Thursday, December 31, 2009


Spanish is a beautiful language! I love the sound of it as it flows from my neighbor Rosa's lips. I just wish I knew what she was saying.

Tonight we were invited over for a New Year's Eve gathering. We ate homemade enchiladas (authentic Mexican-style) that Sylvia cooked right in front of us. We ate posole and tamales made just hours ago. We drank punch with pear slices and a splash of tequila. The girls ran around with the dozens of cousins that were there. We felt a part of the family, as we always do when we are invited over to one of their parties. Their family is huge, but they always have room for us.

I was mesmerized by the way Sylvia cooked with such ease. I watched her as she made countless enchiladas and I asked her where she learned to cook. She said she learned from her mother and she is trying to pass on the cooking lessons to her daughters. I figured if I watched her long enough, I would learn some cooking lessons, as well. If only she would pass on her mother's mole sauce recipe...

We sat around the bonfire and I listened as they all spoke the beautiful language. I laughed, even though I had no idea what I was laughing about. I spoke the few Spanish words I knew, and I used a lot of sign language. It was fun.

Eric brought fireworks (little sparklers) and we set them off in the driveway. The kids all screamed with delight. Autumn cried, but she got over it quickly. Then they played hide-n-seek until it was way past their bedtime.

I love living in community with my neighbors. I love how each neighbor has something to contribute to the others. Even now as I type this, I can hear the festivities still going on next door, and I feel so blessed that God has put us here in this house, in this neighborhood, in this city.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm so confused!

This morning I went to a memorial for a dear friend/former neighbor of mine (Ruben Duarte) who passed away Christmas morning. While I have been to several memorials over the past few years, my girls have never been to one, so they don't know what goes on at such events. As I was leaving the house, Amber said, "Bye mommy. I hope you have a good time at the memorial." I informed her that I probably would not have a good time and told her that memorials are sad occasions. She amended her farewell and said, "Okay, well I hope you have a sad time at the memorial." I then told her that was not a proper thing to say, either. In frustration she blurted out, "Well, I just don't know what to say!" Children are so precious.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Call me crazy!

Call me crazy, but I have this urge to totally re-do my office (without spending money). We just returned from a trip to Arizona where we stayed with a friend, Nancy. One of her guest rooms is adorable, and functional. Seeing it got the wheels spinning in my head. I already knew of a few things I could do right away to make the office more functional and less cluttered-looking. My office is anything from cluttered, since I have the OCD gene, but the walls are cluttered and I have the girls artwork (which is rapidly growing) here there and everywhere. Some pieces are pinned to the bulletin board, others are taped to the wall, others are barely hanging on the wall. Add to that the fact that my girls just received some wonderful art supplies for Christmas from relatives in Arizona. I want to utilize my office space to put the art supplies in a more accessible place for them. (Right now their crayons, coloring books, paper, etc., is all in boxes in the closet, hard for them to reach.

So, call me crazy, but I want to start re-organizing now. As in, today. As in, Christmas Eve. As in, the day (almost night) before Christmas. It seems logical to me. After all, I've been ready for Christmas for weeks. I just got back from a trip and am almost done unpacking. We're going to Eric's parents house tomorrow for Christmas, so I don't have to cook. Why not start a major room redo? I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to start moving things around.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Four Forever

Tonight I asked my 4-year-old, Autumn, if she could stop growing. I asked her if she could stay 4 forever. She said yes. Of course, I don't want her to really stop growing, but she is just so adorable at this age.

Friday, December 4, 2009


When my oldest daughter, Amber, is happy, she smiles. When her little sister, Autumn, is happy, it shows from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. To say that she jumps for joy would be an understatement. Autumn has always been our little expressive one, from her many facial expressions to the way she dances around the house to how she jumps on the couch, her bed, anything that has a bounce. She's kind-of like Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh movies.

So last night when we took a family trip to Trader Joe's in Ventura, her enthusiasm should not have surprised me. In the two or three blocks it took to get to the main road, we passed by a few houses with their Christmas lights already up and shinning. With every house she saw, Autumn got more and more animated with excitement. It's a good thing she was belted into the car or she may have jumped through the moon roof.

"Oooh, look at this one, sissy," she said as she pointed to a lit-up house.

"Oh, I love that one!"

"Oh, that one is my favorite!"

"Sissy, look out my window. Look at that house!"

"Oooh, there's Santa!"

"Oh my goodness, that one is my favorite!"

"Thank you, daddy, for showing us the lights!"

We were just driving to the store. Next week we will officially take the girls out to look at Christmas lights. Just think how excited she will be that night!

Autumn's enthusiasm for just about anything got me to thinking about my own life. Am I full of joy? Do I simply smile or do I jump up and down with delight, even if only in my heart?

The Bible tells us that David danced before the Lord. He threw off his outer clothing and, in reckless abandon, he danced. He danced at the risk of being ridiculed, mocked and misunderstood. He was joyful and he let it show.

Now I'm not suggesting we go dancing around in public in our underwear. But I'm wondering if we adults--if I--should throw caution to the wind more often and take real delight in things, even ordinary things. I tried to do that this morning on my walk. I tried to delight in the fall leaves on the ground, in the wreaths hung on the doors of my neighbor's houses, in the fact that I am breathing. Who knows, maybe tomorrow on my walk I'll even lift my hands in joy. And hopefully, my 4-year-old's zest for life will rub off on me and I'll even learn to dance.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I haven't been blogging much because of my headaches, but I thought this was cute. It happened a few weeks ago and I wrote it down on a little piece of paper and am just now getting around to blogging about it...

Amber, who is 6, "helps out" in the toddler room on Wednesdays during the ladies Bible study. A few weeks ago we got in the car after Bible study and I had a CD playing in the car. Autumn asked me to turn it up and after cranking up the dial, Amber said, "I don't want music on right now. All the kids were really crazy today and I want to settle down from all the craziness."

This is not the first time she has mentioned the toddler room being a little out of control. I just had to laugh!