Monday, December 28, 2009

A Truly Wonderful Christmas

Our Church Missionaries eating with us Aaron helping to clean up after mixing cake batter!
The tradition in our family is to open presents at midnight on Christmas eve, which is really Christmas day if you think about it. We invite friends and family over to have a tremendous feast of pozole, tamales, turkey and anything else we can think of to eat :) We had fun chatting with the Elders from our church, eating, dancing and just having a great time. We especially liked to watch the snow fall right outside our window while we were having dinner. It was nice to have my sister and her family here visiting from Ft. Hood and my mom and grandma visiting us from Laredo. My grandma is such a blessing to have around, especially since the children can have good memories of her being here for Christmas. She loves, loves, Christmas! She couldn't wait for us to open presents and every night she would walk over to the big Christmas tree in the dining area and stare at the twinkling lights. At midnight all of us tore into our presents. This year, Sergio and I told the kids that they would only get 3 presents each. They understand times are tough with Sergio's cleaning business being gone and him starting new adventures. We are very fortunate to have such understanding children. They each asked for 3 very inexpensive items. On Christmas Day the kids get to check their stockings which are usually filled with candy, snacks and other small gifts. We are also fortunate that we had accumulated a lot of points on our bank debit card so that we could trade those points in for gift cards! KA-CHING! Those came in real handy ;) On Christmas Day we go out to see a movie then for brunch at IHOP. We went to see OLD DOGS. The kids enjoyed it. We had some yummy french toast, pancakes, and hot chocolate for brunch. Afterwards, we just came home and relaxed. Overall I feel truly blessed by my Heavenly Father for allowing me and my family to have a roof over our heads, food to eat and vehicles in which to get to work. I am thankful that I have a good job and am mindful of so many others who have SO much less. I hope that my children will learn good lessons about life and being humble and that Christmas does not come in a box. Christmas is about being together with family and friends and sharing our love with others. Ours, was a truly wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I tell ya it's fun to be 79!

My grandma, whom I call Viache (don't ask me why or what that means, I made it up when I was 9) has been here visiting us for about 1.5 months (yes I have a thing about time and numbers) and she just brightens up our days and nights with her silly anecdotes (I think WE are the only ones who think they're silly, she is totally being SERIOUS) but she tells the most hilarious stories. Here's a few gems (and I am totally NOT mocking her):

We were talking about genealogy and our family tree, where we come from, the tribe her grandma belonged to in Mexico etc. Then out of nowhere she tells us her grandfather was an Arab! Wha....Hello, grandma your grandfather was French! Hence your "white skin"!! I just went along with her and told her "no wonder people think I'm Pakistani!"

Another one....we were talking, or rather she was about her divorce from that good for nothing sob...(her words, my grandpa) and how she stopped working with her lawyer because one day he started coming on to her! Wha.....I asked, "Grandma, the lawyer you hired a couple of years ago...or are you talking about some random lawyer back when you were young?" To which she replied "I wish he WAS young, HA". I just sat there dumbfounded.

She recounted how the attorney would lock the door behind her and start to "grab her and hug her" so she was "onto him" and would not put up with that sort of behavior and so she stopped going there. (Just for investigative sakes, I called my cousin, with whom she lives and she said everytime grandma went to see said attorney, she was always there with her, in other words this never happened). When I retold the story to Sergio he just had a good laugh. Now, remember I am not making fun of grandma, it's just that her tales get more outlandish with every visit she makes up here.

Last night she was talking to Sergio and telling him some stories about her youth. She told him how she was horrified to see her sister die right in front of her from vomiting! :-O ...umm my grandma is an ONLY child!

I could go on and on, but ....I don't have time right now. Maybe later, after she leaves and I collect more gems. But this morning Sergio (bless his heart) took her shopping to Ross. As most of you know I despise shopping so I am eternally grateful that my dear husband doesn't mind doing these types of things for me and grandma.

Well, anyway, I told him I am going to be shopping for some silver shoes to attend a wedding next week. He sent me a picture of these:

I know he was joking.I HOPE he was joking.

His next text was "grandma likes them". I replied, good but I will look for my own shoes thank you. His next text was "she likes them for her. Her friends would be freaked out if she showed up with them". Like heck they would! The friends she speaks of are at a Daycare she goes to every day!!!

And last but not least, my grandma loves to dance! Now I know where I got my dance moves (and I am not saying that in a self deprecating way;))

Sergio took a video of her dancing. Unfortunately I can't seem to upload it. Let me see if I can put it to youtube. Keep in mind she had just started warming up here and was not in "full swing" yet (like when she and I started dancing to Daft Punk music that Ellison uploaded to my pc).

