Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Fun

Every Year at this time Steven has the opportunity to bring his family to the Disney Holiday Party. It is always a crazy, fun night because we start out after the kids bed times. The party starts at 8PM and goes until 12:30AM. Basically a total free for all, running around the park, riding exciting rides, eating churros and Ice cream. We had a wonderful time as a family. It is fun to let loose and just enjoy! My favorite part of the whole night is the parade. We always bring a blanket and make a cozy little spot along the parade route. We snuggle together and eat treats and enjoy the magic Disney provides. Lots of fun for the kids and those who are kids at heart.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Super Special Surprise Day

Totally silly name, I know, but our family coined this phrase for the time Steven takes us on a surprise adventure. My sweet Husband loves to spoil his family and surprise us with new exciting things all the time. The adventures are random and unexpected and we are always thrilled when we hear, "It's super special surprise day!" God has gifted this man with a huge heart for gift giving and we are the ecstatic recipients!
So yesterday, once again we heard those exciting words and were off on a new adventure. Usually Jaclynn is included, but this time she had to stay with Grandma and Papa (Steven's parents). We were out the door at 7:30am, forty-eight degrees, frost on the roof tops (finally feels like were in the right season), semi- sleeping children, and four tickets to see the live stage show and new Disney/Pixar 3D movie Bolt at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood!
It was great! The movie was hilarious and clever. Totally entertaining for the kids and the adults. This was the first time the kids and I had been to the El Capitan. Steven grew up going to see all the new Disney movies and stage shows with his parents and siblings and wants to continue this tradition with our family. We are definitely not opposed, and look forward to the next "Super special surprise day" at the El Capitan Theater. In all my own excitement about my first trip there, I completely forgot to take any pictures of our adventure. Oh well, there is always next time! Hint, hint! (steven :) ) Thanks Babe!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A day at the beach

Yes it is the end of November and we are still enjoying a walk on the beach. I have never appreciated living in Southern California more than I have this past year. I have always loved the beach. I could be there everyday. I would love to live close enough that we could walk the beach every morning. 
Yesterday the shore couldn't have been more beautiful. The sun was glistening off the shallow water left by the low tide. I was overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness that I could be there with all of my kids just simply enjoying the seaside. It was therapeutic. I was also thankful to here little shouts of glee from the kids. They too have a love for Gods gorgeous creation. One at a time they would run past me and say "I like the beach Mom" or "I love the sea!".
My grandmother "Situ" was able to join us along with "Lu Lu" my uncles dog. We had a wonderful time making memories just walking along.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Our little Jaclynn is quickly narrowing in on the one year mark. I don't know how the time has passed so quickly, but it has.  Everyday she tries harder and harder to keep up with her older siblings. She is a fun baby to care for everyday. She makes it way too easy to have three littles.

Calvin is our brave warrior. Daily he battles the treacherous conditions of our backyard to protect his mother and two sisters from spiders and pincher bugs. He beams with pride as he stomps, squashes, and destroys all creepy crawlies that dare come near. It is a funny thing that he is stuck with all girls all the time. He definitely has to endure the girly things on a daily basis. At least he gets to take on the role of our protector while Daddy is away. He is growing into such a wonderful young man. I can't believe his third birthday is just around the corner.
This picture makes me laugh. It actually is quite characteristic of my kids.
Serious Sydney and Crazy Calvin.
Sydney is FIVE! She just had her fifth birthday. Wow! I am still in shock. She is a tremendous blessing in the lives of this little family. Her heart is so full of love for all of us and most everyone she comes in contact with. She has a desire to serve others that amazes me. God has gifted her greatly in that area. My prayer is that the Lord allows me to direct her successfully during these crucial years. Since she is my oldest I can better see what things draw her out and cause her to think and react. It has been an awesome journey getting to know our eldest young lady as she grows out of toddlerhood into her adolescence.
( Flowers from her Daddy on her birthday)

Update on Kindergarten:
She is doing very well. We are having tons of fun with our new homeschool journey. We meet with an academic advisor every four weeks to turn in work and check up on Sydney's progress. At our most recent meeting she said Sydney was right on track and was a very intelligent little girl. Sydney impressed her with her amazing memorization abilities. She has a very strange ability to remember books and events and things we've learned about years ago and recite them exactly as they were told to her. Her memory goes all the way back to when she was 18 months old. She vividly remembers the summer before Calvin was born and the many events that took place. Trips we took and all the details about them too. It is weird, you have to experience it to get the full effect. It is funny though she is not the kid who sits down to do school work or even her Awana memorization verses, and says give me more. She is definitely a hands on learner. She wants to touch and hear and explore the real world examples of things. She is not a challenge to teach but it is challenging for me to be creative enough for her. Creativity is something I have always longed to have more of. Hopefully I'll develop more creativity as I gain experience as a homeschooling mom.
At the end of the day all is well hear. We are getting ready for the busy season of Holiday shopping, eating, and cheer. More to come soon, Lord willing.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Organized Christmas

