Friday, December 29, 2017

Little trip

We took a quick trip to see Tia Nana, Julian and Benjamin. The kids had such fun with their cousins, and it was really nice to catch up a bit!

Cousins enjoying their pizza lunch together
The two littlest "cooking"
These guys really enjoyed each other

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Visit

Uncle James, Aunt Karen, Jake, Lairen (his fiancee!), Jared, and his friend Brianna all came to visit us yesterday. We were all so thrilled to meet Lairen. We were quite pleased, as she is super sweet and just perfect for Jake. It was a nice afternoon together eating lunch, playing some games and chatting/catching up.
Jake is always so good with the kids! Cecilia took to him right away.

These two definitely look related!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!

We went to the vigil mass Christmas eve and then came home to have dinner and open gifts with Pawpaw and Manah. Christmas morning we waited patiently while the older girls slept in a little then opened our own family gifts followed by those from Lito and Lita.
Somehow this was the only pic I got and Pawpaw and Manah's (It was quite a busy evening with mass!). Cecilia loved the baby doll and stroller. She kept handing me the baby, like maybe I know better how to take care of it?! So cute.
Anastasia was so excited about the banana cake I made for breakfast with whipped cream on top, compliments of Manah.
Sebastian was so thrilled with these Dinosaurs from Lito and Lita!
 Pawpaw came over and made it rain money...a favorite game of his and the kids!
We are so thankful to have faith and family that allow us to celebrate such a beautiful time together. It was really sweet to see all the kids (except the two youngest) working so hard to buy gifts for their siblings these last few weeks. Everyone had some great surprises (including Austin and I). I know I will miss the days when we celebrate with all the kids under one roof, so I am trying to soak it up and enjoy now!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday, Stephen!

Yesterday we were so blessed to be able to celebrate Stephen's birthday on his actual day this year. So he woke up to a special breakfast and family gifts, went to coffee with Pawpaw and Manah, and then came home so we could get ready for his party in the afternoon, which was Mario themed (take 2...we did Mario 2 years ago! But I changed things up a bit this time). See an obsession here?

He is so sweet and thankful. Being very generous himself, he is always so thankful for anything the others give him. Melts a Momma's heart. ;)
New boots from Lito and Lita!
A Goomba Photo Op (these took much longer to make than I expected! So glad I started early...Allia is usually such a great helper with decorations and such, but she was sick that day!)
Our first game was the Goomba stomp. It was loud and wild, perfect for boys!
Next up was Mario Bingo...a little quieter
The girls and I made Yoshi confetti eggs. First we had a hunt with a prize for finding the most. Then we evened things out and let them crack away!
Cecilia wasn't so sure about the confetti
"Happy Birthday!"
He received some really cool gifts including this Star Wars Lego set, which one of the givers assured me had some very rare pieces in it. ;)
He also received binoculars with an explorer book and a shark mold set with a light up pull-string frisbee!

I was happy to see him enjoying the book later that evening
Our Stephen is so generous, a good student, very attentive to rules/obedience, a good helper around the house and becoming a great swimmer. He also has quite the tender spot for Cecilia. He may be a little too into video games, but we are working on that...We are so thankful for our sweet boy!

Monday, December 18, 2017

More photos

from Lito's visit...
Lita sent him with a bag of treats for each child...including Marzipan! :p
Cecilia was just sure that all the gifts he brought were some sort of jungle gym meant for her to climb!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Show - Figure Skating and Lito visit

Mariana had her first Figure Skating show at the Christmas Show this weekend. She avidly sold tickets to family and friends. Her routine was simple, being a first time performer. But she did beautifully, and we were very proud. She really enjoyed it, and so did we!
The rink was really cold, and Gloria and Lito are usually snuggle buddies. So they bundled up together!

Flowers for the performer
 Mariana's candle kept going out, and she was trying to subtly fix it while performing!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little eater

Cecilia has her picky moments, but for the most part she is an  avid eater and loves trying new things, especially if they come from Daddy's plate! Manah always gives her a little snack when she visits.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Piano Recital

 Everyone played beautifully. Mariana had her rehearsal for her Christmas Ice skating show afterwards, so she went in her bun and makeup! The rest of us had to scurry off to RE (and after that I served on the meal team for youth group)...busy Sunday!

 Anastasia and Gloria did the bells for Stephen's Jingle Bells Song. They did great, especially Anastasia since it was her stage debut!



Allia (She and Miss Amy had originally cut out the middle of the song because it was too much for her to get ready in the short 6 weeks between recitals. But she really liked the depth it added to the piece, so she practiced furiously this weekend to get it down! Amazing!)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fall Champs Swim Meet

Allia swam in her championship meet for the fall season and did great. She is really improving a lot. She and her friend Jade had these complimentary kneeskin suits which made it a little more fun!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Baking fun

Before Advent began (we gave up screen time!), we were watching the BBS (British Baking Show). With that inspiration lingering, Mariana decided to make a creation with one of her friends (and Gloria joined in too).

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's begining to look a lot like....Snow?! (Anniversary Edition)

It is a crazy week of celebrations here starting with Cecilia's birthday, then St. Nicholas day, Austin's and my anniversary (15th!!!), and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. We are planning a big trip in February to celebrate our anniversary, so we just did a few small things yesterday. In the evening, we headed to the vigil mass for the Solemnity at St. Mary's. Just as we were walking into the church, snow flurries started falling. By the time mass was over, snow was pouring out of the sky and everything was white! What a beautiful surprise to light up our celebration. It made for a joyful evening of warm dinner, cold snowball fights (I played too!) and cozy-ing up by the fire. It was an absolutely lovely night, and we all went to bed late!

In Texas, you never know how long the snow will last, so we had a student take our photo after mass!
The neighbors came out, and everyone was collecting snow from yards, vehicles, etc. to make snowballs, a snowman and a snow fort. So much fun!!!
This guy took some convincing, but when he finally came out he had a grand time.
One last shot before bed
Our backyard in the morning

By the time we got home from mass, this little one was tired, cold and hungry. She really did not understand what the fuss was about. So Daddy fed her dinner while I bundled everyone up and went to play. This morning she was a little more interested...
Mariana finally coaxed her outside and helped her play a little
She was determined to enjoy every last bit of the snow until it was completely gone!
 As a little surprise, Austin transferred the old 8mm tape of our rehearsal and dinner to a DVD. So we watched that to finish off the evening. It was so fun and quite funny to see everyone, especially singing karaoke...always entertaining! ;)