Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Caroling


Dashing through the streets
In our costumes bright-hooray!
To each house we go
Laughing all the way.
Halloween is here,
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to trick-or treat
And sing pumpkin carols tonight!
Oh, Pumpkin bells! Pumpkin bells!
Ringing loud and clear,
Oh what fun Great Pumpkin brings
When Halloween is here!

Some people go Christmas caroling; we go Halloween caroling. How does one go Halloween Caroling you ask? Oh, I will tell you my friend.

STEP ONE: Make Halloween Cookies. Use pink rolling pins. It's the only way to guarantee that your cookies will turn out.


Decorate them. Make a huge mess while doing it. Or if you are like Xander, lick and eat the decorations before you put them on your cookie.


STEP TWO: Be a little crazy. Dress up. Put on a crazy wig.


Choose some lucky people. Sing to them great carols of Halloween. Sing out of tune. Or if you are like Mia. Don't sing at all. Just turn around and show your huge butt because, really, that's the first thing any person wants to see when they open the door.


Can't really tell how big Mia's butt is? Here's a better picture.


STEP FOUR: Take a picture. Why? Capture this moment on camera. Save it. Show your daughter's husbands and your son's wife someday.


STEP FIVE: Choose a "butt" for next year. The "butt" was such a huge hit, CJ has called it for next year and I guess Xander is the year after. Thanks Mia! Who knew trying on your Dad's clothes could lead us to such a wonderful tradition that we can enjoy year after year after year.


Friday, October 23, 2009

It's a Miracle!

It's a MIRACLE! We are going to be homeowners in CALIFORNIA! I really didn't think that this would be possible. It's like a dream come true. Ben laughed when I suggested we try to get on a game show and see if we could win a million dollars so we could buy a house in California. He thought I was kidding but I was being serious. . .

Earlier this year, a friend from church bought a house in Concord. She had told me that house prices in the area were alot more affordable than in Alameda and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could afford one of those?" I didn't want to pursue anything because I was about to have a baby in a couple of months and that was all I could think of at the time.

I never stopped thinking about it and after Zoey was born, I decided to see if it would be a possibility for us. We got pre-qualified and used the same realtor as my friend. Then the house hunting began. After awhile we thought all we could afford were junk houses. In our price range it was very competitive. All the good houses that showed well, instantly got offers. Most offers were way above asking price.

Then about a month ago we looked at a house in a great neighborhood. It was in a cul de sac and had a great big backyard and a garage (yay!). We decided to put an offer on it. Later we found that it had 2 other offers and that ours wasn't accepted. In fact, our realtor told us we were "Number 3" meaning we were the lowest offer. We were SO sad!

Then two weeks after all of that, the house came back on the market and our realtor called us as soon as he found out. Ben and I put another offer on it, this time offering more (as much as we could, which I thought wasn't much). We were the first offer in this time and we heard there was at least another coming in and possibly one more after that.

I didn't want to get my hopes shattered again, so I tried not to think about it. We prayed and felt good about our decision and our offer. A few days later, our realtor emailed and said we received a counter offer which really wasn't a counter offer it was just the bank (the house is a foreclosure) stating things in their terms and adding disclosures. We hired an attorney (boy they make the bucks!) to look over the documents before we signed them. We signed them and sent them back and then just had to wait. . .

Three days later our realtor called and told us that we were under contract. We just finished the inspections today and if things go as planned we will be closing November 24 which just happens to be 2 days before Thanksgiving. I don't know what it is with us, but we like to buy houses around holidays. With our townhouse, we closed on Christmas day!

So here is our house. . .


We've never had one of these before. . .


Or one of these all to ourselves. . .


It's also got one of these. . .

The Lord has truly been mindful of our needs. Everything has gone so smoothly from Day1. It almost seemed too good to be true. Things just worked out in the end. We just feel so blessed that we are able to get this house and feel grateful for support from family.

Our kids are excited! Poor CJ is in 5th grade and will be moving to her 5th school. I'm a little worried about Mia because she struggles with new surroundings, but I'm sure she will make lots of new friends. Xander's clueless, but I'm sure he will do fine.

What's first on my list when we move in? Letting my kids scream,run, jump, and dance all through the house! It's going to be a party and you're all invited!

Friday, October 16, 2009


P.S. It's long. I got carried away.

The Girls. . .

MIA is in gymnastics and practices cartwheels wherever she can go. She loves doing "skin the cat" on the high bars. She is a very sensitive girl with a high set of lungs. Mia screams when she's mad. Mia screams when she is happy. Mia just screams. She is well liked in her class. I was volunteering this week in her class, and watched as she set up the listening center for the other 3 people in her group. As the kids came to the table each one shouted, "I want to sit by Mia!" They were fighting over who would get to sit by her. I told Ben later about the incident and how Mia was popular and he shoosed me instantly whispering, "Mia doesn't want to be popular. She told me that the other day." Today, she had a playdate with her friend Hannah. She told me after her friend left that Hannah said her Mom was stupid. I told her that wasn't very nice. Mia then said, "But you're perfect!" My week hasn't been the best and I haven't felt like the best Mom either. That totally melted my heart!