I just have to give a little reminder about a site a good friend referred me to three years ago.(Thanks Laurie!) It is called OrganizedChristmas.com. You can click on the link OrganizedHome.com to the right and scroll down just a bit to click on the Christmas Holiday plan link. I have done this for the last tree years and it is a huge help. It is all free and she gives a very detailed schedule of to-dos over the course of six weeks in order to break up all of the tasks of preparing for celebrations, sending cards, decorating, cooking and gift wrapping. This starts the last week in October so check it out soon to see if it will work for you. In addition to this, she also has a program called the Holiday Grand Plan which helps you turn your house inside out to prepare you for the Holidays. This plan started August 29th so you'd be a little behind but oh well. It is worth the shot for the sake of an organized home! Now we all know that my home is no where near what someone would call organized. But at least for the Christmas time tasks I have been able to use this site and yield some great results. Now I am just waiting for the organizednormalday.com site to pop up! Wouldn't that be nice?!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Summer Catch Up

We are nearing the end of the season for fun. (I have no idea why I am typing with an underline. I can't get rid of it. Bear with me.) As the Summer closes I'll catch you up on a few of the happenings around here. I realized that I have way too many cute pictures of the baby so I had to post most of them. At least I have pictures of my third, right?
Jaclynn with her funny little toothy grin.

  She is usually content enjoying her surroundings and watching her siblings play. Ahhhhh the joy of a content Baby. Or is it experience and age that have given me ease with this one?

Out for a drive in the Jeep. She actually thinks she will be ready for the open highway  when she's six. She also thinks she is ready for the real Jeep she has asked Daddy to buy her. We'll see.
Digging fun at the Zuniga-Bartlett-Andrews Family Beach Blast!
Play time at my parents house one recent hot weekend
Such a big boy now. Calvin is growing so quickly both physically and mentally. He is following along with Sydney absorbing new information and remembering it. How does it happen so quickly? Our little ones go from being so incapable and dependent to totally capable and independent of their Mamas. Way too fast.

Schools in! Our dear little Sydney started Kindergarten this year! I still can't believe it! She is doing well and is on her way toward becoming a reader! We decided years ago to home school our kids and and couldn't be more excited that we did. This experience so far, we are six weeks in, has been tremendous! I am thrilled to experience this kind of learning with my kids. It has been a wonderful blessing in our lives. We have been able to get creative with our methods of teaching and also change up the "classroom" a bit. The next few pictures are of a school day at the beach. Who needs pencils and paper when you have drift wood and sand?! 
More to come about our homeschooling adventure...

Happy Kid

 Steven and I were able to enjoy 
a date to an Angels game.
Always a good time had when I'm 
at an Angels game with my Hubby.

 This is our Baby Jack Jack, Jackie Snackie,  and many 
other silly names we all call this chubby little baby.
Our Calvinator
On her way to her first Dodger game. Pink bow, 
a must, she is always called a boy!
 Thanks for the bow Annie!
Twins? Looks like it huh? Actually Calvin is bigger. 
His legs are just a few inches shorter. 
Definitely can't tell they are twenty-six months apart!

Now we are well into Autumn and I am ready to abandon Summer altogether and move quickly into bulky sweaters and chilly mornings. Although my plans for the new fall are on hold as we suffer through temperatures soaring into the high nineties. So here at home we are still experiencing the joys of summer. Pool play days, trips to the beach, days locked inside sitting by the AC. The change of season never comes too quickly. As one ends I always find myself longing to be thrust into the next one. Especially the Fall. I love the summertime, but there is nothing like the cool, crisp and refreshing new mornings of the Fall.  
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


"Seasons change and so did I, you need not wonder why, there's no time left for you, there's no time left for you, no time left for you. No time, no time I got got got got no time. I got got got got no time!"
         -The Guess Who
It is just after 3 am and I am wide awake. For some reason, my poor body is so sleep deprived that if I go to bed early (9 pm), I wake up wide eyed five hours later. So, I have been up since two trying to fall asleep when this song came into my head. It won't leave. Most of you probably don't know it, that's okay, you get my point. Or rather God's.? Is He trying to tell me something? Or is it crazy to think He could use lyrics from a 60's/70's band, surely on some form of illegal drug, to prompt something in my heart. Far fetched? Maybe not. First my thoughts go to this blog, which I enjoy having and documenting our life as a place for memory preserving. I have certainly had  "no time" for blogging. No big deal though. There are more important things for me to check off the list at this point. Now at this extremely early hour I am left with the question, what or who have I been screaming, whispering, saying over and over in my head "I've got got got got no time!" to? Hmmmm? Difficult question, I know. Challenging too. As I typed that my sweet Sydney, sleepily strolled out of her room. Potty break from her slumber. Now back to bed. I will ponder this through tomorrow. All I do know is, time is a very complicated thing. It seems as though we are as a society always struggling for more of it. Everything is about time. Needing more, wanting more, scheduling more, doing whatever it takes to accumulate more. How could we have grown so off base? Why do any of us ever think we could change the amount of time we have for anything. God is the author and creator of life. Including the time we spend alive. His plan is good. Can we believe that and trust Him with our time?
As the Lord wills it, I will post more about the ins and outs of our last month. If there is time of course! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Growing our kids and a garden!

