Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

The week before Christmas was very challenging. Jack was a little sick and didn't sleep during the night the whole week. I had to gather the little energy I had to drive the kiddos to their Christmas events, participate in my events, and help Julianna with her Girl Scout Commitments (we baked cookies, cut fringes on blankets, helped with the Sampson Toy drive, etc). I was also asked to teach in Relief Society this Sunday, and the lesson was particularly challenging... so I spent a lot of time on my lesson too... anyway, after I came home from Church yesterday, I was extremely exhausted. But all the time and effort was worth it. I just hope next Christmas I won't be up during the night. :-)

Here is what happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, we had a yummy Turkey dinner.

The Menu:
A 13 1/2 lbs turkey, cooked to perfection (ok, I exaggerate a little)
Salada de Batata (my mother-in-law's yummy potato salad recipe with homemade mayo and lots of olives)
Arroz Campones (yummy rice with lots of veggies)
Chorizo and Pistachio Stuffing (new recipe - definitely a keeper!)
Special Turkey Gravy (from, super yummy, but a little too thin. I'll keep the recipe, but will put less liquid next time)
Banana Cream Pie (Pampered Chef recipe that I've been making for years)
Pudim de Leite (Flan, my mom's famous recipe - so good!)

Here is picture number one. Sadly, it's missing a plate of stuffing and the gravy.

After dinner and dessert, we watched the Living Scriptures DVD of the Birth of Jesus. Then the kids got new pajamas from mom and dad. Then, it was time to see who could find the pickle ornament I hid in the Christmas tree the fastest. Julianna won by finding it in 5 seconds. Raphael was second finding it in 37 seconds. Michael gave up after two minutes, but he was a good sport about it.

After that we opened presents from Grandma Noeli and Grandpa Vilmar. Lots of good stuff!! We played a little and then it was time for bed.

Needless to say, the kids woke up early. They waited patiently for us to wake up too and then it was time to open the presents.

Then it was time for Rabanadas (sweet bread, kind of like French toasts). They are a Christmas tradition in Rio de Janeiro, where I am from. My mom taught me to make them and Julianna made half of these herself on Christmas day. She did a great job.

Oh what joy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Fun

One of our traditions is to make a gingerbread house every year during Christmas time. This year we decided to make a train instead. It was fun! I'm glad I took a few pictures right away because the train is missing parts now. I wonder what happened.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Since October (Continued)

Jack learned to crawl before he learned to sit. He was very different from my other kids in this way. The others learned how to sit well first, and then learned to crawl and the later happened after eight months of age. Jack started crawling at six and a half months, and after crawling for two weeks, on his seven month birthday, I found him like this when I left him for a minute to go the bathroom. This was the very first time he sat by himself for more than five seconds. He sat for about three minutes, giving me plenty of time to get a few pictures.

Now, fours days later, look how much better his posture is.

Now a picture of him crawling.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Since October...

Julianna Was Baptized on Halloween! What a special day! Raphael sang "I Am a Child of God" in Portuguese and in English by himself. He sang so cute! :-) I and my mother-in-law gave talks. Michael and my father-in-law gave prayers.

            We had dear family members come to the baptism...

In November, we took the kids out of school and went to Disney World
the week before Thanksgiving as a surprise. We only told them about the trip the day before so they could help us pack. They loved it! Even Jack liked Disney World. We stayed at the Sharaton Safari. We went to the parks Magical Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The parks were busy, but we had a great time.

On the way back from Disney, we Spent Thanksgiving at Destin Beach, Florida. The weather was beautiful and the beach was gorgeous. The water was really cold though and there was a lot of jelly fish... so not much swimming. But considering it was winter, and above 70 degrees, we can't complain! We stayed at the Hilton SanDestin (right at the beach) and it was really cool to see the ocean and hear the waves from our room. In the evening we ate at the hotel. They had a really yummy Thanksgiving dinner.

December has also been really busy. On Dec. 8th Marco and I celebrated our anniversary (the actual day is right before Thanksgiving). We went to Andrea Bocelli's Concert at the Toyota's Center. It was unforgetable! I am a huge fan of him and going to his concert was a real treat. I can definately check it off my Bucket's List. :-) I wish I can keep this memory in my mind for a very long time because it was a really special day. Everything was perfect. I recorded some of it with Marco's iphone. Here is the link:

Another cute one:

(To be continued...)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Julianna!

To my little girl, who is the most amazing daughter a mother could ask for, happy birthday! I am so proud of you. You make me smile everyday. You're kind, caring, and you always go out of your way to help your family. You're so beautiful in every way. I love to listen to you sing, to receive the beautiful handmade cards you make. I love that you are so responsible. I never need to worry about you. I love to see you dance, draw, play the piano, whatever you do.  I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father gave you to me. I hope you always remember how much I love you and how special you are in our family. YOU ARE AN AMAZING GIRL!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Jack has learned about pictures and flashes. Whenever I try to take a picture of him and he notices, he opens his eyes wide as if to prepare for the flash... Here is the proof!

A Day At The Zoo

This was last week... yes, I've been busy! :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today When...

Raphael was in Preschool, this is what we did...

Took lots of pictures!!! Who doesn't love a smile like that?
We also ran lots of errands and one of them was going to Costco. At the check out line, Jack coo'd and laughed out loud to the check out lady, and she just about melted... and so did a few customers. Jack was the center of attention!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today Raphael started Preschool. Finally! He's been waiting patiently for a long time, which is very hard for a four-year-old to do. The Preschool is just a swap I've arranged with three other parents from Church. We each take a week to teach in our own homes. We designed a pretty fun curriculum and made a schedule for the whole year. My teaching week is next week. I'm really excited!

