Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our family had the BEST Christmas EVER!!! Although it wasn't Lanes first Christmas it was his first real Christmas where he was aware of what was going on. He had so much fun opening all the presents.We had so much fun just sitting around watching the focus all on Lane it was the best Christmas ever.

Lane got so many presents from all of his wonderful aunties and his grandparents that he had to open half of his presents on Christmas Eve and the other half on Christmas day.

For the rest of us adults we decided to draw names for the first time. What a blessing that was for us because we didn't go overboard this year. It was a lot of fun and a relief on our pocket books.

We took advantage of Cory having the long weekend off and we converted one of our spare bedrooms to Lanes new  Mickry room. Especially with all his great new toys!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 4 Family Fit Challenge

Sometimes post are pleasant to write, read or post but, sometimes that is just the way life is. I debated on how to broach the subject, but this is our life and so this is what I submitted as our Week 4 entry. So you can choose to read our not..... (That's my disclaimer) :)

As we begin phase 2 of the family fun challenge I was already prepared to start with some family background as to give the judges some insight as to why this competition has been so beneficial to our family. We are a blended family. When my husband and I were married 2 short years ago I also became a full time stepmother to 3 kids as my husband just a short week before our wedding had been awarded emergency custody of his kids.

I recall VIVIDLY our first shopping trip to the grocery store together. As my very type A personality shined through, to plan ahead my meals for 2 weeks and grocery shop accordingly. My husband and his kids shopped with their eyes and pretty much with a “whatever sounded good attitude” honeybuns and Hawaiian punch for breakfast, banquet frozen dinners for lunch and mac n’ cheese with cut up hot dog in it for dinner and soda to wash it all down. My heart sank. How could anyone eat like this, this amount of sugar, this amount of sodium and processed food? I had married into this processed food meat and potatoes Oklahoma family, and this big city health food loving vegetarian was shocked! Where was their source of fresh vegetables or water for petes sake?

I decided to make them dinner that night, something easy, I figured. I made a grilled chicken breast, a medley of steamed vegetables in olive oil and rice, I even made white rice not to scare them off right away with my brown rice (haha). They did ok with the chicken, they insisted they had to dip it in ketchup, they didn’t want to touch their vegetables and they ate very little rice. Baby steps I thought… WOW how far we have come in 2 great years……

And how far we are about to go…..

In the past 2 weeks our family has encountered another change… As I mentioned above we were awarded custody of 3 children. A year ago due to severe behavior challenges we had a tough decision to make and had to send our oldest to live with my husband’s mom to receive mental health treatment back in Oklahoma where they are originally from. My husband in Native American and so are the kids, they receive excellent medical care from the tribe there. It was sad to see her leave our family, but yet wonderful to see our daughter thrive in her home town and get the help she needed. This past 2 weeks her biological mom was finally granted custody of her daughter back. She also was granted visitation of the other 2 kids that have been living here with us for the past 2 years. Since this has happened our 7 year old son has asked us to go live with his mom. This sweet little boy we have been raising for 2 years and we have watched grow and thrive THROUGH the HELP of the BOYS and GIRLS CLUB, playing flag football, basketball, soccer, spelling bees. So sadly he won’t be continuing with us on the family fit challenge.

This has been a rough week for us. This challenge has helped us though, it has helped us to stay on task, and we have been in a sort of depression, watching our little guy go back home so to speak. We really could have blown this week off and not participated. Especially me, I am such an emotionally eater, luckily I have been able to not over eat!!! The giant bowl of Halloween candy that is hidden in the cabinet is still intact!

This challenge has helped my husband, Kiley and I and the baby too pull together and continue to do things as a family as we have been doing which is helping us. I think we feel a little abandoned in a way since he chose to leave, and this challenge is helping us to pull together because we know that we have to do an activity daily as a family instead of going into our rooms and feeling alone.

