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Kalvyn is Now 2!

My baby, Kalvyn turned 2 the last week of March! He has many loves with some being animals, figurines, hats, helping mama cook, following his big brother, and anything to do with nature and the great outdoors. He amazing with his physical abilities of jumping, balancing, running and pretty much anything athletic.

Kalvyn is my challenge but also my joy! He is extremely expressive with his emotions, but is quite shy when in public. He is super independent and stubborn making us butt heads on most days, which is teaching me the value of patience and how I need so much more of it. Kalvyn is still our family’s cuddle bug, he is quite sensitive knowing just the right time to give a hug! We love him more than words can say and we are super grateful to have him in our family!

Here are a handful of my favorite pictures from the last year:

My Little Climber!So happy to be Playing in the Water on a HikeKalvyn with his Cowboy hat onKalvyn with Ski GogglesAll Smiles with his Mickey Mouse Ears in Disney WorldHappy 2nd Birthday Kalvyn!

Posted 4 years ago at 8:59 pm.

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Portrait Dolls

Before we left to Florida I was super busy sewing these cute dolls for Jaymz’s school auction.Class Portrait Dolls

Each student drew a self portrait and I made a doll to look like their portrait. Each student will be able to purchase their doll at the school auction! Hopefully they will bring in a good amount of money for the school.

School Auction Portrait Dolls

I am so happy to have the project completed with a total of 25 dolls made in less than 3 weeks. I have been told I need to start a business doing this, I am seriously thinking about about doing it, what do you think and how much would you be willing to pay?

Thank you for your help and advice.

Posted 4 years ago at 10:31 pm.

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Florida Disney World Vacation

***This is a Fair Warning to you, this is a very long post with lots of pictures and fun adventures of our week in Florida!

**Also remember you can always click on the picture to make them larger.

We went on a family fun vacation down to Orlando, Florida; we had a very busy but fun packed week with my little sister, Alicia. I really think we all needed a vacation after the vacation because we were all so tired, but we have memories that will last a lifetime and that was the whole purpose of the trip.

We arrived in Florida the afternoon of Tuesday March 11th, checked into our hotel, then headed to Downtown Disney to meet up with my sister as she was just getting off work. We walked around looking at the shops talking, catching up and eating dinner.

Wednesday the 12th we woke up early to have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s which started our magical experience with meeting Goofy, Donald, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto while we ate our delicious all you can eat buffet of breakfast goodies. Our favorite items were the Mickey waffles!

Chef Mickey'sAfter breakfast we headed over to Magic Kingdom starting with the Buzz ride, then moving to Space Mountain because there was not a long wait and we could use our fast pass on other rides. Jaymz was unsure about Space Mountain, but ended up liking it because it was fast and a big kid ride. While at Magic Kingdom we met more characters and was able to go on lots of the rides because it wasn’t all that busy due to it being a week day in the spring and a little rainy.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin   Space Mountain
Stitch   Tea Cups
Minnie Mouse & Daisy Duck

We ate lunch at Be Our Guest, which was a great surprise for me because I thought they only served dinner as a sit down 5 corse meal and I was not going to do that with 2 kids! Lunch was a quick service meal only until 2pm, but a very long wait and in the end not really worth it to me, although it was fun to be able to eat in the ballroom since Jaymz had seen it on TV and wanted to eat there.

Eating at Be Our Guest, Quick ServiceThe rain cleared by 3pm for the parade. We got to see a brand new parade that was revealed to the public just the Sunday before we came! It was great and the kids loved it!

Magic Kingdom's Parade FavoritesAfter the parade we went on some more rides, purchased some Mickey ears for the boys, met up with talking Mickey and said goodbye to aunt Alicia who was tired and needed to get home to her dog. Brandon and I then found a spot for the light parade and fireworks. I stayed at the spot with Kalvyn, who was sleeping, while Jaymz and Brandon went on another ride and looked around. We watched the parade and fireworks. We waited for the crowd to clear and then got a picture of us in front of the castle kissing since 11 years ago to the day Brandon asked me to officially be his girlfriend and date exclusively! If you look closely at the picture you can see what happens after 11 years and how we didn’t even care that we were photo bombed. The photographer wanted to take another picture, but we decided it was too late at night and that we should head back to our hotel. Jaymz wanted to take to monorail back. We got to the transportation center and found out there was not a bus back to our hotel from there so we had to ride it back to Magic Kingdom and then get on a bus from there. My poor boys were so tired with only standing room on the bus Jaymz started falling asleep standing so someone offered their spot to him and he crashed.