*On a side note. I was watching her friend Hannah write her name in class and I told her that she was doing it backwards (she was going right to left). Hannah replied, "It doesn't matter, it's the same either way!" That was so funny. I then told her that her name was a palindrome. She was clueless, but it felt like the intelligent thing to say since I knew what it was thanks to my sis in law Hannah who taught me that word years ago. By the way, my kids have friends with the same names as their extended family members: Addie, Sam, Livy, Hannah. . . they think it is so cool.

CJ is growing up so fast and is already asking me for more clothes! Where does she get this from? She loves her glasses and tells me that she feels smarter when she wears them. She is in the much coveted Science Club which meets after school on Thursday. They only take 20 students and last year CJ turned in her permission form too late. This year, we made sure we turned it in as early as we could. Ben and I find ourselves saying the words, "I love having a 10 year old!" all the time. CJ is such a big help even though I know she gets tired of helping. The other day she said as she emptied the dishwasher, "I can't wait until I am a Mom and I won't have to do any chores." I explained to her that she will have to do even more chores when she is a Mom. I think it is funny how kids think life is so much better when they are an adult. I remember thinking that too. I keep telling her to enjoy being a kid. CJ picks up when I am having a bad day. She is very observant. She said to me on one of those bad days, "I only want to have 3 kids." Her numbers keep dwindling as she watches me struggle. One day she'll be down to only 1 kid and it will be all my fault!

ZOEY is still the perfect baby even though I can't get her to get back into her nighttime sleeping schedule. Since our trip back from Michigan she goes to bed earlier and wakes up at 4:00a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m. How can I complain? She still sleeps 8 hours at a time. I'm blessed. She giggles and laughs and smiles all the time. She is the most tolerant baby. She gets poked and prodded all day long by Mia and Xander. She endures loud screams and tantrums while she is sleeping. She loves to talk and can grab onto toys. She also loves sticking her hand in her mouth. She also has the yummiest baby rolls on her legs. They are so cute! I love baby chub!

The Boy. . .

is my man! Xander's favorite movie lately is "Sky High". He'll watch it wearing his superman outfit. He also loves to play with Mia. Mia loves to play school with Xander and Xander loves being bossed around by Mia. Today he told me to bring Zoey in to watch him go potty so "she will know how to do it." He loves it when I read books to him and when I am done, he'll read it back to me (of course, Xander style). He does this really cute thing with his hands that I have no idea where he got it from. He makes a triangle and shouts, "Look a triangle." He loves looking at anything that has to do with Halloween. We will be on a walk and he'll point out the houses and stores that have Halloween decorations up. Reminds me of someone I know.

The Kids. . .


Monday, October 12, 2009

Toy Story 3 Trailer

Check out the Toy Story 3 trailer. Ben did the hair for most of the kids in the daycare, shaded a few of the toys, and shaded young Andy's clothes. I can't wait!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Xander and the Dentist

Last week Xander went to the dentist for the first time. I was worried that he would give the dentist or me a hard time. Little did I know, that the night before Mia sat him down and told him what to expect.

When they called his name, I fully expected to have to go in with him. Instead, he walked right up to the door, not even glancing back at me and went inside all by himself. The dentist couldn't stop telling me how impressed she was of him and how great he did . She said that kids his age usually have a harder time. He amazed me!

So this week, I had to have some work done and took Xander with me. The dentist is a really nice woman who is baby hungry and loves my kids so she said it would be fine to bring him while they worked on me. She told me that they have plenty of babysitters. I packed Xander a bag and some snacks and left him in the waiting room while the receptionist and other workers kept an eye on him.

I thought for sure he would be back by me in no time, but nope. Not a sound. He had so much fun with the ladies that he didn't even need me! Xander and Mia are alike in a lot of ways and I have been afraid that Xander would be like Mia and have a hard time with new situations and become clingy.

Once again he amazed me. I came out and he asked me, "You have fun back there?" I told him he was such a good boy and he says, "Thank you." As we were leaving I told him to tell the workers "Thank you" for watching you. He turns to a customer sitting behind him and says, "Thank you."

By this time, I can tell that all the women can't get enough of Xander and judging by the smiles on their faces, I could've left him there all day and they wouldn't have minded. They tell him to come back in and get a treasure box prize. This is what he chose.


He tells me as he puts it on, "I so funny!" What a hoot! I just love this boy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And in this corner. . .

weighing in at a woppin' 13 lbs. 13 oz. is Zoey "The Sumo" Porter. Off the charts in height and in the 92% for weight!


The doctor was so surprised at how developed her motor skills were. Just another over-achiever Porter. She is constantly trying to sit up and she laughed for the first time last week. The cutest thing ever!


What a cutie!