Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Many of you probably heard in the news about the crazy weather we have been having here in Southern California. Besides lots and lots and lots of rain, we have had tornado watches, thunder, lightning and lots of snow in the mountains and some off the mountain too. My parents have a house in the mountains and they went up during the week and enjoyed the weather. They came off the mountain on Sunday and came by our house after church with a truck load of snow. The kids loved it but this weekend we are heading up to my parents house to do some real snow play!!!!

We unloaded all the snow in the cudesac across the street from our house. All the neighborhood kids had a blast.

If your wondering why there is a watermark on the bottom of the pictures, I am having my blog redesigned and it is called Hockey and Hair bows. Ashton, who is is China now picking up her brother, is doing the design-- she also did my last design. She is totally awesome. Picasa had a new version update and they asked if I wanted a watermark and I thought it might be fun to try one out-- not sure what I think-- we will see. hmmmm.....

Throwing the snow

Making snow balls to chuck at her brothers

My three adorable kids-- notice the snowball above Mia's head?

This is what happened the second I took the picture-- OWen smashed it on Mia's head. Totally typical!!

Not a happy girl

Feeling better eating some snow

She became quite the snowball craftsman

And a great snowball tosser


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Miss Mia sings CONSTANTLY!! Literally she is either talking or singing all the time. People look at how little and petite and sweet Mia looks and then they are shocked by how much she sings and talks. She acts shy sometimes when she first meets people but she is really a bundle of energy that is constantly on the go and constantly talking. People are also taken with how aggressive Mia is. She can take care of business. With two big brothers and two big dogs, she has learned to be tough-- and that she is. She can hold her own in pretty much any situation. Anyway, I love hearing her sing and the other day she was sitting on the kitchen counter (which is her second home)just singing away so I took that opportunity to finally get her on video. Enjoy!!!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crazy Southern California Weather!!1

Man are we having the odd weather here in southern CA!! We are totally under water right now. We have had tornado warnings-- and that does not happen here- we have had tons of snow in the mountains- we have had hail and we have had a ton of rain- tons!!! Everything is wet and construction here in southern CA is not built to absorb this much rain. Everything is flooded! We even had a tornado warning where the kids in schools were all on lock down until the warning passed. It has just been crazy but kind of fun. The kids love the wild weather and it is rare for us to even get close to this much rain at once, so being deluged by 4 winter storms one after the other really is odd for us. On a totally plus side the mountains are beautiful with snow everywhere and my parents cabin in Arrowhead is getting a ton of snow so we may head up for a snow day this weekend.

Hope all is well with you all!

Make sure to check into my pals blogs to see their beautiful new daughters. Also my blogger pal Jennifer is on her way to China to pick up her beautiful Wesleigh. Check out their journey here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Prayer needed for a friend

If you read the post below, you will know my blogger pal Christie is in Hunan China with her husband and new daughter, Kiera. Kiera is having some adjustment issues and it is really tough. Please read Christie's blog post from today and please keep them in your prayers.

Christie's blog post from today:

As many of you know, I absolutely refuse to sugar-coat. Sometimes, I try to give the good so that others won't worry. But now we need your prayers.We're dealing with a relapsive/remissive situation over here. Keira will be fine for a while - even laughing or cooing as some of you have seen on the video we posted, and then suddenly begin grieving terribly for a long period of hours.Yesterday was a great day, until around 5:00pm. Keira was doing so well...and then boom. Complete and utter regression. It was so sad. She screamed hysterically for almost three hours straight. She arcs her back away, won't let us touch her as much as possible, won't look at us. It certainly takes its toll... We're only human, we remind ourselves. It's hard and it's to be expected that we would be sad and even feel helpless and frustrated - but we've been beating ourselves up for feeling these things.This morning she was in the same place. Sad, removed, not making eye contact, not wanting to be held by either of us. Just wanting to be left alone. Which of course, we can't do.It's in these moments that the darkness is breathtaking. We would covet your prayers...Each child in our group of nine families is dealing with grief heavily. We are not alone. The most startling thing is that each of the children were clearly loved or cared for well. No one seems "tiny". No one seem underfed. No one seems under-loved. All good things, but the heartbreak of seeing them devastated over and over again as they come to terms with us - it's just sometimes more than we can bear.Last night, like "sun-downers" syndrome - fine during the day, huge regression at night - each of the children started to grieve. Several of us had to miss the group dinner, opting instead for quiet time at the hotel. Instead of quiet, there was the sound of grieved cries throughout the hallway of Floor 31 of the Dalton Hotel. Grieved, grieved cries... And not just those of the babies.The parents are hurting as well. Hurting because we hoped for the best and tried to prepare for the worst...but all the while assuming things would be fine and work themselves out with little to no issue. But in this situation, all of us are facing hard moments where the babies want nothing to do with us or cry and grieve so hard. It's heartbreaking as a parent. To be rejected on any level when you have so much love to give. I want you to know that this post is written honestly and from the heart. Not to be negative, but to be open. Not to discourage or cause worry, but to reach out. We're on the other side of the world and everything is different. We're navigating a huge life change, the deep grief of our new daughter, the trials of parenthood, and the challenges of travel all from the pocket of a small hotel room. Bear with us as we learn and grow...and give you truth through our posts. We need now more than ever, support and calming encouraging words from home.