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more zany stories from the two Auroras. (Yes I was named after her...not the Disney Princess, my grandma:))

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feeling the Savior's Love thru children

This past weekend Sergio and I traveled east about 4 hours to visit my CASA child. And even though I have spoken to her many times on the phone and represented her in court several times, I did not know what she looked like. It's funny how we can form images of people when we speak on the phone and many times those images of what they look like are totally wrong. Such was the case with this child, whom I will call Mary.

Mary has had a rough childhood. She was neglected, abused and found wandering around a motel in the middle of the night as a toddler while her parents got high somewhere inside. She and her sibling were later adopted by her foster parents. Later it was found that Mary has paranoid schizophrenia, learning disorders among other issues.

She lives in a special place (CASA regulations state that I cannot give too much info on the child) pretty far away where they can care for her.

So this past weekend Sergio and I decided to go see her. Well actually I can only see her. Sergio cannot have contact with the child since he is not a CASA.

When I first got to the city where she is in...I was wondering what shall I say? What will I talk about? She is 16 but with the mind of a 10 year old. When I finally saw Mary, I saw a beautiful, vibrant African American child. I was overjoyed to finally meet her and so was she to meet me. We spent some time in the room she sleeps in with 5 other girls and she shared her love of the Twilight books, her favorite music, her favorite subjects in school, how's she doing health wise and many other things. As I type this I can't help but smile. You see, Mary brightens up my life. She is like a ray of light in my life. Sometimes I feel so down and sad going thru the motions of everyday commoness and how the world is so bad, blah blah blah, that I feel that I should be doing just a little more. Especially for children. They truly brighten my life!

It's funny because when I was younger I never saw myself as being a wife let alone a mother! I didn't want children. I just wanted to work. It's amazing what a few years will do to you. That plus having 3 kids of my own.

Anyways, as I was saying goodbye to Mary, she just stood there waiting...I wondered, would she mind if I gave her a big hug?? I went for it. I took her in my arms and held her. I loved her.

I could, in that instant, feel my Savior's love. For myself and for her. It's as if he said to me "here I am, feel my love". I left that place feeling completely uplifted. I have never felt that feeling before. I can't really find words to describe it, except that Jesus loves Mary and he loves me too :)

I can't wait to go see her again.

Busy week of Christmas Prep and Testing

The past week was a busy one for us. We decorated the inside of our home and now all that's left is the outside. We are busy planning our Church's Christmas party. We are having a Mexican dinner complete with grilled fajitas, courtesy of my husband, homemade salsa (again Sergio) and all the fixins! We have been busy trying to get the best price for the beef and Sergio has finally done it. We got a good deal at Sam's and Sergio is slated to go by there tomorrow to pick it up. So this week is going to be busy as well. Whew!

But back to LAST week. We took Aaron to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to the Dyslexia center for an evaluation. We are so thankful that he got accepted to this wonderful hospital. They treated us like kings, especially Aaron. We spent the nite at a nearby hotel b/c the drive from our town into the Downtown Dallas Area would have been a nightmare since his appt. was at 8:30 a.m.!

I am so glad we did book a room, b/c that day it was snowing!! We watched all the traffic mayhem from the comfort of our hotel room, all cozied up in bed :D

Then we went down to the hotel restaurant to have a nice breakfast. The hospital is located just 5 minutes from the hotel so we didn't have to worry about the traffic. NICE! We got a really, really good rate for the location and the hotel was really nice. Heavenly Father was with us that day ;)

Aaron enjoyed going there and getting evaluated. The doctors and staff loved him and told us what a sweet guy he is and how funny he is! (This has become a common denominator on everyone who knows Aaron=funny)

At break time, we took him downstairs to see the beautiful, gigantic Christmas tree decorated with stuffed bears. We also got him some fresh popcorn to snack on.

Then we drove home, but first we stopped at the Mall for lunch. We wanted our little guy to enjoy his day and to let him know just how special his mom and dad think he is.

Aaron has been struggling with his reading for the past two years and we think he has either a learning disability or dyslexia (like his dad). His self esteem was suffering last year when he noticed all the other kids reading better and better than him. He would often come home and say "Mom, why am I a dummy?" or "I am stupid, 'cause I can't read". Which of course would break my heart. Thank goodness we decided to let him move on to 2nd grade where he is thriving thanks to a supportive teacher.

So now we wait for our follow up next month. We are praying it won't be that early in the day, and that it won't be snowing ;)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

No cooking for me!

This is our third time that we go out to eat as a family on Thanksgiving! What a treat! My sister and her family joined us this year. It's wonderful not to be cooking and cleaning up. A true treat! The Tanglewood Resort is on Lake Texoma and is quite beautiful. The drive up there is very nice. We had plenty to eat!! The day before we had decorated our two Christmas trees.

It was a very nice day. And aftewards we came home and I took a long nap. Ahhhh what a luxury!
We have so much to be thankful for. But most thankful for having a family and love and lots and lots of laughter!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breast Cancer Survivor and the Carnival

Aaron having fun!


