Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Good Day

Yesterday Noah and I had such a great day.  This was a bit of a surprise to me since he didn't nap at all.  Those kind of days are usually marked for disaster in every way possible; but fortunately his spirits were happy and content all the way through until bedtime . . .

After a couple of morning errands we came home just in time for lunch, the Little League World Series game (we've been following along faithfully), and some art.  Noah and I had seen an art project on one of his favorite shows, Calliou.  It looked easy enough and fun enough, so we planned on making it a part of our day.  Boy was Noah giddy over the whole thing.  And the best part, for me anyway, was just sitting with him and enjoying his company.  Most days I am busy with chores or just stuff.  I hear his little voice and chat back and forth with him all day long . . . But my attention is never just on him; being focused on his choice of words, his facial expressions, his content with just sitting with me and engaging in an activity.  Noah is such a smart, imaginitive, and fun little boy - I feel so lucky to be able to spend these days with him.  I need to remember to sit with him more, even amid the chores I have, and just enjoy him!  Yesterday I did just that, and I wonder if that made all the difference in his good mood that lasted all day through.

So here's a conversation between Noah and I while we were painting . . .

Noah:  Mom, when is your birthday?
Me:  It's soon, but mum-mum Judy's is before mine.
Noah:  Oh, for your birthday I am going to buy you a surprise!  It's going to be so great.  I'm going to buy you a new muffin pan because daddy says that the one you use isn't good anymore. 
Me:  Oh really . . . Who is the gift for again?
Noah:  For you mom!  But it's a surprise!  I'm not telling anyone, not daddy, or Nicholas, or mum-mum or Poly.  Only you get to know my surprise secret.
Me:  Oh wow Noah!  Thank you for telling me :0)  (Of course I have a huge smile of adoration on my face for this little boy at this very moment).
Noah:  Your welcome mama.  I only tell you because you're the one I tell all my secrets too!

Now that . . . made my day.  Noah is the best!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hello

Yes hello . . . Has it really been over a month since I've posted anything on this here ole' blog?  I suppose it has.  We had a wonderful summer; and now we are back into the ole' school routine.  Both the boys are now attending school; I now have a 7th grader and a pre-schooler.  Wow! 

Nicholas' attitude toward school is still the same, he doesn't like that he has to go.  And Noah just wishes he could go everyday.  These two are unbelieveably at different spectrums when it comes to school.  But I, kinda, get Nicholas' attitude.  I mean, really, what kid really likes school at this age?  But I still try to encourage him to find something positive out of his day, out of his teachers, and out of his school workload.  However, I don't think he has.  A mom can keep on wishin' can't she?  :0)

Oh and Mister Noah . . . This sweet and spunky boy of mine wants to be dropped off at the school curb :0)  He really is Mister Independent, my heart swells with pride and breaks alittle too - all at the same time.  Noah goes to pre-school 2 days out of the week for just a few hours.  Everyday I stand outside his classroom and I can hear his little voice speak out of turn in pure excitement and delight.  He absolutely loves going to school and when I walk into his classroom to wait for my hug he has the most fantastic and sincere smile on his face.  He always looks happy to see me, yet when I ask him if he missed me, his reply has been the same since day one, "Hmmm no, not really."  Well . . . As long as he was having a wonderful time then I am okay with that!  But I sure miss him though!

Of course I have pictures of these wonderful milestones in our boys' life.  But as luck would have it, our main computer is down and loading pictures onto Nicholas' laptop is a pain.  I hope to have our main computer serviced shortly so I can share how handsome the boys looked on their first days of school :0)

I can't believe we are at the end of August.  We'll be entering fall soon, ha - whatever fall is to Californians :0)  I love summer, it's, easily, one of my favorite seasons.  But I must say I always look forward to the changing of the seasons. 

And now, on to get my 7th grader prepared for a productive day of school.  Happy Wednesday and it's good to be back, blogging again! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer at the beach

Last week felt like summer . . . The weather was very warm and humid!  In order to escape the misreable heat, I packed up the boys and took them to the beach.  Two times in one week, without Jay . . . Well I feel pretty accomplished.  Now that Nicholas is older, he is able to help load and unload things.  His help has been very nice and appreciated!

The beach was good fun, we went with friends this time and both the boys enjoyed themselves.  I did too!  Nicholas enjoyed riding the waves, digging in the sand, and just hanging with his baseball buddies.  Noah really enjoys jumping the waves and it's so nice to see him filled with such delight! 

The smell of the salt water, the sunblock, and the early bonfires burning reminded me of how summer is supposed to be.  The ease in which the day unfolds, and the satisfaction in the simpler side of things.  I love it!  Being at the beach has been so relaxing and I have been loving every minute of it!

 Here are some pictures of beach day 1 . . .

Body Boarding with friends

Nicholas 12 years old Summer 2011

Our little Noah boy enjoying the water!

I love his sweet, sweet smile!

Lunch time!

