Eagerly Waiting For Christmas!

And just like that we are on the doorstep of Christmas again!  That was fast.  Last Christmas we were celebrating the birth of our baby Caleb and now we've just celebrated his first birthday.  I'm really excited for Christmas this year.  Having kids has brought a whole new level of meaning and fun to Christmas for me.  I love it!  I am also looking forward to them getting a little older so we can do lots more Christmas type activities.  It's hard to do a lot of Christmasy stuff with a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  It's actually hard to do much at all!  They have us busy just looking after them.  It took us a whole week to decorate our Christmas tree.
 Grace liked the final product!  And she loves playing with the Little People Nativity set.  I purchased this last year.  Last year, she didn't really play with it, but this year she is really into it.  It's fun telling her about each of the characters and she seems to get that Jesus is the baby in the manger.
 I have been busy this past week getting ready for Christmas.  I think I may have overdone it with gifts for the kids.  In the future, I will have to reign it in.  Nobody likes spoiled kids!  Shopping for them was just so much fun!!  This year, for the first time for me and the kids, we will be doing stockings.  This is new for me as my family didn't do this for us.  We went ahead and filled the stockings ahead of time.  Jonas and I know that as the kids get older, we won't be able to do this or just have their gifts sitting on our bedroom floor.  It will all have to be very well hidden.
Grace was in her first musical!  Her preschool put on a Christmas Musical.  Grace's class were snowflakes.  She was a cute snowflake!!
The musical was about the story behind the candy cane.  Here is the true story behind the candy cane taken from
  A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, 
so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbolsfor the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy: white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the Foundation of the Church and firmness of the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious
name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the 
staff of the Good Shepherd with which He reaches down into the ditches of the 
world to lift out the fallen lambs who like all sheep have gone astray. Thinking 
that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes.
He used three small stripes for the blood shed by Christ on the cross. So that

we could have the promise of eternal life.
I absolutely love Grace's preschool and am so excited to have Caleb attend there as well next school year.  The staff there truly love Jesus and that is so evident in what they teach and how they treat the kids.  It's such an loving and warm environment and Grace has been flourishing there.  In light of what happens in schools, I am so blessed to have Grace in this type of environment.
And our Christmas picture for this year.  This was the only good picture we were able to get of both the kids.  Grace was not cooperating!  We only got this picture because we bribed her with fruit snacks!!

Hoping you have a blessed Christmas full of peace, love and rest.  May you not get stuck in traffic, finish all your Christmas shopping and enjoy great time with your family and friends!

Happy Birthday Caleb!

 And just like that, Caleb is one!  His first year went by so fast.  He's such a big boy that he literally was only a small little baby for a minute!  He's such a joy to us.  So charming and so joyful all the time.  Well, except when he's tired and it's past his bedtime...
We had a farm themed birthday party for him.  I promised myself to make it easy and buy everything.  Well I got so excited that I couldn't help myself and starting making things.  The theme was so cute and so fun to make things for. 
I made a "corral" for the cupcakes.  I made lemon and strawberry cupcakes and added farm animals as toppers.
 I saw this idea for a barn backdrop on pinterest and just had to make one.  I bought a red display board, cut out the shape and added the detailing.  It looked really cute.  The cake was made by my friend's mom.  So cute and so yummy!
The little guy being sang to.
Trying to get him to blow out the candle.
 His first cupcake!
It's very anti-Mexican, but I do enjoy these pull strings pinatas.
The bounce house was a hit.  Grace has a blast in it.
 The kids had so much fun!  And that blessed my heart.  It was a lot of work and I was so tired by the end of the day, but it was all worth it to hear them laugh and see them having a great time.
And now, time to gear up for Christmas.  That will be a little easier now that I am on vacation.

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

 Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We spent ours in Sacramento with my side of the family.  It was a lot of work to travel with our little ones, but they did a great job!  And I think we packed way too much stuff, but better safe than sorry.  It's a good thing we own a mini-van!  Mini-van used to be a bad word for me, but now I am in love this this vehicle!  It makes life with our little ones so much easier!!
 Grace refused to take her nap on Thanksgiving day.  I think it was being in a a new environment.  We were a little afraid that she'd be fussy that night, but she did great.  Other than being a little shy, she was well behaved.  And she crashed hard that night.
 Caleb stole the show!  He was all smiles and not shy at all.  He was held a lot!! Our little guy turns one year old next month!!  That was fast!!
Our Thanksgiving family picture!!  I am so very thankful for my little family.  I loved my life before, but now with my hubbie and these two little angel, I am loving life on a whole new level.  I could neve have imagined what it would be like to be a mother and it's such an awesome thing!
We have been teaching Grace the names of her Nashville family members.  It's so cute to hear her say their names.