With love and hope for continued healing and understanding,

Christie & Anton

Monday, January 18, 2010

Babies Everywhere

I just cant express how satisfying it is to have so many of my blogger friends finally getting their babies from China. My friend Christie just got her Kiera in Changsha Hunan, the exact same
place we got Mia!!! It has been such a long and difficult road to finally get to this place, but now they have their long awaited daughter and I could not be more happy for them. If you would like to check them out, take a look at their blog at Here is a little taste of beautiful and totally adorable Kiera!

My Lucky Mommy pal, Karen, who lives close by and we meet up in our little group, is heading to China to pick up their beautiful Katie. If you would like to follow their journey, check out their blog here.

My other pal Kacy is heading to China very soon to pick up her Jennifer. She leaves soon and will be picking up this little bundle of joy.

You can follow Kacy's journey here.

There are more familes I will tell you about soon, but enjoy!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food and More Food

Ever since Kevin changed his schedule to be off early enough to cook dinner, we have been eating amazing food. He is just a really good cook and makes amazing- fine dining type food. It has been great for our family now that he cooks and I clean but also for the kids. They are trying and loving food that most kids would NEVER touch. There are no nuggets and fries in this home- its all yummy, organic, natural wonderful food!! I decided to take a few pictures of some of my favorites from last week.

This is a grilled asparagus with a Dijon mustard sauce, poached egg (runny yolk) and hickory smoked bacon. It is sooooo good and you crack the yoke and it runs all over everything and it is totally yummy!!!!

This was a pumpkin soup with a cranberry relish. Kevin would be freaked I took a picture of something with a drip on the side- he is a perfectionist about presentation- but I don't care. I just love to eat it and wow was this soup amazing!!!

This was a spring greens with some freaky blend of juices and spices and some reduction and other stuff that made the dressing AWESOME!!!! It had toasted pecans and blue cheese and some other stuff I cant remember.

My only contribution to the cooking is occasionally I will bake (and heat up leftovers from the night before for lunch the next day :). This was a 2 layer cake in the shape of a heart that Mia and I made the other day. It was really yummy and Mia loved the heart shape.

The chicken is raw in this picture- this is pre cooking- but this is a dish Kevin made when his family came over Sunday night for dinner. He loved making it because he can put it in the oven and it is an all in one dish (but he also did steamed muscles and a soup and salad). It is chicken, over lemons with a bunch of spices and lots of rosemary. It has tomatoes, potatoes and kalmata (sp?) olives. I may be missing something. It is sooooooo good and the house smells awesome after it cooks.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Found Pictures

I found some pictures I loaded on a different computer but never posted. These are from the holiday times.

My lucky mommy group had a little party for the kids for Christmas. This is the group having their lunch. I took only a few pictures and they were not very good so here is the one picture I had of all the kids together.

After we had our Lucky Mommies party we met Kevin and the boys at Disneyland to spend the night down there and go again the next day. Mia was thrilled to meet the princesses. It was so cute-- she saw her and just went up and immediately gave her a hug-- too cute!!!

So sweet!! I can never remember the names of the old princesses-- is this Aurora?? Cant remember.

The Buzz 3D ride. Kevin had never been on this one before (since I can only drag him to Disneyland one time a year) and loved it!!!

We had reservations at Cafe Orleans and while we were waiting for our table we found this cute little area. Totally cute pictures of the kids.

I love this one.

We went on Autopia and Mia drove- quite an experience!!!

Kevin and Ethan were in front of us. Owen was behind but I couldn't get a picture of him.

Ethan and Dad

We went to the Tinkerbell area and Mia was thrilled. Here Mia is sitting on The Fairy Workbench.

Boys relaxing in the Tinkerbell area

Owen on a Mushroom

It is a nice time once a year for the whole family to go to the happiest place on earth!!!! We had a blast and I look forward to next Christmas when I finally can get Kevin there again!

Monday, January 4, 2010


I am not one for resolutions because I tend to make them and within about 3 weeks, I end them. I have resolved everything you can possibly think of and failed at all of them so many years ago I resolved not to resolve-- and that has worked pretty well up until now. This year I am feeling things are different. Besides indulging myself over the last 2 months to the point none of my clothes fit (I'm totally not joking either-- very few actually fit and while I will not weigh, I'm guessing its at least 7 pounds) I am also feeling that there are too many things up in the air in my life that this year might actually be a good year to make a few resolutions in order to tie some things up. So..... drum roll...... I am going to make a few 2010 Resolutions!!!!!!

