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 ;)


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