Halloween Fun

It's been busy BUSY around here.  I keep wondering if life will eventually slow down, but I am told it will only get busier as the kids get older.  I will be shuffling them around to different events, sports, lessons, etc.  I suppose the lesson in all of this is to just enjoy the precious moments I get with them.  Grace learning to talk more and more and how darn sweet Caleb is with his huge smiles and laughs.
We took the kids to a pumpkin patch at the Irvine Park.  Caleb loved playing with the pumpkins.  Grace was a little harder to get pictures of because she wanted nothing to do with the pumpkins.
 Grace is such a little lady.  Already she protests about the clothes and shoes she wants to wear.  Looks like she might be on her way to becoming a little fashion diva!
 For Halloween, we dressed Caleb as a little lion.  He sure did look adorable.  I don't think he liked the lion mane much, he kept trying to take it off. 
 Grace was Minnie Mouse.  She loves Minnie and constantly asks to watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show.  It seems like just yesterday, she was enamored with Elmo.  Sorry Elmo, you've been replaced.  He has lost his place in her crib, and Minnie has been added.
 Here is my dear sweet Caleb at 10 month old.  I can't believe we are so close to him turning a year old!  This is going by way too fast!
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner!!  YIKES!  I am looking forward to turkey and pumpkin pie!  And I need to be careful not to go crazy shopping for Christmas gifts for the kids.  Every time I look around, I see something else I want to buy the kids!!  Ahh!  It sure is fun to buy for them.

Caleb's Room

The little man finally has his room to himself.  Before Caleb came along, his room was my scrapbooking space.  I took all my stuff out and he now has a proper nursery.  I have been crafting away to make decor for what were bare walls. 
I made these from scrapbook paper, 12x12 canvases, and used my new favorite cricut cartridge, Noah's ABC's Animals.  I orginally planned to use frames, but I couldn't find blue ones that fit within my budget.  You think crafting will save you money, but sometimes it doesn't.  So I cut corners and bought the canvases.  Joann's had a sale on canvases so it ended up being cost effective.
This is my favorite and I love how it came out.  I also used the Noah's cartridge for the letters and the corresponding animals.  I did buy a frame for this one.  It's 16x20".  I wish I had gotten a bigger one, but this works well too.
This is the name banner I made for Caleb before he was born.  It hangs over his crib.
The canvas art is over his dresser.
The ABC frame fit perfectly behind this chair.  This chair used to be in our bedroom.  I am loving it in Caleb's room and love sitting in it to feed him his bottle at night.  The throw is a blanket that a co-worker's mother knit for Caleb.
I have these oversized animals by the changing table.  I also have a few on the closet doors.  Caleb loves looking at them and always tries grabbing them.  I made these from the Cricut Aminals cartridge.
And here is my little guy hanging out in his room.  I love his pudgy cheeks and his darling smiles.  He is such a little charmer!!
And his sister! Grace recently had her two year doctor's appointment. She is 38 inches tall! She's a big girl. I signed her up for preschool today. She will start after Labor day. Huge milestone!! She is growing too fast!!

Happy Birthday Grace!

We celebrated Grace's 2nd birthday yesterday at the Irvine Park.  It was so much fun! She had a blast and it was so cool watching her gave a great time.  She played with all the kids there and she ran around a lot!  A friend of mine brought their Radio Flyer wagon and she loved that!  She would not get out of it and loved it when anyone would come and pull her in it.  I think daddy will be buying her one...  :-)
It's hard to believe Grace is 2!  Seems like just yesterday I was holding her as a small infant.  Now she's my giant toddler who is head and shoulders taller than most kids her age and older too!

The cake!  It was yummy.  I looked around for designs and found one on pinterest that I liked.  I took the picture to SugarMe Bakery and they created this for us.

I made these favor bags using the Elmo Birthday Party Cricut cartridge.  Filled them with goodies for the kids.  These were fun to make.

I made the banner also using the Elmo cartridge.

Grace loved her Elmo pinata.  I guess the good thing about a pull string pinata is that after it was used, it was still intact.  She spent the rest of the party carrying around Elmo.

Family picture.  I love our little family.

These are the centerpieces I made for the party.  I used the Elmo and Sesame Street Cricut cartridges.  These were fun to make and they looked great on the tables.
I guess not it's time to start thinking about Caleb's 1st birthday!!!  It will be here before I know it!

