Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Favorite People

My sister was in town a few months back to bring Dominic back from his Spring Break visit in Alaska. She’s a photographer and took the opportunity to do our family photos! We were SO INCREDIBLY blown away by our photos. I absolutely love them. How will I ever narrow down which ones to print???

These are my favorite people

Oh, our sweet Dominic. He has stolen the heart of so many with his kind nature and witty sense of humor. He serves others and is a hard worker. He’s a good helper around the house and a great friend to those he plays with. He is one smart cookie with a love for science and math. He’s a boy on a mission to do so many great things in the world. He’s a great leader and we can’t wait to have him home more this year! I’m so excited for what this school year will bring for us.
I cannot believe how much he has grown.
And then there is our sweet, curly haired, Penny Grace. No words can describe her fairly enough. She is brilliant, funny, caring and kind…..she can also be a stinker. And OH THE CURLS! If I got a nickel for every time someone complimented her curly hair I’d be rich.DSC_9510
This picture only partly depicts her vivacity.
Those chocolate eyes melt me.
I don’t want Michael to ever grow up. He’s our sweet tempered little chubba. He is very smart and pays attention to detail, learning sign language quickly. He listens intensely to what we say and has an uncanny ability to notice people and show affection. He’s a lover and will lean in to hug people when I’m talking to them. I like to think that he’s in tune with what people need around him and he immediately responds. He especially loves the elderly and is often found trying to crawl out of my lap to say hello to them.
Anything he’s eating gets shared with someone, even strangers passing by.
His double chin melts me.
Now that I’m done nursing Michael (yes you heard that right. This week was the week) this picture captures so much even though he’s not actually nursing. He was always a distracted eater. At home I had to feed him in his room or he wouldn’t eat.
He quickly discovered he didn’t like being covered up so I learned how to nurse in public discreetly a quote I heard from a friend recently, “If you don’t like others nursing in public put a blanket over YOUR head.”  This was so Michael.

He liked to grab his foot while eating and then fling it up against my arm. In this picture its resting on my bicep. This soothed him.
I love this picture of my strong husband tenderly holding the hands of his children.
We adore each other and though this year has been our hardest year on our relationship so far with how busy we both are, we are doing our best to find a good balance and keep that fire burning. The most important part of that? We love each other unconditionally and communicate whole-heartedly (though sometimes haphazardly). We are everything to each other.
and he’s my knight in shining armor.
He didn’t even see this one coming.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Dom Bomb

Dominic asked us to post this for him. Its a family favorite video around here. Catch the action at about 1:19.  Makes us laugh every time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Last Monday, for FHE, we made a paper chain to count the days till Dominic gets home. The night before I was putting Penny to bed on Sunday night and she said, "I just don't like missing Dominic like this for a long time, every day like this and I don't know when I can stop missing him. I can't remember what his face looks like!"

So, I got a great picture of him and stuck it in the slats above her bed (she sleeps on the bottom bunk) so that she could see his face every night when she goes to bed. I think her other phrase was a very cute way to say, "I don't know how to process 8 weeks and don't know if that means tomorrow or lots and lots of tomorrows! How do I know when its almost time for him to come home!"  I had an idea to solve this problem and since the next day was family night I enlisted the idea for our activity.

Monday night rolled around and Michael could not stay awake to even eat dinner with us. It had been a long day!

He fought it, OH HE FOUGHT IT. But in the end sleep won. I transferred him to his bed and got PJ's on him and he was out for the night.

So Sean and I got to work with Penny making a paper chain with each chain representing one day that Dominic is gone. Sadly the chain is very long BUT every day its get a little shorter and shorter. Penny had a GREAT time putting this together and knew just how to do it!
She is a girl who is all about crafts like this. She wanted to staple it herself, but after stapling her finger she decided that mom better help her.

She almost got my finger too.

At this point, the chain was 49 links long, as I'm writing this its only 41 links long. 

Sad faces because its still a long chain. Dominic is the best big brother ever.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The reason we moved to our town is because Sean has family here. He had 2 cousins here and 1 cousin nearby, and his Great Grandma lives here (we lived with her when we first moved from Sacramento).
His cousin Doug just had a pool put in his backyard and it is so nice. I can count on one hand how many times I've been in his backyard before he got the pool whereas now the backyard is the place to be.