Mindy and Kiley at the Nutcracker

A few highlights this week, a few positives that did happen, we had a busy busy weekend!! On Friday night we were invited by the Boys and Girls club to attend the Nutcracker. I have attached a picture of our daughter who is growing up too fast with our soul coach Branch Director Mindy Elias!! The very next morning at 545am, Kiley was chosen to go winter shopping with the Elks club and the Boys and Girls Club. After the kids were done shopping all the families were invited back to the Elks lodge for a big breakfast and Santa came and passed out gifts to the other siblings who didn’t go shopping. I am emailing in a picture of our 1 year old with Santa, it is a classic 1 year old with Santa, and it will give you a good laugh. After a long nap we then met back up in the early evening at the Boys and Girls club to walk in The Chandler Light Parade we decorated our Boys and Girls club bus with over 2000 lights, it was so much fun and our family walked together representing the club over ¾ of a mile.

The Chandler Light Parade representing the Boys and Girls and Girls Club Chandler Compadre Branch

So after a trying time, the weekend wrapped up with fun events by The Club really helping to mend our family’s heart in the end. The Triple Play Fit Family Challenge has truly challenged our family in spite of whatever challenge we were faced with this week to overcome it and continue to eat right and come together as a family. As I reflect back on this week, I can now see what a blessing this challenge is and what a blessing that is to show our 2 other kids that despite what life throws at you, you continue to take care of yourself and your family. Thank you BGCA and BGC of the East Valley for helping us with such a valuable lesson.

Lane meeting Santa at the Elks Lodge Chandler Compadre Branch winter clothes shopping for the kids.

Great News!!

Great News,

We were selected by Boys and Girls Club of America to continue in the Family Fit Challenge to continue in the challenge through phase 2!! Out of over 200+ people we were selected to be 1 of 10 families to continue on with the next phase of the competition. If we are selected to be 1 of 5 families we move on to the competition which is held in California! Our family will be flown to California for an all expense paid trip!! We are so very excited!! YAY US!!! WOOOO!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week 3- Family Fit Challenge!

This week we wrapped up week 3 of our family fit challenge!! We started out or week meeting with our Soul Coach Mindy Elias from the Chandler Boys and Girls Club. We met her at our new family’s favorite retaurant “Sweet Tomatoes”! Our kids had so much fun at Sweet Tomatoes picking out all the colorful vegetables to make their own individual salads! We went over the week 3 challenges and activities, and prepared for the end of phase one.

When we sat down to make out or meal list for the week we decided we were going to try new things for dinner this week. One of the meals we had as our one vegetarian meal was a ravioli filled with spinach. Our oldest, our 11 year old daughter was in charge of this meal. (with my help) She chose fresh mushrooms, onions and tomatoes and garlic to put on the ravioli, we decided to sauté it in a little olive oil and it was delicious!! The entire family raved about it, and it was the first time during the challenge they wanted to bend the rules about portion control. So we allowed them to eat more salad instead :)

Another great meal we tried this week that our 7 year old son helped to prepare this meal. I allowed him to pick out vegetables he would like to make in a soup! We used low sodium V8 juice as a broth and he put all sorts of colorful vegetables in the pot, zucchini, squash, corn, carrots, celery, onions, green beans, and potatoes. He had so much fun creating a big pot of soup with an assortment of colorful vegetables!

For our family outing we went to watch a football as a family. Again, it was so nice to enjoy time with the kids and be doing something as a family outside. We continued to take nightly walks after dinner, which always is very provoking in good conversation.

What a wonderful experience this has been for our family! At the end of week 2's challenge it mentioned finding a walk to participate in. We found the Chandler Fun walk which we signed up for that is on December 8th, the exciting part is, it benefits our Boys and Girls Club! We also as a family decided our family activity for this week (we are going to continue with weekly family activities despite the end of Phase 1) we are signed up to volunteer at our Boys and Girls Clubs Thanksgiving dinner, they expect over 900 guests and we are going to help seat the guests and bus the tables. We are so excited to be able to do an activity that will be giving back as well!!


