.

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Some candy even ended up on the houses!

So that about catches us up. In the next few weeks we’ll be having our Christmas with our family, celebrating the New Year, making our family and personal goals for the upcoming year, starting back to “normal” school, and finishing up our preparations for our new arrival next month!

Stay tuned!…

Five (Top) Reasons to be Thankful

Image                                           In case you’re wondering, yes, she is wearing goggles on her head as she finishes eating 🙂 !

I love Thanksgiving! Remembering what we have to be grateful for is such a wonderful way to get ready for celebrating the Birth of our Savior. So, I would be incredibly ungrateful if I didn’t recognize my many blessings on this blessed day! As I was reflecting I just had so many things to be thankful for that I thought I would keep it to my Top Five for this post 🙂

#1 My God and My Religion:

I would not be here if it weren’t for my Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this Plan of Happiness that they have created for us and to know that I am a Child of God. I am also incredibly grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To have the guidance, direction, and extended family that I gain from this incredible church is an immense gift.

#2 My Family

I am so grateful for the love, support and example of my extended family. My parents have taught me moral courage and that I can learn from each person I meet, for that I will be forever indebted to them. My husband continues to teach me to reach for my goals, no matter how impossible it seems. His love and patience amaze me and sustain me daily. My children have shaped me more in the past 9 years than I had been in my entire lifetime beforehand. Their unconditional love and zeal for learning and life is inspiring. It is truly amazing the great joy that comes from being a mother.

#3 My Experiences

The good, the bad, the ugly(hmm, looks like I need an “ugly” post 🙂 ….I have learned to appreciate each experience in my life. Thus far I can look back and see in each one that the Lord has led me and guided me to learn and grow in the areas I needed in order to fulfill the next step of responsibility in my life. Through the good I have learned to feel the gratitude that comes from being loved. Through the good I have learned the compassion it takes to help others learn and heal.

#4 My Friends

It is amazing how the Lord puts the right people in the right place at the right time. I can honestly say that I can count my close friends on one hand, and one of them would be my husband and my mother:) But I also have many good friends, many of whom may not even know how dearly I hold them in my heart, that have shown me love and taught me priceless lessons that have humbled me and helped me to grow.

#5 Technology

This may seem silly to some, but I really am astounded at how technology has touched me life! I would never have met my husband if we had not lived in the age where travel is so much easier. I would not have the same level of openness were it not for again, the ease of travel, and the ease and amount of information available at the click of a mouse. Were it not for the incredible technology we posess today….My children would not know there grandparents. I would never have met my in-laws. I would not have the same confidence in teaching and raising my children. I would not be able to learn and connect with so many of you! It is truly a thrill and blessing.

May this day give you time to reflect on your blessings. May you begin the Christmas Season with joy in your hearts. May you start the New Year with a humble and rejoicing heart. We have so much to be thankful for….Happy Thanksgiving!

Kid-Craft: Flannel Turkey

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This project turned out so cute I just had to share. We’ve been working on sewing during our handicraft time and this past week was a flannel project. My 5 yr. old wanted to make a pumpkin (pattern coming soon!) and my 8 yr. old chose a turkey. I made the pattern for the body and showed him how it would go together and he did the rest, meaning all the other details and sewing. It took him a total of probably 1-2 hours over the course of a week.  I will just add a pattern for the feathers and face or you can freelance it if you want. He also chose not to have wings but you could add them easily (even using the feather pattern). Here it goes, first time sharing an idea with a downloadable pattern and trying to explain what we did! I tried to take pictures but I would appreciate feedback so I can improve further pattern sharing:)!

Terms of Use: This and other patterns on this site represent our original ideas and work. Please do not redistribute, sell, or use this or any other pattern on this site for commercial use. Thank you!

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Instructions:

1.) Cut out pattern

2.) Use pattern to lightly pencil onto your desired flannel colors (we used orange for the belly and feathers, brown for the back and head, and red for some more feathers. Keep in mind that you are cutting out just one piece of flannel for each pattern piece (for each turkey you make), EXCEPT for the feathers. We used four feathers but you can cut out however many you wish, just remember that if you want your turkey to sit up by himself you’ll need him(or her:) to be balanced.

3.) Once pattern(s) have been transferred onto the flannel cut out all pieces.

4.)Sew together the belly and back first. The belly goes underneath the back, similar to a diaper. We sewed the front, then under-belly together and then turned it “inside-out” so that we could stuff it and then just sewed up the backside. (In the picture the belly is orange and the back is brown)

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5.) Tack (lightly, using small stitches) on the head just at the “neck” area so that it will stick up above the body a bit.

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6. )Tack on the eyes and beak onto the head.

7. )Sew on the feathers in a “fanned” fashion on the backside.

8.) Add any details you want (wings, feet, etc.)

9.) Set up your cute turkey to decorate for the season!

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

If you have “visual/hands-on” learners at your home you might enjoy this gratitude exercise. We have done this the past few years, starting on our first family night in November, it’s a great way to start off the holiday season.
1.) Gather the family and have a Gratitude discussion (we ask questions like, “What is gratitude?” “How do you show gratitude to others and God?” and accompany the discussion with Scripture)
2.) Cut 1-2 in. wide by 6-10 in. long strips of different colored paper and have everyone write the things they are thankful for on the strips.
3.) Staple the strips of paper around each other to create a “Gratitude Chain” and hang it up as a reminder of blessings. We keep ours up til after Christmas!
The kids always look forward to this activity and we’ve kept our chain from the last two years to add on to. It’s been so fun to see how some things stay the same (I’m thankful for food, family, home,etc.) and some things change (our favorites this year have been “I’m thankful for my belly button, my hair and poop! I guess the “better out, than in” saying holds true :))

Pumpkin Rolls

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So, I know Halloween is over but wouldn’t it be cute to have one of these next to everyone’s place at your Thanksgiving dinner?

This is the one my 3 yr-old made and we had all of the neighborhood kids over to make them. Super fun and super easy.

Just use your favorite bread recipe. Set aside 1/4 of the batter (when you only have about 1/4 of the flour in so the dough is still rather runny). Dye this small portion green and add extra flour to make a stiffer dough to use as the stem.

Dye the larger portion of the dough orange. Make the rolls into large balls and roll them in cinnamon and sugar after you’ve put on the stem.

I wish I had taken a picture of the larger one I made. I made the ball and then stuck my thumb deep into the middle before sticking the stem in. It made it look more like a pumpkin, even after baking.

This was simple, fun, festive and the kids loved it!