We had a second birthday party for Dominic the night before he left with just family. We swam and swam until we could not swim anymore. It was not quite super hot yet but the kids didn't seem to mind.

After this shot they all scattered and I couldn't get another one.

Dominic opted for ice cream cookie sandwiches instead of birthday cake. They were yummy (and dangerous!).

Michael likes to try to use utensils on any of his food.....even the things you don't need one for. He's just figuring out the world and how it works. I love it.

Penny is NOT going to drown. This is before I got her swimming. And it still took prying her into the water to make her believe that she would actually float. ha ha ha
Her favorite place was the hot tub because she could touch the bottom (and it was warm).

Then when we got home she and Dominic discovered the vacuum. I have no idea.

Happy Friday, we're off camping tomorrow with his cousins on the lake. Can't wait (we're bringing lots of sunscreen and hoping for great weather with no wind so we can wake board! Who knows, maybe I'll figure it out this time. I still can't figure out how to stand up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lake Tahoe Trout Farm

I told you the week before Dominic left we had quite the bucket list. Well, on that was fishing. We don't have any fishing gear and going on a charter is out of the question at this stage in our financial lives so the trout farm was the next best thing. Sean is not a huge fan of fishing, he finds it boring. Well, you married an Alaskan so TOO BAD!

So we took a friend and headed up to the Tahoe Trout Farm. The feel of the farm wasn't very exciting as in, the fish were hungry and bit your line whenever it went in the water, the trick was to get them to eat the hook.

Davis caught the first two fish and one of them was pretty big. I had to cut off his fishing privileges after that because the fish were expensive and well, I wanted my kids to catch some before we went broke. ha ha. He was a good sport about it and helped out with the net. It was fun to have a friend along.
They were both totally into it and gave each other tips and what not. I love hearing 9 year olds chatter.

This was Dominic's second fish. Unfortunately we didn't get Davis' fish because he caught them before I even got around the pond. When I went over to the bucket to see if Sean had killed the fish it was still moving. "What?! I bonked it."   Uh, you have to hit it till its dead not just once and then call it good.
After the first fish Sean officially tagged out and was on baby duty and I was on fish duty (getting the hook out, knocking them out with a metal stick and getting them in the bucket). Some may find this gross, but its what I grew up loving.....I gutted fish when I was Dominic's age all by myself and love it.

Michael loved seeing all the fishies. He also loved eating them the next night. They were REALLY yummy, not Alaska Salmon yummy, but still yummy.
Dominic's bonking. I was more scared for my finger than the fish.

Penny proudly pulled her fish in. She was so giddy over this. She too, could fish all day long.

Again, Davis was a good sport about helping with the net. He was a big help to have along. 

Good catch Penny!
You had to get the bait on around the hook and not too big because the fish were sneaky. They often got the bait without getting the hook. There is a reason why some of those fish in there are big, its because they have learned how to get food without being food.

So after each kid got 2 fish each we headed down to the shore just because I've never seen Lake Tahoe. It was so pretty but it was a little chilly still. Sean and I want to go up again for a weekend trip without the kids. It had a lot of fun little shops and stuff that would be fun to browse (without kids). 

I cut the bigger fish into fillets and the smaller fish I cut into steaks. The fillets Sean cooked on the grill with lemon pepper and they were delicious! The steaks I cooked in a pan a few nights later with a teriyaki and they were yummy too. The kids really enjoyed them and Sean was nervous to eat them but commented on how yummy they actually were (its different eating food that YOU kill and prepare versus buying it already prepared for cooking in the store).

 It was a great way to start the day!

Super Baby!

It was a fun day! Michael thinks riding on shoulders is so silly. He giggles that he can look down, and I can look up and we can see each other. I love him.

And he was all tuckered out by the time we got home. Sweet baby.

Sean and Dominic then went to the Rivercats Baseball game that night while Penny, Michael and I stayed home. Penny took a giant bubble bath before bedtime. Here she is saying, "Best - Day- Eveeeeeeeeeer!" in response to how she liked going fishing that morning.  She's so silly. 
Silly bubble girl

She could hardly see over them! Also, she put a yellow bath tablet in the water and said, "Now, when Daddy comes home, he will think I peed in the water!!"

I love this picture of Penny and Sean. So sweet, so happy, so kissable (both of them).