1. First off I have to go with the old weight loss goal. I know it is the standard for many but funny thing, I have not done this resolution for a long time. As many of you know, I had gastric bypass 9 years ago and have maintained my weight pretty well. After surgery, you still can go up and down- and I have- within about a 10 pound range. Right now, I am at the absolute upper range of what I am comfortable with-- actually I am not comfortable at all. You know that feeling when you are not comfy in your own skin and you are always fiddling with your clothes because they just don't fit comfortably-- well that's me right now. I just am not happy with the way I feel right now so I am resolving to lose weight. I know that sounds wishy washy but that is the most I will do. I'm not calling it a diet and I wont say it is Adkins or Weight Watchers-- It is watching what I eat and portion control. It has worked for me in the past and I plan on it working for me this time.

2. The second old resolution everyone has - I want to start moving. I am a pretty active person and am very busy, but I have not worked out in years and years. I hate working out and luckily I have always been able to maintain my weight by just watching what I eat, but that is not enough this time. I am noticing that I am getting excessively flabby and I think my muscle mass is shrinking-- which I don't like! Back in the day I was in amazing shape and even won a weight lifting competition. I gain muscle fast and I was strong- real strong- and even when I was really heavy, I still had muscle. Well, I think that is fading and I want it back. I don't like the flab and I need it gone. So, I am going to move-- not sure how or where at this point but it could be a gym membership or something else, but I am resolving to move and gain muscle mass.

3. Next resolution has to do with the business side of things. I started 2 new companies this past year. The first and main company is my private practice called Cornerstone Educational Solutions. This is where I do all the court evaluations. My private practice is going well but I want to make the goal to double business. I judge this based on evaluations I performed in 2009 and I am doubling it. It is a doable feat and I am up for it. I need to do marketing and more presentations to judges and attorneys- which I have done plenty this past year- but I need to ramp it up to get the business really thriving.

4. My next business baby is my new nonprofit my friend helped me create. As many of you know, my kids began attending a private Christian School this year. Most private schools do not service special ed students, therefore I worked with my boys school to create a special ed type program. We service mild learning disabled students, we started a speech program and have a counseling intern program. I'm really proud of what we have created at UCA, therefore I wanted to help other private schools do the same. I started a nonprofit called APSSE- Alliance of Private Schools for Special Education. I just had my logo and cards done so I am in the beginnings, but my goal for this year is to get the business going and to help as many families as possible. I know that is kind of a loosey goosey goal, but I am in the beginning stages of this business, therefore I don't have anything to base this off so my goal is for it to grow.

5. My next resolution is to spend more quality time with my family. We have so many things going on that I feel like we need to do more quality things together- play games- continue with our Friday night pizza night- and anything that is quality. We really enjoy time together but it is often frustrating as well. I get annoyed and irritated by the kids very easily and I think a lot of that is because I have so many things going on so my mind is always all over the place. I think about 10 different things all at once. I multi task to a fault and because of that I tend to be distracted and easily annoyed by my children. They often are just being kids but I do not tolerate their antics and it often ends in frustration. I hate that part about me and I want to par it down. I want to work when I work and relax and spend time with my family when it is time to do so. So, I want to spend more quality time with my family!

6. I want to resolve to do date nights once every two weeks. We use to be very religious on date nights once a week when the boys were younger but since Mia came home we have been more sporadic. One thing I know about Kevin and I is that we need time alone to rejuvenate therefore, I resolve to make date night a priority and to have one every two weeks (wish I could be once a week but there is no way financially we can do date night- paying a babysitter etc. once a week- wish we could but sadly not feasible right now.)

7. I want to try to get more involved in our Church ministries. We are actively involved in our Sunday School but I want to start working in a ministry this next year. My dad always says there is a season in every ones lives where they can actively be involved and other times to sit back and take care of your family. We are right in between that statement. We are busy but need to make the time to be a part of a ministry. Therefore, I resolve to get involved in a ministry at our church.

I think that is all I'm going to resolve to at this point-- not that 7 is enough- right?? Anyway, that is where I am at. I have a lot of things swirling around in my mind and I think I can totally pull more resolutions together but these are the main things I want to focus on right now. I don't want to get down on myself if I fail, but all the things I am resolving to are things that are things I am already starting up, therefore they should be right up my alley.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Dinner

We hosted Christmas dinner for our family like we do every year and it was a great time as normal. We had 19 adults and 12 kids and Kevin made a wonderful meal. He (and Brad) Brined a turkey a couple days prior and then cooked it on Christmas. It was the most tender and amazing turkey I have ever had. Kevin also made for the first course, we had amazing French Onion, second course, Spring Greens with all kinds of Cheese and stuff in it and then the main course was Turkey, Savory Bread Pudding and Green Beans Almondine. Just an amazing meal!!

We enjoyed amazing wines which always makes the time festive!!

We were short a few people this year. My cousins were unable to make it but we had my other cousin and her husband (Sarah the bike racer who now lives in Geneva Switzerland). This table was the official "old table"-- they loved that label.

This was the official "young table"- we liked that label (kids were at a different table)

Salad course

My dad giving a toast!

It was a great time!!