My Boys with their Mickey Ears   Kisses at the Castle
Magic Kingdom

Before we headed to Epcot on Thursday the 13th we let the boys sleep in a little bit since we were so off schedule and were up so late. We enjoyed walking around Epcot, eating food as we went along, since it was the Flower and Garden Festival with a lot of fun topiaries around. Instead of walking the boys raced together, it was really cute watching them play so well. Kalvyn was so cute getting into position at the starting line, we took a bunch of pictures! We also met Mulan, Aladdin, and Jasmine while walking around the world.

Walkin Around Epcot Eating Dole Whip   Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Racing Through Epcot   Mulan, Aladdin, and Jasmine

Jaymz has been learning about coral reefs at school; making the Nemo ride, looking at the aquariums, and talking to the scuba diver a great learning experience. He also really enjoyed the Test Track, creating 2 cars and going really fast on the ride twice, making it the best ride/activity of the day!

Test Track   Epcot

Friday the 14th, we woke up early to spend the day at Hollywood Studios. This was my favorite park. We started with meeting Buzz and Woody then going on the ride! We then went over and met Vanellope & Ralph and Frozone & Mr. Incredible. While waiting in line, Brandon took the boys around to animation stations, they really enjoyed finding out what character they are like. Then, we went on my favorite ride and Jaymz’s least favorite ride…the Tower of Terror. We lived through it and Jaymz was very proud of himself, but asked never to go on it again…ever.

Buzz, Woody, Ralph, Vanellope, Frozone, and Mr. Incredible   The Hollywood Tower Hotel

We then ate lunch quickly at Pizza Planet (from Toy Story) so we could make it to Kalvyn’s favorite thing…the Disney Junior Show. After the show we met Jake from Jake & the Neverland Pirates (1st character Kalvyn stood by without his thumb in his mouth and out of mom or dad’s arms). We only rode on one more ride, Star Tours.   The only other one we would have been interested in was Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but the line was too long and we did not put it as a fast pass and Jaymz was just a couple inches too short to ride it.

Meeting Jake from the Neverland PiratesWe had a little time before dinner at the 50’s Primetime Cafe, so we went to play on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground…best decision ever! Both boys loved it and didn’t want to leave!

Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground

We ate dinner, which I was super excited about, but was greatly disappointed with. I made sure to make reservations so we could eat at a table with an old TV, to then be told we didn’t fit at that table. We decided Kalvyn could sit on my lap so we could be at that table, which worked out because he fell asleep in the carrier as we waited to be seated.  He ended up sleeping through dinner and woke up as we ordered dessert. The food was good, but super overpriced (more than other Disney places in my opinion). Our server was fun but that was it, we had to push our limits with her to get her to say anything about our elbows being on the table or not eating our veggies before dessert, not what I read up on before I made the reservation. All in all it was fun, I guess I just expected more and was a little disappointed with the service and price.

Eating at 50's Prime Time CafeAfter dinner Jaymz asked to go on Star Tours again and to make a lightsabor. I said we could go on the ride one more time and that we would think about the lightsabor and maybe do it another day. As we walked out of the gift shop (the exit of the ride) to head back to the hotel there was someone recruiting kids for the Jedi training show. We talked Jaymz into doing it. He loved getting trained and fighting Darth Vader to become a young padawan (he was super cute and talked about it the rest of the trip). Brandon was one proud Papa!

Disney's Star Wars Jedi Training   Hollywood Studios

Our last park to go to was Animal Kingdom on Saturday the 15th.  I was also excited to meet my sister’s boyfriend for the 1st time, since he had the day off, and joined us for a day of fun! We started the day with meeting Pooh and Tigger. We then went on Dinosaur and ate a lunch that I packed.

Meeting Pooh and Tiger   Dinosaur

We went to ride a different dinosaur ride, but Jaymz ended up not being tall enough, so we went on Triceratop Spin which Kalvyn could go on as well and he was thrilled! We walked over to Everest and went on that ride as well.

Tricepatop Spin
Expedition Everest   Expedition Everest Conquered

After Everest we started to head to the Safari Tour but stopped to meet Baloo and King Louie along the way. We then decided to miss the parade to keep going to make sure we could go on a Safari. I am sad because I didn’t end up taking any pictures while on the Safari!

Baloo and King LouieNext, was to go to Rafiki’s Planet Watch by train, which Kalvyn loved riding the choo choo! Outside the building to meet Rafiki we played some games with Chip and Dale and then we met them, had them sign the autograph books, and Kalvyn made the big leap to hugging them by himself. We then went into meet Rafiki, but Kalvyn was too not interested, he just wanted to look at all the animals and bugs that were out to see.