He's trying his best to pose for the picture

Looking happy

Starting to lose patience with so many pictures now

Mom, enough now! :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just a Thought

Over this past few weeks I keep going back to something President Monson said, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." If all humanity (myself included) heeded to this counsel, how much sweeter our world could be...
Please read the whole talk. It's very inspiring! :-) It's called "Finding Joy in the Journey" and it's found in the Nov/2008 Ensign (from Oct 2008  Conference).,5232,23-1-947-26,00.html

Ensign November 2008

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jack's New Trick

Today I decided to do better in giving Jack tummy time. Right after I put him in his stomach, Jack rolled over. I cheered happily.

ME: Yay!! You rolled over! Good boy!

Michael comes in quickly in the room.

MICHAEL: What happened mom? Why are you so happy?

ME: Jack just rolled over!!!

Michael looked confused and thoughful.

MICHAEL: Wait a minute, isn't that a trick that DOGS do?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lest We Forget Concert 2010

This past Friday and Saturday was the "Lest We Forget" Concert in our stake. This concert commemorates the events of 9/11/2001 and honors people that bring safety to the U.S. (military, police officers, fire fighters, etc). Julianna and Raphael got to sing in the choir. They rehearsed for about 5 weeks every Saturday (I'm so glad it's over!). It was hard work rehearsing in Church and at home until they learned the two songs, but look how cute they were and how cute they sang! They loved singing and I was so proud of them! This video is of the dress rehearsal on Friday.

Performance Day on Saturday

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pop Tarts

I know this post might seem silly, but this blog is really my journal (a non-intimate details journal), and I am going to print my posts and archive them so my children can read them in the future. One thing I want them to remember is our new family tradition. It all started about three months ago when I was having a hard time getting my kids out of bed to go to Church. I looked in the pantry and found a box of Pop Tarts (I hardly ever bought Pop Tarts up until this point, but saw an interesting flavor and decided to try it for fun). I told my kids that if they got dressed fast and peacefully, that they would have Pop Tarts for breakfast. The result was amazing! We've been doing this every Sunday ever since, and I tell them that if they "pop out of bed, they get Pop Tarts." Smart, huh? I can't believe I came up with the idea myself... Ok, I know it's so cheesy...

So today I found a new flavor for us which is "S'mores" at Walmart. I had to try them to see if they were good. :-) I actually don't love them as much as I love the Strawberry ones... they are good though.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here is Jack Again

Here is Jack at 3 1/2 Months

Here is Jack Grabbing Toys Now

Here is Jack Modeling Huggies Jeans Diapers

Here is One of the Reasons Why Mom Feels So Blessed Every Day

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cats Are Like Children

     She misses me. I've been careful to give all my kids equal attention, but have not been so good with my little Bayla. All day long she follows me around, meows, sometimes even bites me to get my attention. Every evening she lays by my side while I hold Jack, sometimes she even stands up and puts her paws on the chair so she can see the baby.
     She loves Jack though. She actually looked at him closer for the first time two weeks ago. I wish I had the camera close by. She climbed on the bed, and carefully got close to him. She smelled Jack and then she licked his arm. Jack seemed to like her too.
     I like rocking Jack on my rocking chair after I put the older ones to bed. Bayla learned that, and yesterday she was waiting on my rocking chair to see if I would rock her instead. I had to smile. :-) After I rocked Jack and put him in his crib, I rocked Bayla. She loved it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My New (or Almost New) Toy

Who said money can't buy happiness? I have to disagree... :-)
My wonderful husband decided to spend our tax-return money on me. I can't help but feel like a little kid again on Christmas day. Everyday when I wake up, I look at it and feel Ahhhhhh, this is what heaven must feel like. :-)

I have to thank my dear husband for having the patience while I spent hours and hours researching pianos, even driving to Clear Lake early on a Saturday morning so we could see this babe. For watching all four kids while I played many pianos, and paying interest when I showed him differences in sound even though he had no clue what I was talking about. :-)

Today it was tuned and sounds amazing! My piano technician told me it was an excellent buy and that I paid way less than it's worth. I'm so happy!!

Give Away
Dear friends, would anyone like a Purex Free and Clear Hypoallergenic Laundry detergent 100 fl oz (for regular machines) free of charge? I bought this, used it 2 times and realized it's NOT for HE machines (mine is HE)... Grrrrrrrr I hate when I don't read labels. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

Today has been a really fun day. I took Jack and Raphael to the Zoo (Jack napped the whole time), and we got tickets for the Chinese Acrobats show at the park later on. It was so fun to hang out with my little guy. He's such a happy kid, and has a great sense of humor. His favorite animals today were the Sea Lions.

I tried to get a perfect picture of us. I thought I had failed after three times, but realized these ARE the perfect pictures of us. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Kids Do

The day before yesterday I put Raphael down for a nap a little before dinner time. He was so tired and cranky that I figured he could sleep for a half an hour and "refresh". At first he cried, then everything was too quiet (I can usually hear him talking himself to sleep). By this time Marco was home and went to check on him. Raphael was sitting on his bed with a box of granola bars, all ten open, three of them eaten, the rest missing bites... He explained, "I was so hungry!!"
I am reconsidering keeping food in his bathroom linen closet. :-)

This morning started well. I left the kids at the breakfast table while I went to change my clothes, and then I hear Julianna screaming.

Me: Julianna, what happened?
Julianna: Michael hit me really hard in my stomach!
Me: Michael why did you do that?
Michael: I did not hit her! She was choking and I was trying to save her life by doing a Heimlich maneuver.
Julianna: I was not choking, I was just coughing!

Seriously? Does anyone want 4 kids?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who Can Resist?

A baby that just came out of a bath and smells like honey? I can't... :-)