Friday, December 25, 2009

Quad Birthday Party

Aaron and Emma both have November birthdays as do two of their Guerrero cousins (Bradley and Noah). We had a quad party at Claudia's house for the four kiddoes. It was very fun! I even made my first pinata that wasn't just balloon shaped :) Aaron LOVES Thomas the Train--so I made that pinata for him.

Rowlett visit awhile ago. . .

Just some cute pics of a visit to Rowlett a few months ago. Aaron and Emma playing with their cousins, Ava, Bradley, & Destiny (who did not have school that day). Chloe was at school.




Playing on the swings. But our fun was cut short when the sprinker system suddenly came on (it was the middle of the day--around noon!) Crazy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Halloween 2009

At our Guerrero Family Halloween PARTAY! :) Aaron's Thomas the Train costume that I made out of a box (well, Simon drew the face, but Aaron, Chloe, and I did the rest--cutting,painting). Chloe's Ariel costume topped off with cheap temporary hair color that gets all over everything!!
Chloe went to the ward party as Snow White (and she loved Maggie's pink hair!). Chloe and Aaron at Chloe's school carnivalAaron and Emma at a Halloween party at the Methodist church with a Caring Christian Mother's group I am involved with.

Celebrating Christmas

Just got this as a forward and I really enjoyed it, so I decided to post it. While the whole "letter from Jesus" idea is a bit on the cheesy side, the message is a good reminder to us all. I hope you enjoy it too!

Natalie
_____________

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

Dear Children, It has come to my attention that many you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. . . although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. Not just during Christmas time, but all through the year. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the president complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sends out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family? Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions and words that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU,
JESUS

Monday, December 7, 2009

Simon the "Architect" well, almost. . . :)

Simon found out today that he past the last architecture licensingexam he took. It was his final one!!! YIPPEE!! He's now finished with all of the exams.

Now he needs to finish entering in his internship hours over the past two years into their appropriate categories (there are 15 categories in which he has to have a certain number of post-graduate school internship hours.Categories such as design, construction, office management, community something or another etc. etc.)

He has kept detailed time sheets, but since he's been pre-occupied with studying he hasn't gotten them all logged in. It'll probably take him another few weeks to a month to get that all entered in and see exactly in which categories he needs more hours. We're sure his boss will be helpful in letting him get the hours he needs in his deficient categories. We are so excited!!!

A big "WooHoo!!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Battle of the Books Team

Chloe made the Battle of the Books team for k-3rd!! YooHoo! According to her teacher, she's the first kindergartener to ever even attempt the tryout test, much less make the team!! She had 15 books that she read and then they had a test with questions from the books.

The team is kind of like quiz bowl (I think)--all the questions will be about the books. Below is the list of books she had to read for it. She's quite the little reader!! (I did not read them to her, she read them all by herself--but I did discuss them with her and asked her some questions. I was quite impressed with her comprehension and retention of what she had read!!)

Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco
Bedhead by Margie Palatini
Big Bad Wolves at School by Stephen Krensky
Critter Sitter by Chuck Richards
The Dog who had Kittens by Polly M. Robertus
Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio
Lost: A Story in String by Paul Fleischman
Make Way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Max’s Words by Kate Banks
Pictures from our Vacation by Lynn Rae Perkins
Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman
The Secret Science Project that almost ate the School by Judy Sierra
The Spectacular Adventures of Sophie & Sebastian by Ruth Jeyaveeran
Titanicat by Marty Crisp
Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski

Saturday, October 10, 2009

8 Down 1 More to Go

Simon got the results today from the last licensing exam he took about a month ago and. . . he passed!! YIPPEE! Only one more test go to and he'll be an architect! YooHoo! His last exam is scheduled for November 2nd. He's been studying hard!

Yay for Simon!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Club

Simon, "What did you talk about at the book club meeting?"
Me, "Um, the book."
Simon chuckles and we get ready for bed.

Later: Laying in bed ready to sleep, I suddenly start expanding on my answer and tell him about some of the conversations.

Simon, "So it's a lot different than if I had a book club with a bunch of men. It'd be 'I liked the ending' and 'yeah, that was cool.'" [followed by silence]

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Potty Training Woes. . .

Okay, so my cute, adorable, fun, energetic, frustrating, obnoxious little 3 year old is once again back in plain ole diapers (yes, he will be 4 next month). He's very strongwilled (what 3 year old isn't, right?). We've been trying to train him since he was 2. Trouble is, the harder you push this little one, the harder he pushes back (normal though, right?)

So, we've tried about every possible technique known to man. I just wished I could turn back the clock and we wouldn't have started until he was older. I tried to get my dear sweet husband to back off on many occassions, but well we just haven't seen eye-to-eye on this issue (part of the problem).

We've done instant rewards, charts, potty in front of the t.v., story time and games while on the potty (well, that was all Simon--for a while there he would spend up to an hour or so with them on the pot playing games--this was all a year or so ago. When I took them to the potty, I maybe read a couple of books, but if they didn't go by then, it was okay and we'd try again later.)