Week 2- Family Fit Challenge

Week 2 was off to a great start for our family! We celebrated halloween as a family in a family costume, and decided that would be a family tradition because it was so much fun!

This was voting week, so we tied a few activities into voting and explaining the election.
Tuesday, we took our family walk to the polling place so the kids could watch us vote first hand, then that night we ate dinner and then watched as results rolled in and had the kids color a map as the states were called.

We also let the kids pick the menu each night. They had to create a dinner that matched the myplate model. It was a great opportunity for the kids to have to create a balanced meal on their own and then help prepare it!

We signed the kids up for basketball at the Boys and Girls Club and they are very excited to start doing an organized physical activity. We decided that Cory (the dad) will coach basketball so he can participate with the kids as well.

This week the kids tried new breakfast items each morning, surprisingly they loved the variety and comment how they weren't starved by lunch time.

Thursday night was our family fun night and we decided we would eat out. We went to Subway and ordered sandwiches and went to have a picnic. We had so much fun!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Family Fit Challenge Easy Peasy Talapia!!

Tell me that doesn't look delicious!! We chopped up fresh onions, fresh green beans and fresh grape tomatoes! We coated them in a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of mrs. dash seasoning. We put the talapia in tin foil, added our vegetable and a slice of lemon and sealed up the foil like a pouch and bake at 350 for 30 minutes! It was delicious, the kids had seconds and Cory took the left overs for work the next day!!!

The best part? It was so simple to make that our 11 year old daughter was able to help prepare and assemble the meal! It's been great getting the kids involved in the kitchen learning how to prepare healthy food!!

Family Fit Challenge week 1

We are participating in a really fun event "Family Fit Challenge" through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

We will be chronicling our journey and our family transformations as we go.


We started our challenge early, by participating in our city's family day of play. We were educated on healthy snacks and activities.  From there we went shopping as a family to help make our family dinner list for the next two weeks. We chose healthy snacks and made sure we incorporated fruits and vegetables into every meal.

Once we were home we took time measuring out serving sizes so we know what it looks like with our eyes, so we are able to make decisions correctly instead of serving with our tummy... 

We had received water bottles from a booth at the day of play event, so we measured how many 8oz cups fit in the bottle. We learned it holds 2.5 cups every time its filled. We keep a tally on the refrigerator. It has become a friendly competition amongst the family, who drank the most each day. As well as a good way to spend some time on math with the kids counting up how many times we filled the bottle and converting it to ounces.

When making our dinner list we decided we would substitute 2 meals a week for vegetarian meals. One night we had a vegetable paella served with baked tofu as our protein and last night we had talapia as our protein. So far 2 new meal choices and they were a hit with the entire family!

We also started taking a family walk together each night after dinner. We pick something to discuss, the first night we asked "what did you do today that helped someone else?" It invoked a great conversation about being selfless. Last night we talked about our best Halloween memories,  we sure did have some fun laughs!

Thursday night we designated our family fun night! We went to Makutu's Island which is an indoor play place. We were there with only 1 other family, so Cory and I were able to play and run right along with the kids. We were on the go for 2 hours straight! We had so much fun!!!

Some great choices we have made as a family is we no longer drink any soda pop. We rarely did before, but we completely made a choice to cut it out. Cory and I also decided to cut 2 days a week out of coffee, because of the caffeine. I also made the decision to switch my coffee creamer to sugar free. Every little choice we make helps us to be healthier in the long run!

This week has been a great experience for our family. Besides becoming aware of the proper things to eat, portion sizes, we have been able to integrate other aspects, working on math, great discussions as a family, and all around family fun.

Although no one has any weight to lose in our family except for me because I am still carrying this baby weight :) After 1 week of making positive choices and doing a physical activity every night, I am happy to say I am down 2 pounds!!

We can't wait for week 2!

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 1, 2012

Our little one turned 1 this month!!

His wonderful cake and the letters Bethany and I made!

Centerpieces and confetti we made!

On August 1st our little guy turned 1 year old!! That morning he and I had breakfast and then got ready. His Auntie Mindy and his Nina and I went to lunch at Olive Garden. We picked that place because he LOVES spaghetti and breadsticks!!