In the Fun House

Sergio trying to win a prize

I love the beautiful colors of the carnival

Aaron's palm tree

This past weekend we went down to south Texas to pick up my grandmother. She comes up north to her annual check up. We didn't want her traveling alone anymore so we decided to go pick her up. It's about a 7 hour drive but thankfully Sergio enjoys driving.

We decided to take Aaron with us this time since his presence has been requested quite frequently by the relatives :) All the way down there he kept looking out for the palm trees that line the highway and entrance into town. He asked why are there palm trees in Laredo? Because it's tropical. What's tropical mean? It means it's pretty close to the ocean and it's hot.

So all the while he kept looking for the palm trees to signify our proximity to Laredo. While we were driving in, Aaron spotted a ferris wheel and a little carnival. "Can we go there so I can ride it?" he asked. We will go tomorrow. And you can bet he didn't forget our promise!

So the next day was jam packed. We spent some time with Sergio's parents, went downtown, took Aaron to the carnival where he quickly ran to the ferris wheel, fun house, rollercoaster, etc. He really wanted to ride the Zipper and the Cliff Hanger but Sergio was not up to riding it with him. Aaron was severly disappointed as he is our resident daredevil.

But the main trip was to pick up grandma and also to celebrate her 79th birthday! We took her out to eat to the Olive Garden, one of her favorite restaurants. Upon arriving, she asked me if she had ever been there before. I said, of course she has, this is your favorite. She said "It is?I've never been here before, but it looks nice". OK....grandma.

Grandma trying some "free" wine :)

So inside we ate and then they sang her a nice birthday song complete with hat and salad tongs for making noise! I tell ya my grandma is one trooper! She is an inspiration to me. All the while she was sick with breast cancer she never complained or acted like we should feel sorry for her. And to top it off my dad died a few months after her mastectomy. It was a rough year for our family. Not only watching my dear grandma battle this horrible disease, but then watch how she suffered with even more pain than cancer upon losing her only son (my dad). Such is life.

She has taught me to be strong and Aaron has taught me to look out for the palm trees and enjoy life as if it's one big ferris wheel!! You never know what you're gonna see the next time around!

Monday, October 26, 2009

She's all grown up

Falling in love
Ellison and Bob
A Sweet 5 year old

Well the day finally came and went: My sweet little girl is now an adult. How did this happen? I remember taking her trick or treating as a little girl, where she dressed up as a dalmatian, cowgirl, Mulan, and many more outfits. I truly miss having a little girl. But you know what's best? Having a young woman to talk to. I love listening to Ellison's stories, and about what went on that day at school. I love to listen to all her hopes and dreams and know that she will accomplish anything. What a sweet ride this has been so far, being her mom. From the first day I saw her I was in love with the chubby little baby girl with the huge hazel eyes and shock of dark hair. From the day she could hold a pencil she was drawing. And drawing and drawing. I always knew she'd grow up to be an artist. Sergio and I encouraged her to draw and express herself with the written word. Many nights you could find Sergio and Ellison sitting at the kitchen table, in our little apartment in Carrollton, drawing. She takes after her father the most in the drawing department. Although I am an artist too, Sergio is better hands down.
For her birthday she asked for only two things: to have a "few" friends over and for a drawing tablet. I had to go online and research the best tablets that were also reasonably priced. I found her a WACOM one that is touch and pen. She loves it! I am so happy to have my little Ellison all grown up and can't wait to see how she evolves from a young woman into a woman, mother and wife. Sergio and I have been truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to raise such a caring individual.

Saturday night was her party. Here's a few pics of her and her friends having fun. Having these teenagers around made me feel 20 years younger! We all had a good time.
I am glad she chooses good people to hang around with.
So Happy 18th Ellison, and here's to many more adventures together.

Beating the tar out of PO

Making Smores...ha ha Ellison and Parke look funny

Make a wish!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Makin' Smores

Tonight was a first for me. I got to make some smores! I had never done that before in my life! I had never eaten them either. We roasted marshmallows outside on our fire pit and looked at the stars! What a great fall night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting ready for Halloween

So the tradition continues. Last year we decided as a family to decorate our front lawn as the theme of a Nightmare Before Christmas. It is a great movie (a masterpiece in Ellison's words) directed by Tim Burton and has wonderful music by Danny Elfman. Anyway, we decided to draw and cutout some wooden figures to put on our front lawn. This year we added a couple of more characters. We will add more characters and features as the years go by. Last year, we had several trick or treaters squeal with delight when they heard the soundtrack playing and saw Jack Skellington on the lawn. What can I say? We are a family of artists and musicians ;P

Next, on to creating some more characters for my Charlie Brown Christmas decorations.

