Monday, December 14, 2009


Yesterday I made tortillas. I had Nick watch the kids while I made them, but he wasnt feeling well.... Elias ended up licking up flour off the kitchen floor. But- the tortillas got made.

Julian took this picture of the dough. After cutting the shortening into the flour and salt, then adding in the rest of the flour and the water the dough gets kneaded and I roll it into balls.
Then I cheat and use a heated tortilla press to press the balls into uncooked tortillas. Oh and the counters are not dirty, theyre covered in flour and pieces of tortilla that have broken apart.
These are the uncooked tortillas. Good tortillas bubble up. Really good tortillas balloon up!
And while I was making tortillas Elias slipped on the kitchen floor and split his upper lip on the tile. No, he didnt get knocked out, I just couldnt get a picture of it until he fell asleep. But the tortillas taste great! He found out today when he started eating a half eaten one Isaiah had left on the living room floor....
Sorry I cannot publish my recipe, its a family secret but if I know you (and trust you wont start your own torilla business! heehee hee!) I'll send you the recipe to your facebook inbox if youre interested.


and now..... at seven months and four days Elias learns to climb stairs. And he climbs and climbs and climbs!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

birthday boy.

My baby is 7 months old today! And his birthday milestone today was...............
he climbed up to the toilet and we caught him right before he was about to put his hands in the water! Nope, no pictures, we were too busy washing his hands.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


My sister Amanda (child #4/8) just got her mission call and opened it just now and she is going to Guatemala. Guatemala City Central Mission, Spanish speaking. I am so excited for her! I had no idea I would cry so much! I am so happy but I will miss my sister :D LOVE YOU AMANDA! SO PROUD OF YOU!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Orange Chicken and Lettuce Wraps

Im not the greatest cook, if I were, I'd be winning thousands on those Food Network Challenges, but I do enjoy tasty food. Bland food is my enemy. With my own experimenting these are the recipes I came up with for Orange Chicken and Lettuce Wraps. Sure there are many other variations and such but I did them with ingredients that are easy to find and recipes that take only about 15 minutes to make.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY: Mr. Yoshida's Sauce and Panda Express Orange Sauce. Everything else you probably already have.
Orange Chicken:
2 cans chunk chicken (from costco)
1 cup flour (salted and peppered)
2-3 cups of oil
1 cup Orange Sauce
Put the flour in a tupperware type container. Drain the chicken and dump into the flour. Put the lid on and shake shake shake. Open the lid just a crack and shake out the excess flour. Dump the chicken into the heated oil (medium-med high) and fry, turning when browned. Drain the oil. Turn down heat to low and pour sauce over chicken, stirring until well covered. Remove from heat. Let it sit until it cools a little, stirring once or twice.
Lettuce Wraps:
1 Head Iceberg Lettuce, cut in half
1 can chunk chicken or 1 cup of finely chopped chicken (we used our thanksgiving turkey)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 package of ramen noodles, dry, finely crushed
3/4 cup Mr. Yoshida's Sauce
(I also like to add about a tsp of vinegar and 1/4 tsp of crushed pepper flakes for a zestier flavor)

In a small nonstick pan on medium heat stir together the chicken, pecans and noodles then stir in the sauce. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and remove from heat to cool, still stirring occasionally. Spoon into lettuce leaves. Now what I dont have is a dipping sauce, that takes ingredients I dont have in my fridge.
Serve over rice.

cracker barrel

Nick's parents came for Thanksgiving. On Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then to the movies to see Planet 51 and then we did some shopping. These are pictures from Cracker Barrel. Isaiah and Nick's mom Patsy. Elias and Grandpa Avila.
Nick's parents with all their grandkids.


Tempe Festival of Lights Parade

The day after thanksgiving Nick's mom suggested we take the kids to the zoo to see the Zoo Lights. Realizing that it would cost quite a bit for all of us I looked up events for the day and found the Tempe Festival of Lights Parade. So we went to Tempe and watched the parade. When I moved to Arizona in 2001 my first job was at the Harkins Centerpoint/Valley Art movie theatres on Mill Ave in Tempe. It has changed a bit since I worked there but I still really like the area.
Sherriff JOE! :D

Two story bus.

Waiting for the parade to begin.
I know, my pictures are going backward.
Elias discovered that he can escape the buckles on the stroller.

While we were waiting for the parade we got donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Candy was thrown at the parade and I helped the kids make their way to the street so we did get candy enough for them all to share.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


blaaahhhhh! Okay first I want to start off by acknowledging that there are so many wonderful people having hard times right now. Health, loved ones health, finances, home security, job security and so on so I know that I am blessed that our family is well.

So the problem. I have mono. Im tired. I want to cry because Im so tired. Mostly I want my mommy. No one else. Just my kids, my husband and my mommy.

I hate when people ask, 'so who you been kissin'?' Well, hmmm.... JUST NICK.

So this is my rant, this is me venting. I am sick and it doesnt change my kids' behavior for the better, nor does Nick get to get out of work earlier, nor do the dishes wash themselves or the mac & cheese cook itself. So the doctor says I should be feeling back to myself in a few months. Really? A few months? Okay Mom, Im ready to move next door to you!

Oh and to my friends, dont avoid me like the plague, just dont drink out of my water bottle!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nick's Birthday: the aftermath

After leaving Red Robin, Nick and I went to Old Navy and exchanged a couple of Julian's shirts. They were out of the kind we originally bought him so he ended up with this camo shirt. He loves it.
And on Saturday while Nick and I were at Red Robin.... well.... how do I put this.... Sareny bit Carmen on the nose? Hahaha! They were on the trampoline and Sareny got bumped into Carmen and her teeth bumped into Carmen's nose. She is healing just fine, no worries.