Jose Castillo Cabello

The Lord took my dad home this week.  He was battling bile duct cancer.  I am reeling from loosing him, but I haven't truly lost him.  He gave his life the Lord so I know I will be re-united with him in heaven.
 My dad loved me very much.  I was his little girl and he always made me feel like a princess.  He is the reason why I always felt I could achieve anything I wanted.  Nothing was too great for me and he imparted that in me.
 My dad grew up in Michoacan, Mexico.  He was from a small village.  He met my mom there.  He made the very best carnitas.  He also loved raising livestock.  He and my mom had 11 children.  He always had a smile for everyone.
My dad loved Jonas.  He called him his son.  I know he was very happy I married Jonas.  They had a special bond.  It always warmed my heart to see them interacting...both of them trying hard to communicate in English and Spanish.
 He also loved Grace.  She brought him joy and made him smile.  Even in his last days, she would make him smile.
I was glad that he met Caleb.  He was amazed at what a big boy Caleb is and how great a disposition he posses.  
Papi, I will miss you dearly.  I am so glad you gave your life to the Lord and I look forward to seeing you in heaven.
your Chabelita

Travel Centerpieces

I recently created four of these bad boys for a retirement party.  It was a travel themed party, the retiree plans on visiting places she never was able to while she worked.  Sounds great, right?  Can't wait to retire and do the the same.  I have a long ways to go till!
 I used my Cricut to make the centerpieces.  I used the My World, Going Places and the Alphalicous cartridges.  I cut out black silhouettes of the various locations.
 I had left over embellishments from travel scrapbooking supplies that I adhered to each of the suitcases.  I wanted it to give the impression of stamps on a well worn suitcase.

Not too bad, huh?  They were pretty large and they looked great at the party.

Summer Vacation! At last!!

At last!  I am on summer vacation.  This school year went by fast, but not fast enough.  It has been a busy school year with the birth of Caleb, maternity leave, and adjusting to two little ones at home.  Lot's of plans for the summer...crafting, dance and swim classes for Grace, resting, working out, and we also have a fun vacation to Santa Barbara planned.  We will also be traveling a lot to Central California to spend time with my dad.
I took this video this past weekend while we were visiting my parents.  I had taken my mom to get a haircut and Grace entertained herself by "sweeping" the floor.  My little helper!  She's changing and growing every day right before our eyes.  She's so tall!  That just adds to the feeling that she no longer my baby, but a toddler soon to be kid...
Speaking of growing up right before our eyes, Caleb is not to behind.  He weighed 20 pounds at his six month doctor visit last week and he's 29.25 inches tall.  Grace weighs 27 pounds and is about 37 inches tall.  We have tall children!  Here is Caleb this morning reaching so hard and rolling from his tummy to his back.  He's an expert at rolling from his back to his tummy, but this was his first time doing it the other way around.  He'll be rolling and crawling in no time!
And Jonas shaved his beard/mustache today!  He looks so different.  He promised himself that when he met his weight goal he would shave it.  I have such a handsome hubby!!  :-)
 Now I need to get on the ball!  I have signed up for a half marathon in January.  More than enough to time to train.  Gotta dust off my running shoes and hit the road!
 Grace was so excited!  My mom, Abuelita, gave her all these Ty Beanie Babies that she had lying around.  She's been playing with them since we got home.
First time giving Caleb a sippy cup. He loved it more for it's teething properties.  He actually did get some water in at one point and it caused him to choke a bit.  He'll get used to it!  Awww, he's growing up too fast!  He's well on his way with baby food too.
As for action on the crafting front, I'm currently working on making sock monkeys.  So far so good.  And I need to finish up a few more tutu hairbow holders that I started in April and never finished.  I am also working on decorations for Grace's Elmo birthday party.  She turns 2 next month!!!  Yikes!!

Farm Chipboard Album

I made this cute Farm themed chipboard album for a friend's daughter who just turned 1.  The birthday party was at a farm.  So I was inspired to create this cute album.  I used my Cricut to make the barn shaped album and also for a lot of the die cuts.
Its a pretty big album.  A little over 9 inches tall and almost 10 inches wide.  Which is great because it leaves a lot of room for decorations and pictures.

 What's a farm without trees, fruit and a tractor!  I should know!  I grew up on a farm in the farmlands of the Central Valley.

 Here's my little farmer girl die cut and her pig.  Too cute!
 This page screams "Old MacDonald."
 I thought it would be cute to add animal sounds to these two pages.

This was a really fun album to make.  I hope it will be a treasured keepsake for my friends and their daughter.
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