So, okay, the past is in the past and now we're here. For the last 6 months he goes on the potty when he wants to and will go to get a treat (if he's in the mood), but it's ALL about CONTROL with him. I have to figure out a way to make sure he fully believes that it's all his decision to stay dry.

So, about a month or so ago I began to really wonder if he indeed had a bladder control issue because I would take him to the potty and then take him again 30 min. later (sometimes sooner) and he would've already gone again in his pull-up.

But, knowing my little guy, I had a sneaking suspicion he had the control, but was just playing games with me. So, I decided to take him to church in regular underwear. It was fantastic! He went to the bathroom when I took him (no complaining or screaming--apparently he prefers public restrooms to ours at home) and came home dry. But, once we were home if I tried to take him to the potty it was "I don't need to go potty" and "I promise I will tell you when I need to go" followed by my eventually checking his pull-up and it'd be wet or dirty. . .every once in a blue moon he'll actually tell me if he needs a diaper change.

So, for 4 weeks or so, I left him in regular underwear during the day and diapers at night. It was always the same story, if we were out and about, he was fine--liked using the public restrooms--but at home, well, accident after accident and he NEVER had to go when I tried to take him (but then, he would mysteriously be wet just five minutes later. . .hmm)--even when he was having to clean the poop out of his own underwear. . .and did he tell me he was poopie or wet??? Of course not--I always had to just figure it out.

So, for 4 weeks I think we actually had one day where he stayed dry all day, so I know it's possible. We rewarded and praised. . .to no avail. After a few weeks of excitement (I was really thinking we had made a breakthrough and he was going to decide he prefers dry underwear, but alas, he doesn't. He continued to pee and poop in his underwear (on purpose, mind you) until a few days ago and I finally gave up, declared him the winner, and put him back in regular diapers.

I'm done. When he wants to be potty trained he'll just have to let me know. . .

Suggestions are welcome, but most likely, I've already thought of it, tried it, and it failed. . . I think I'll wait until Emma is 4 before I'll even attempt to introduce her to the potty (unless she insists on it before that and just does it all on her own---here's hoping!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emma



Rain and Piano

A week or so again when we were having a rash of lots of rain, I walked into the living room to this cute scene (though the scene I first saw but didn't catch on the camera was even cuter cause Aaron had his arm around Emma). Cute!! Aaron had opened the window and they were watching the rain through the window screne. I love rain!
Our little squirt can now reach the piano--she's so proud of herself! And, what a cute big brother :)




Soccer

Chloe's soccer team
Aaron's soccer team

Haven't played much. . .been a lot of rain. . .hopefully will get to have practices AND a game this week! Here's hopin'

6 Years Old!!! & Camping!!

Chloe's birthday breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and milk. We were going to bring it to her in bed. . .but she woke up before I had it all finished and then said she didn't want to eat it in bed--likes to keep it clean :)
Chloe's pink princess cake!! (she helped me make it)
Chloe and her cousin, Christian, with the pinata Chloe, Aaron and I made! Christian helped us get it all hooked up with a rope and ready to hit :)
Presents!!! (Aaron, Alexis, Natalee, and Chloe)
Yeah for our pop-up gazebo! Shade is a wonderful thing :)
We fit two airmattresses and a pack-n-play in that tent. We even had a little room to spare :)
Now, if only the wind hadn't blown so hard around 1 or 2:00am and woke Emma up. . .other than that, she was quite a good lil' camper :0)
Aaron and Emma--Chloe still asleep? (btw--Emma did not sleep with Aaron and Chloe--she was in her pack-n-play)
Ahh. . .they do love each other :)
Chloe gives her Uncle Cesar a big hug!!
Emma enjoyed some of the sights from her Pack-N-Play
Chloe and her cousin, Alexis, doing some fishing. (it was Aaron and Chloe's first time to fish--they enjoyed it, but didn't catch anything this time.)
Chloe and Aaron
Simon's sister, Sandra, her husband, Josh, Natalie & Chloe
Cesar, Vipha, Elijah--beautiful campgrouds!
*Simon's sister, Sandra, her husband, Josh, and their kids, Alexis and Christian, all camped overnight with us. It was fun. On Friday night we roasted marshmellows and ate smores. Chloe and Aaron were SOO excited to get sleep in a tent. The weather was perfect!! Not too cold (cold enough we had to bundle up for the night--but not freezing--nice and cozy), and definitely not to warm (well. . .not too warm until mid-morning on Saturday--it started to really warm up by the time we left). And, no rain !! Hip hip horray :) (since it's been raining almost nonstop for the last few weeks. . .)
*On Saturday the kids played at a fun little playground. Simon's brother, Cesar, his wife, Vipha, and their kids, Nick, Nate, & Natalee joined us for lunch and a birthday celebration for Chloe on Saturday.
Fun times!