Joshua 24:15

...choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

Saturday, March 19, 2011

'Fridge' at last...

After a pretty stressful day of looking around for a new refrigerator... maybe I should back track a little...

The repairman came Friday morning. Turns out the part we needed for the fridge was a very expensive part. By the time you add in labor and all the other fun stuff we would have been close to the cost of a new refrigerator.- half the cost of the one we really wanted. SO...

After a pretty stressful day of looking around for a new refrigerator and A LOT of praying (maybe even begging for guidance) we found a refrigerator that was within our budget and fit our family's needs. It is not, by any means, what I wanted - but I realize now that it's not about what I WANT, but it's ALL about what God has for us. So here's the new addition to our family... errr... kitchen...

And true to my Mexican roots - the first thing to find its way in to the new fridge... Jalapenos. =)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life Happens

This week life happened!! All winter we have been battling flu, colds, sinus infections, strep throat and who knows what else that we never could quite figure out. This week the mother load hit! (Yes, I know - normally, one would hit the mother load. But, trust me - IT HIT US!) This week we battled the stomach flu!! Ugh! Some of us got it worse than others and I'm very thankful it didn't hit me hard. I've had it all week, but yesterday was the worse of it. The stomach flu and pregnancies are not a good combination. When I started feeling well enough to eat I felt like I had starved myself for two days!! Two of the girls didn't get it at all and I'm praying that they won't. With Juan heading out of town next week I really don't want us to get sick. Well - that all started Monday.

Saturday our refrigerator stopped working. Thankfully, we have a freezer in the garage so anything that was in our freezer was salvaged. Condiments and some deli stuff was put in our ice chest. Due to some unforeseen car repair expenses, the usual "first of the month payments" and many health and medicine expenses (since December!!!) we couldn't get our fridge fixed this week. The repairman is FINALLY coming today. My sweet husband - since he was feeling better yesterday - spent most of his day cleaning out the fridge. He took out all the drawers and shelves and, umm... left them on the kitchen table. I'm not sure why he did this, but I think he was trying to air out the fridge. So, this morning we came downstairs to the lovely smell of, well --- refrigerator. So I've spent the morning opening windows (both for the smell and to get the sick germs out), lighting candles, spraying with febreeze and putting the fridge back together. I really think we're at the end of our trials, I have hope that God has allowed these little things to teach us a lesson - one that is good and will make us more faithful in our daily walk with Him. I have definitely had a closer walk with Him this week than I have in the last month.

I feel like we're at the end of the roller coaster ride. Surely - we're at the end of the ride, right?

A friend gave me this verse this week and I have been meditating on it:
Romans 5:3-4 "And not only so,but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Playing at the beach...

Cousins make great friends!
A couple of years ago during a trip back home (Southern California) we took a much needed family portrait. It had been 10 years since our last portrait (at my wedding) and were in need of one badly. We had decided to go out to the beach since it's everyones favorite place to be!! My parents and I drove up and down the coast between Sunset Blvd. and somewhere in Malibu scouting a place. We found a cozy state beach in Malibu, just past Zuma Beach. My favorite memories of the beach growing up are the ones of the Pacific on one side and the canyons on the other. So, Nicholaus State Beach in Malibu it was. We had a very small window of time for our portraits and it was a very chilly day - of course... it was sunset on the Pacific! But we had fun and got some really nice pictures. Afterward, we stopped at McDonald's for dinner to treat the kids for being such troopers!! We also said our good-byes since we were leaving early the next day. =( The above picture was taken on something of a whim. My sister-in-law and I had decided we wanted a picture of the kids all walking on the beach. The kids thought that was a little - well - not so fun. So we got little cooperation. Then someone said, "We're gonna have a race!" We drew a 'starting line' on the sand and off they went! That was my favorite part of the entire session. They loved it!! All that open space to run - nothing like wet sand between your toes. This is my favorite picture of all time!

Building castles in the sand...
This picture says it all. They say "a picture is worth a thousand words." I couldn't agree more! I had always envisioned raising my kids next to my brothers' kids. This is exactly what I had in mind. I have high hopes and aspirations for all these kids. They have so many more opportunities than we ever imagined. For now - I am UBERhappy to see them building castles in the sand, running on the shore, hearing the sounds of their voices and the laughter that makes us all smile and giggle ourselves. Some day they'll be building their dreams and living out whatever it is that God has for them - if all goes as planned - they will remain a part of each other's lives.

Mi Familia

I am blessed to have the most amazing family in the world!
(I know - I know - everyone says that!)

My parents... I have the best parents a girl can ask for. I always tell people that since I'm the only girl I was spoiled - but NOT spoiled rotten. I appreciate everything my parents have ever done for me. They gave me a healthy start in life and I am thankful for the high moral standards they instilled in all us kids growing up.

My brothers... are just plain AWESOME! I looked up to my older brother ALL my life. We fought - often, but I wouldn't have traded him in for any other brother! ;) All my life he was just "cool". What girl doesn't want a cool brother?!?! But he's more than just cool to hang out with - he's kind and tender-hearted. My brother teaches me to be gentle, loving and kind to others - all the time! My little brother is an amazingly smart and talented person. Sometimes, I wonder if he realizes his true potential. He has an admirable appreciation for literature and the arts. He is also my movie go-to-guy. I think the boy has seen every movie made. He's fun to pick on - A LOT, and he absolutely LOVES my cooking!! I love this kid! He's compassionate and pays attention to detail... just ask Ivana, who received a tiger webkins at Christmas from him because she became infatuated with his white tigers (they're not real).

My sister-in-law... God bless her! She has to put up with our crazy family - and I think she may even like us. ;) She is, by far, the sweetest, most selfless, giving person I know! She is the peace maker in our family and I think she fits like a glove (she has a crazy side, too). Most importantly she gave me 3 handsome nephews and a beautiful niece. Those kids are some of the funniest, most loving, easy-going little people ever. I love them - without a doubt - I love them! And I miss them terribly.

My little family! We are blessed with three beautiful little girls (and our 4th little one is on the way). They are all unique and fill their roles to a T.

Izabella is our oldest - 8 years old. She will be celebrating the last of the single digit birthdays TOO SOON! She is the perfect older sister - a mother hen, sometimes a little bossy, but ALWAYS looks out for her little sisters. She is also a good helper to mommy. She does VERY WELL in school and has maintained on the A Honor Roll all year. This is her first year in school, as we homeschooled for three years. She had a tough time transitioning from being with mommy all day to being in school. But she is making friends and adjusting well.

Sofia is our middle child and has ALL the middle child syndromes... poor kid! But with #4 on the way she won't be the middle child anymore!! She wants to be an author and illustrator when she grows up (she watched 'Miss Potter'). She is our social butterfly. Everywhere she goes she makes friends. It breaks her heart if there is something between her and a friend. When she determines to do something she is the most reliable of our three. You can always count on her doing the job right! She had NO problems adjusting to school and made the B Honor Roll, but may get bumped up to the A Honor Roll soon!! (We didn't know that she would be required to know cursive writing in FIRST GRADE.)

Ivana is our "baby" and plays the role well. She is a ham!!! By far, she is the most imaginative of the three. She is also very curious, messy and on her own planet some days. She is very shy around people until she gets to know them. She recently went through a stage where she would shove her whole hand in her mouth when she was too embarrassed around someone. She's also peanut size. She fits anywhere, can climb onto anything and always gets the best hiding places when we play hide and seek - too bad she can't stop from giggling and gets found right away!! =)