I had to stick in a cute little picture of Jaclynn too. And I have to mention this sweet baby is about to crawl! She is just dying to follow the kids around the house. I don't blame her they are so wild and crazy and usually have tons of fun, I would want to tag along too!

I have always enjoyed the outdoors. I love to tend to a garden or even just water the grass. This past spring we planted a garden of green beans, carrots, lettuce and watermelon. The kids and I have had so much fun picking things as they grow. We have yet to grow a watermelon though. We have huge vines growing across our garden and now down our lawn but no actual fruit. We may have done something wrong with that one.
Little did I know our back yard would turn into a biology lesson everyday. As our garden grew so did their curiosity with the outdoors. They started noticing all sorts of different bugs and studied them as they inched across our backyard. Calvin even held his own classes on dissection, despite his mothers protests. 
We had a family of birds move in and build a nest under our eaves. Actually three nests, same family. They were an interesting bird family to watch. The "dad" bird tried so hard to build the perfect nest while dodging splashes from the kids in the pool and random water hose sprays. Finally we gave in and let them have the backyard to themselves for two days. At last the perfect nest was built. The "mom" bird sat quietly in that nest for what seemed to be weeks. I never saw her leave and never heard a peep from her. Just still and silent perched on her tiny eggs.( Talk about a gentle and quiet spirit!) Anyway, unfortunately for that family they lost both of their little eggs to the ill effects of gravity. After that, the "mom and dad" flew away and have not been seen again. Yet it was another lesson for my little ones. 
After Jaclynn was born I needed a backyard for the kids to enjoy. Thankfully the Lord provided and we were able to clean it up and have sod laid. Oh what a tremendous blessing it has been! I didn't realize at the start of spring what a wonderful time we would have throughout the summer in what we used to consider a backyard too small to enjoy. Our tiny backyard fits perfectly with our tiny house. Although tiny, it completely served its purpose for our family, and then some.
The lesson was learned and I am always trying to remind myself of who I am and who God is. He is far greater than I have been or will ever be. And knows way more than me too! Why can't I remember that one?!?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Steven!

While my sweet husband is putting the kids to bed after a long birthday weekend of fun, I am going to sneak in a few words about what his life means to me. First of all, I am thankful that the Lord brought his parents together and created through them this amazing man. Twenty-eight years ago today Steven was born. How truly blessed the kids and I are that he was! 

 To the man I love,
Happy Birthday babe! For the last eight years I have celebrated this day with you. Each year it has become more special and exciting as our life has changed. In you, the man of my dreams was created. You challenge me, encourage, support, and teach me in many ways. You believe in me more than anyone and I am forever thankful. 
Our children couldn't have a more exciting life and that is all because of you. You never exclude them or make them feel like they are inferior because they are children. You teach them things that excite their minds and make them want to learn more. You are creating in them hearts for truth and knowledge and souls that long for Jesus.
Thank you for keeping me so special in your heart. For often surprising me with silly little treats or gifts and always looking for opportunities to take me some place I've never been. You truly amaze me.
Your love for us is deep and unending. Thank you for growing our family by leading us to Jesus and giving us an excellent example of a true man.

Happy Birthday to The One I love.....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Real quick

Before I hope into bed to rest up for Steven's Birthday Weekend celebration (yes, the whole weekend, that's the way we do it around here!) I have to talk about a blog I visit often for major encouragement. 
Amazing! Just go and read for yourself. What a blessing some of her words have been to me in my times of lacking faith. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

For the Grandparents

Some of the grandparents have put requests in for more pictures of the kids, so here it is. A collage of the past few weeks of summer play.

Calvin wading in the kiddie pool at one of our favorite summer time parks

One of the many summer days spent swimming laps in our luxurious crystal blue pool, ( $6.99 at Walmart)
This is a rare shot of Sydney. If you haven't already noticed she HATES having her picture taken. If I have a picture of her it is because I took it without her knowing or she has some sort of weird face that is irritated with her picture crazed mother. So, the other day I decided to lure her into a picture session by having her take pictures by the flowers she had just planted. It worked! I think I got about three decent shots. Here is one of them.

I am sure Calvin is relieved Sydney has some one else to "dress up" now.
Jaclynn also loves swimming around the pool. She actually kicks her legs and trolls around on her own.
Look at those thighs! I had to take this picture. It was too cute to pass up!
During VBS week  at church Calvin and Jaclynn enjoyed a play date with Ben and Micah Flude.  Lots of fun at their new house and the babies even got some "play  time " in too! Jaclynn really liked playing with Micah!

Steven took Calvin to feed the ducks at the park. Fun Father Son bonding time. And, as you can see, Calvin does not mind having his picture taken:)

I think Calvin is cool with princess dress up and tea parties as long as he has on his spider man under wear and train conductors hat.