Chip and Dale   Rafiki

Lastly, we met Doug and Russell from Up and took some pictures in front of the Tree of Life before heading for an early evening at home.

Doug and Russell from Up   Animal Kingdom

The next morning, Sunday the 16th, we went to Cocoa Beach and baked in the sun! It was a little too cold and way too windy to swim, but we enjoyed watching a kitesurfing competition, collecting sea shells, walking along the beach, and PLAYING in the sand! I say we baked in the sun because we really did…I put sunscreen on us but I guess not very well and we all got good sunburns!

Cocoa BeachOur last full day in Florida was Monday, March 17th, St. Patricks Day! We went to Downtown Disney to get some family photos. Kalvyn was not interested in getting pictures so we got what we could, got embarrassed, and got out of there! I now remember why we don’t have professional pictures of when Jaymz was 2 years old!

Family Pictures in Disney WorldWe did some shopping while at Downtown Disney, then decided to head over to Hollywood Studios to do what Jaymz wanted to do for his last hurrah…Star Tours once again (his 4th and final ride). He also wanted to make a double lightsabor for his souvenir. Thank goodness for my sister and her tickets, because it poured rain all day and with us all exhausted, sun burned, wet, and hungry we quickly went on the ride, made a lightsabor with Jaymz, ate lunch, and went back to the hotel to rest and pack up. We also canceled going back out in the rain to go to Downtown Disney, where there was celebrations at an Irish Pub for St. Patrick’s Day, to instead eat at our hotel.

Tuesday the 18th, Brandon woke up early to sneak out of the room to purchase Frozen from the hotel gift shop, the day it came out (perks of staying at Disney). I then surprised the boys later on our flight home by letting them watching it!

Watching Frozen on the Plane Ride Home

It was a bitter sweet day…I was happy to head home, get back on a routine, and to sleep in my own bed, but also very sad to say goodbye to my sister and the warm weather. Oh what a week of fun in Florida! We want to shout out a special thank you to my little sister, Alicia, for helping make it happen, spending her vacation time with us, and making this a wonderful trip with memories to last a lifetime…we love you!

*On a little side note: I am extremely happy that we purchased Memory Maker through Disney. We got so many wonderful pictures that I would suggest this to anyone going to make this purchase! Yes, we could have taken our own photos (and we did), but I didn’t have to worry and I got to experience Disney for my 1st time without worrying about capturing pictures of everything. We got all the ride pictures and it was also fun to see Jaymz’s reactions to the magic shots (having Tinker Bell in our hands, Stitch sitting next to him, etc). We used Brandon’s phone when there was not someone available to take pictures and my sister also gave me a bunch of pictures she took, because I am a freak when it comes to pictures and I never seem to have enough!

Posted 4 years ago at 9:18 am.

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Valentine Gifts 2014

I love Valentine’s, but I am a little sad this month has been so busy & I have not been able to do all I planned with my boys. Although I am very excited to do Jaymz’s class party tomorrow & watch him hand out his cute Valentine’s to his teachers & friends.

Here are his cute Valentine’s this year:

We choose to do Crush Valentine’s for Jaymz’s teachers & he has a lot of them…his main teacher, a student teacher, & a para which is a teacher’s helper in the classroom. Then he also has his art, drama, PE, & spanish teachers. He also wanted to include the liberian, so we had a lot to do but not a lot to spend. We found the 6 pack of glass bottled Strawberry Crush Soda at 1 Walmart in the Denver area after calling all around the entire city. I was so happy because I did not have to order them online & pay for shipping & the 6 pack was only $3.38. I then took Jaymz’s pictures from our photo shoot we did earlier this month here at home, made the tag & printed it as a 4×6 through Costco for $0.13 each making these little Valentin’s very cost effective; only being about $0.70 each without tax!

Strawberry Crush Teacher ValentineNext was Jaymz’s classmates & friends Valentines. I saw this cute Army Valentine online & fell in love but could not find nice little army men for a good price anywhere. One day we were at the Dollar Tree thinking we will just go with whatever they have…which their little ones really looked cheep & crappy; then we saw some larger army men with 4 in one package meaning they were 4 for a $1 & decided to just do it. I made the tag on the computer & printed it at home onto card stock I already had, so these ended up about $0.25 each without tax because I also already had the twine. I love them and think they are one of the the cutest non candy Valentines I have seen!

Army Troop Valentine

Last was our cards to send to our family from both boys. I took pictures from our photo shoot we did earlier this month & made cards just like the tags for the Crush Valentines. I also printed them at Costco, bought a large package of plain white envelopes, paid for stamps (the most expensive part) & mailed these cute babies to our family!