And Elias is all over the place!

At Nora's house the two little boys loved playing together, giving hugs and looking out the sliding glass door at the dogs.

Nick's Birthday: Part 2

Embarrasing, yes. Hillarious, maybe. My idea, no. The kids wanted me to make a cake of Nick. Now if I had more time and maybe not had mono and maybe if the kids stopped asking me every 5 seconds if it was done yet it would have turned out better, but here's Nick. He's holding an iPod Touch. Thats what I got him for his birthday. His wonderful parents got him (and me- joint birthday and Christmas gift) a 42" plasma TV. We had gone out with friends on Saturday night so on Sunday we left church after Sacrament meeting to go to his Aunt Nora's house in Chandler. She made him Chico's Tacos (if youre from El Paso you know what these are). She only makes them twice a year and both those times are meant for Nick :D
Nick was ready to blow out the candles.

And here he is laughing because believe it or not, this was taken AFTER he blew. More unbelievable, he only had two candles on the cake. old man.

Now this picture of Nora I had to put up because she is the only person I ever knew to drink her soup through a straw. Thanks for the tacos Nora!

Nicks Birthday. Part 1

This year I decided to put extra effort into Nick's birthday. Previous years have been okay, usually cake and family, or just family and cake. There was even one year I wasn't around because I was at my mom's visiting and poor Nick had to work so he spent it alone. This year Nick had a few celebrations.On Saturday evenings we have a babysitting exchange with two other families. One week we each take turns watching all ten of the kids. Seemingly quite daunting but thats what back yards and paper plates are for! :D Knowing we had a babysitter I invited a few friends to join us at Red Robin for dinner. Zander is the coolest little guy! He was telling Nick his poem he memorized for school. And Brandon was Brandon....
Alayna in the back with her two girls (and I must say her kids were VERY well behaved!), and Hillari up front. Alayna's daughter even sang a solo Happy Birthday to Nick, it was the cutest thing!

Hillari and Keith. Hillari was telling us how Keith wont let them buy a love toilet. A double seat toilet for a person and their love to face eachother in the bathroom. (she was talking about a SNL skit! so funny!)

And Keith and Randy. Kim is the only one who didnt make it in a picture. It was a good thing Randy and Brandon were at complete opposite ends of the table and that the kids were between them acting as a buffer... until Randy hit poor Zander in the head with an ice cube.

We had a lot of fun talking and laughing. Funny thing... my sister Melissa texted me the next day and was like, "why did you leave me a 2 minute long voice mail of just people laughing and talking?" --I checked my phone and apparently I called her.... oops!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The kids watched in awe... As dad's Corvette got towed away.
So the transmission can get fixed.


Elias was born 5/10/09. This is him on 10/02/09, at still 4 months old. I think he was sitting up long before this but I didnt have pictures of it on my phone. This is Elias on 9/18/09, at four months old on all fours.This is Elias on 9/30/09 still four months, doing the bear stance.
Elias started crawling shortly after the bear stance, at just a week into being five months old. This picture was taken on 10/22/09 he was pulled up to the couch on his knees.
And just a few days ago I made myself an icecream cone and he decided to eat it. Bad mama. Bad.

And yesterday Elias turned 6 months old! And today he pulled himself up all the way on his feet!
I love my Elias. I am so glad he can crawl! It makes my busy life so much easier knowing I can set him down with some toys to play with and when hes done he will just crawl over to me and I know its time to feed him.

Grandpa and Toys!

One of Julians friends at school told him that The Great Pumpkin comes to people's houses anytime between Halloween and Thanksgiving and if kids leave their least favorite Halloween candy by the front door and The Great Pumpkin will eat it and leave a toy. WHAT!? Okay now I know some parent made this up to get rid of candy but now I have to buy my kid a toy to ensure that his classmate doesnt find out that The Great Pumpkin is not real and have some parent call me up angry that I exposed the Great Pumpkin as a sham. So the night Julian decided to leave his candy out the "Great Pumpkin" left him a note. Basically an IOU. Only Carmen and Julian had left out a candy so last night The Great Pumpkin came with a gift for each of them. Julian got a Bakugon and Carmen got Babies in My Pocket. Isaiah cried all morning for not getting something. OOOOOOPS on my part!!! So today I ran to Target and got him a Bakugon too.

Today the older two went outside while the younger two were napping. They didnt understand why we couldnt go to the park to ride bikes, even after an hour of me repeating myself, "If I leave the boys at home, alone, I will go to JAIL!"

A few days ago we made chalk drawings on the driveway. This is mine. Its Bear, from 'Happy Birthday, Moon.' When Nick got home I told him, I drew Bear in the driveway with chalk, and he was like, "The BEAR, like BEAR GRYLLS?" And I was like, "Why would I draw Bear Grylls???" His response,
"I dont know, you do wierd things a lot."

My dad came to visit and he took us to Walmart and bought us candy and then we went to dinner at Panda Express, the kids' favorite!

And one day I found Elias playing in Carmen's candy bucket.

And this is what the kids look like playing with toys. I sent this picture to my sister and she honestly thought I had sent her a picture from a day care. Golly. Anyways, the kids love their toys!

Isaiah is so funny when he plays with playhouses. He talks for the characters and it usually goes like this, "Super Batman! Batman, batman, batman! OOOOhh Robin! Robin! Get bad guy! No bad guy! No!"

Elias likes sports. He is always playing with balls, bats, and toy golf clubs.