I L-O-V-E the holidays!!

Here are Shock, Lock and Barrel made by Ellison and Sergio

Zero in his house, Jack Skellington and the Mayor made by Sergio and Ellison

Zero made by Sergio and sign by Patty

Sally in progress made by Patty

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fabulous Friday!

Many things went wrong today. I would rather not mention specifics, but it bummed me out. Thank goodness I now work out at lunch time and that made my day go faster and a little better. All this week hasn't been bad, though. Last Friday I went to get some blood drawn to see what my liver panels were showing. Great news! They are down to normal levels. I guess the starvation diet worked. That and my gettin off all meds! Those meds were making me even sicker.

I had to take control of my own health, and it worked. I still feel tired every morning, not well rested at all, so I am convinced there is something else that is going on.

So, today was not a good day. But I had something to look forward to. Whenever I feel kinda bummed out, I always think to something in the future. What can I look forward to? Well tonight, I remembered is Fabulous Friday at church. Crafts time!! YESS! I love crafts, even if I am not that good at it. Immediately upon walking in I got two big hugs from some good friends. Have you ever felt that you just needed a HUG! I think Hugs should be named as some kind of therapeutic medicine. They sure cheered me up! I love looking at how creative some of these women are. They amaze me! So here are some pics of this glummy day that turned out to be a Fabulous Friday !

My creations
Making caramel/candy apples is a good thing!

The snack spread!

Watch making table

Friday, October 2, 2009

Josh is 12 ****Happy Birthday**

A couple of weeks ago, Josh informed me that he was having a few friends over for his birthday. I said "would you like for me to make the invites?", to which he replied, "Nope, already done and passed out to my friends". I was speechless. I always make the invites. When did this happen, when did my little boy become so independent? Well, to tell truth he has always been very independent. As I look back on the past twelve years of Josh's life a big smile begins to creep upon my face. Josh has always been a special boy. He is very loving and cuddly. He is very good to his little brother. Every weekend, he wakes up early and fixes breakfast for himself and his little brother. On any given night you can find them both wrestling on the carpet, and while Aaron hits, pounds and jumps on Josh with all his little might...Josh uses gentle care to "drop" him to the ground without hurting him. Josh is very spiritual and quiet. He is very funny and has a sarcastic sense of humor like both his parents. He is very genuine. Not a fake bone is found in his body. I had a dream about him right before I found out I was expecting him. It is a very special thing that I only share with people close to me. But needless to say, all that I saw in that dream has come true-Joshua Patrick is turning out to be a fine young man that will one day serve the Lord full time. Josh is a fun loving guy who loves, loves, video games. He is very techie and has a very good memory-regardless of what he says about himself, for you see he is also extremely humble.

He is a very good friend. In fact he radiates, this charisma, and even though he is quite shy, people are just attracted to him. Boys gravitate to him for friendship.The good part is that he attracts GOOD people.

Josh has been a big blessing to our family. He greets me everyday after work with a nice big hug! So now, I give him a NICE BIG HUG for his birthday.

Good friends and pizza

Present time! He and his friends are really into Yugi Oh cards and games. His cousins dropped in on him for a few minutes to wish him a happy birthday too
More cards! YESSS!

Feliz CumpleaƑos Josh!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday School Pizza Party

Sergio had an idea to get to know our Sunday School kids better was to have a pizza party at our house. So we decided before the Holidays sneak up on us we'd better do it now. So we had the whole class over for pizza, dancing and fun! Two of our students couldn't make it and we really missed you Emily and Abby. We got some pizza, ate and played some games. It was great to get to know each other better.

We are very blessed to teach this great group of kids. We have been teaching them now for 2 years straight!! Maybe we'll get them again next year too :)

I have always wanted to be a teacher and Heavenly Father answered my prayer by giving me a calling to teach Primary at church. This is now my 6th year teaching and I love it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Going to Laredo

Last weekend Sergio and I took a trip to Laredo without the kids to see his parents. It was fun being without the kids. We had a cookout at my cousin's house one night and we all ate outside. It was a beautiful night. The next day, we had breakfast in Mexico at this gorgeous restaurant where they make the buffet to your specifications. I enjoyed spending time with my family and Sergio's parents.

After breakfast we went shopping downtown Laredo where there are bargains galore! If you like to shop Sam Moon's then Laredo's downtown is a paradise! Clothing, shoes, toys, you name it! Everything at rock bottom prices. (I sound like a commercial). Also the Mall del Norte is one of the finest in the country. THE BEST clothes at cheap prices.

We'll be going back soon. Without the kids ;)

Downtown Laredo

My sister Alma and I at El Rancho Su Majestad El Taco Restaurant

No Diet Coke in Mexico...just Coca Cola Light :)

Sergio at the entrance to the Restaurant


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