Boys Valentine's Card I hope you all enjoy the LOVE & have a wonderful Valentine’s Day tomorrow!!!

Posted 4 years, 2 months ago at 3:35 pm.

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School Auction

I am one of the room mom’s in Jaymz’s Kindergarten class this year; I have been doing parties all year and Valentines will be my last because I am now on auction duty for a classroom project. I am so excited about it! I decided to have the kids draw self portraits and I will make a doll to look as close to it as possible. I practiced this weekend with Jaymz drawing a picture of his teacher and making a doll for her. Now onto making 24 more cute dolls!Miss Piazza's Auction Doll & Picture

Posted 4 years, 2 months ago at 10:34 am.

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No Time…

I am so sorry I have not been on updating all of you on the fun we have been having…I just cannot seem to find the time to get on and sit at the computer lately.

We had a wonderful holiday season celebrating Christmas here in Denver with my big brother, Blaine visiting us from San Francisco.

We celebrated New Years quietly here at home while I watched a friends little boy. Our resolution again this year is to pay down more bills, eating at home more, getting more exercise, and just having more fun as a family! Not that we didn’t do these last year we just need to keep up on them so we can stay healthy and happy and keeping pushing forward.

We also just had a wonderful weekend with Grandma Connie (Brandon’s Mom) and Grandma Ranch (Brandon’s Grandma) visiting us from Utah to celebrate Brandon’s Birthday! We are so grateful they were able to come visit us and have a fun weekend with them.

Hopefully I can get life organized or get less busy so I can find a little time to keep you all updated.

Posted 4 years, 2 months ago at 11:48 am.

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Holiday Card 2013

We are enjoying our wonderful life one day at a time!

Holiday Card 2013

This is our holiday card I designed, it was the 3rd one I did this year because I didn’t love the other 2. I hope you all enjoy it and we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and new year!

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 5:38 pm.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Gingerbread House

Our Elf on the Shelf, Lox brought us a gingerbread house to put together and decorate yesterday.

Our Elf on the Shelf bringing us a Gingerbread House to DecorateI found that I am just as inpatient as the kids because I did not wait for the frosting to set before we started decorating and it ended up collapsing. Thank goodness I was able to salvage it!

Our Gingerbread HouseI think decorating the gingerbread house was just about eating candy for Kalvyn, I kept catching Kalvyn shoveling candy in his mouth. I would tell him to decorate the house, so he would put a piece or two on then eat some more…it was too funny, he would also get mad at us for decorating the house with the candy he wanted to eat.

Jaymz enjoyed the candy and the decorating…he was a little sad that our house didn’t look like the picture but was happy it was still standing in the end.

Lox, Our Elf on the Shelf loving our Gingerbread HouseWe woke up this morning to our elf loving our gingerbread house…thank goodness it is still standing!

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 10:22 am.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Making Butter

I want to start having my boys help me in the kitchen once a week at the very least. I feel it is very important to have children in the kitchen, especially when their mommy is in the kitchen as much as I am! I am going to be sharing what we do in the kitchen and our experiences with you.

I thought about what my boys could do to help with Thanksgiving dinner this past week and it came to me; make homemade butter…it keeps them busy and they feel accomplished when it is completed.

My Kids Making ButterOur homemade butter took longer than we expected with the kids because they do not shake as hard and they get bored/tired a lot easier. Brandon also had to finish the jar because Jaymz decided that he would shake it so hard to hurry and finish it but he hit his lip, giving himself a fat lip instead!

To make our butter we took a mason jar, filled it half full with heavy whipping cream, put the lid on it and shook for about 15-20 minutes.

My boys were so excited to butter their rolls with the butter we made on Thanksgiving and I am so happy they enjoyed being in the kitchen with me.

Buttering Our Homemade Dinner Rolls

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 9:11 am.

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What’s for Dinner: Stuffing French Toast

I made this yummy Stuffing French Toast with cranberry syrup for brunch, it was really yummy and something a little different than regular Thanksgiving leftovers.

Leftover Thanksgiving Stuffing French Toast & Cranberry SyrupI got the idea for waffles from the left over stuffing from friends and I saw it online somewhere. Unfortunately we do not have a waffle maker because ours broke a while back and we are on a strict budget where there is no money right now to purchase a new one, so I made do and thought of what I did have.

I first thought to use a flat pan and make it like a pancake but I wondered if it would fall apart, then I realized I have a cast iron grill pan with cast iron panini press so I put our left over stuffing in it until it was completely hot all the way though.

While the stuffing was warming up I took half a cup of maple syrup and some leftover cranberry sauce heated it until boiling. Once they were both heated I served up this yummy brunch.

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 12:25 pm.

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