All the cousins!! So lucky to have cousins so close in age!!

After lunch we went to creative hands pottery place and made imprints of his hands and feet!! It was so much fun we had a great laugh out of that! Then we went home for a nap and after our nap all of the family came over (except Sito and Papa they were in California still). We had a family dinner and he got to dive into his birthday cake! He loved it!! He had so much fun and played and played with his toys from his Nina and Nino.

Party hats we made!
  Then on Saturday the 3rd, we had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse celebration! We had so much fun!! Bethany and I made all the decorations. Papa and Sito came back into town that day and Papa David from Oklahoma came for the party as well!!

Party favors!
Gift table and the banner we made!

Friday, July 6, 2012

1st birthday plans!

We are getting ready for his first birthday! He is a fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, well really he LOVES it!! So we are planning a Mickey birthday! Bethany and I have made all the decorations so far! Here is the letters of his name that will go on the cake table!

We got the idea off of Pinterest! We bought cardboard letters from Joanns, and decoupaged them with card stock and then used the Cricut for their hats/ears. It was a very simple project! The banner beneath it you can sorta see hangs on his high chair, it says I AM 1! It was also made with the Cricut! I can't wait for his birthday, we have so many fun things we've made and planned for the party!! Just a few more weeks!!

11 months old!!

11 months old already.. My little preemie is growing up so fast!! He weighs 22 pounds and has 6 teeth already. He loves to crawl all over and will pull himself up and walk pushing his toys!! He is starting to try to climb the gates and the couch!! He swims like a fish and enjoys being in the water as often as possible!! He wont eat any baby food! His favorites are spaghetti, tortellini, tortillas, mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets and his all time favorite is corn on the cob!
He ADORES his brother and sister, they are 3 peas in a pod!! They play so well together and Lane mimics everything they do! Kiley is his second mom and loves to care for him, feed him, put him to sleep, bathe him she is a wonderful help!! Wrangler and Lane are buddies, they play Tonka trucks together and are as boy as boy can be, they are loud and knock things down and build them back up! I love watching my boys together!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lanes Baptism

Lane was Baptized this weekend! He was such a great baby during mass and the ceremony! Here is a picture of him in his gown. His baptismal gown was made from a dear friend of mine from work. She made his gown out of my wedding gown!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Lane was born early, please help us March for Babies!!!

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick.

Baby Lane was born at 33 weeks 5 days. By the grace of God and a phenomenal NICU team at Cardon Children's medical center our little guy was discharged home with us 4 days after he was born. Our family is walking in March for Babies because we want to do something about this. We need your help.

Please support Baby Lane's walk. Our goal is to raise $510.00 in honor of his birth weight of 5lbs 10 ounces. Making a secure donation is easy: just click the 'donate now' button on this page. Thank you for helping me give all babies a healthy start! If you'd like you can join our walk, we'd love to have you out there walking with Baby Lane.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

Your gift will support March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And it will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

You can make a secure donation with your credit card, or, if you prefer, cash or a check is fine, too.

Thank you for your support!

To make a donation, visit my personal Web page at
If you would like to learn more about March for Babies,
visit the Web site at
Would you like to see what March for Babies is and why I'm walking?
Click here to see the video.
The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by
preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

7 months!!

Baby Lane is 7 months old!! He is growing like a weed!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

6 months old!!

Look who is 6 months old already!! Where does the time go? In all my years of life I have never had time move so quickly!!! My little man weighs 16lbs 11oz he has just about tripled his birth weight. He loves to talk and blow raspberries!! He tries to sit up on his own, and when I put him in the walker he runs all over the house!!

He had his first taste of solid food 2 weeks ago, he loved it!! His favorites are carrots and sweet potatoes. He does not like apples!! He LOVES when I put a banana in a cheese cloth and freeze it a little bit, he sucks on that and gobbles it right up. He is just like his mama he loves his food!!!