Noah went in the water with his wetsuit :0)

Digging holes at the beach!  What could be more fun!

Charfauros Brothers! Age 12 & 4

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Days & Reading

For the last week summer days have been about baseball practice.  I am not complaining; it's just been pretty busy around here . . . What with all the laundry and hustling about trying to get naps squeezed in, and lunches made, and dinner made, and shuffling kids about town to hang out with friends and cousins.  Whew!  It's safe to say that all has been crazy-busy around here! 

Tomorrow is Nicholas' first All-Star game!  It'll be fun to watch the team . . . they have been working so hard; dedicating so much of their time and energy on the field.  Good luck to TVALL All-Stars!

Since I have been spending so much of my time at the baseball fields, I have been chatting with the other moms about books!  Oh, how I enjoy hearing and discovering good reads.  Last week I read Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.  It was the first time I have ever read one of her books.  I have to say that I thorougly enjoyed it - so much so that I read it in a day and a half!  After that I decided I needed to pace myself; I also felt bad for spending money on a book and finishing it up so quickly.  So I took Noah to the library so we could check-out some books.  We both walked out of there happy with our picks.  He had a stack of 7 books high and I walked out with two books off the new release shelf.  I checked-out The Money Class by Suze Orman, and of course this was more of a reference read . . . I have no intention of reading it page by page.  I'm interested, mostly, on the retirement chapter and, so far, it's pretty good :0).  My next library check-out was Dancing Lessons by Cheryl Burke from Dancing With the Stars television show.  I have to say it was a really good read.  I did my best to take my time and not read it so quickly . . . It's an easy read, but very inspiring; and I have always loved to read biographies/autobiographies.  I believe, quite strongly, in the power of another's life story - their life journey.  I don't watch that show, but my mom does!  Faithfully!  And now, I just might add that to the list of shows I watch :0)  And finally, at the recommendation of my cousin I picked up Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  OMG!  This one is, so up my alley of reading . . . The style of writing, the historical fiction - I am just giddy about this summer read.  It's a wartime-era novel, and I am just forcing myself not to read it too quickly. 

After my visit to Target yesterday, to pick up my latest book, I walked out with a strew of book titles on a tattered envelope I found in my purse. So, needless to say, I will not have a problem with what to read; rather what book I will read next!

And now, so my post today doesn't go without pictures . . . Here's what our week has been like in pictures!

*We have been busy - so all these pictures were taken with my point & shoot camera.  Not with my fancy-dancy one.  So please excuse the unfocused, underexposed/overexposed, bland color looking pictures.

All-Star Team get-together! 

Noah enjoying the party too!

Happy Father's Day . . . Jay worked so we spent sometime with family!  It's been a long while! 

Dinner at Denny's without Dad on Father's Day!  The kids enjoyed themselves :0)

Movie date with Ciara.  Thanks for coming to visit us in Temecula!

Noah cooking breakfast for Nicholas!  2 frozen waffles - coming up!

What a great lil' brother!

A typical day at the fields . . . The 2011 All-Star Team!

Noah doing Nicholas' chores!  Seems as though Noah is always doing something for Nicholas.

An everyday occurence in our house . . . Nicholas irritating Noah to tears.

Tomatos from Jay's garden :0)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Days

Summer feels like it has finally arrived!  The days are much warmer (the nights are still pretty cool, cool enough for a light jacket) . . .  And lately we have been relishing in sleeping in, and just hanging out!  It's been nice; but today, rather this morning I had to wake up early to start up some sort of routine again.

This is the third week of summer for Nicholas and it feels like we are just finally getting to enjoy the easy-going tone of the days.  The first two weeks of summer were still spent very routined because of post season baseball.  And now . . . after a few days of no baseball we are re-entering another round of post season baseall.  Nicholas made the All-Star team for the 2011 season!  We are so excited and so proud of him!  Once again we are back to the fields :0)  We love it, it's fun and we're excited for the days and weeks to come!

Nicholas has been hanging out with friends during the afternoons and it's been nice!  Enjoying time with friends swimming and playing street wiffle ball means less time playing video games!  Noah has been hanging with his brother and skipping naps, it's all good!  This morning we're going to the movies; our local theater shows PG and G rated movies from previous months for $1.  So we're headed there today!  And then later this evening we'll be headed to baseball practice :0). 

2011 Washington Nationals TVALL Division Champs!

Coach lucas talking with the team.  A great coach and team that Nicholas will always have in his book of "great memories!"

Summer Days . . . Love that Nicholas' friends don't mind that Noah "rolls" with the them :0).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Always Dream Big

Do you remember, as a young child, what you used to dream about being or becoming when you "grew up?"  Do you remember what it felt like when that dream felt so attainable and within reach? 

Jay and I talked about this at dinner lastnight.  Our greatest wish, for our boys, is that they never lose that feeling inside them.  The feeling of passion to do something wonderful and great in their life.  Children always dream big . . . And then something happens; the reality of life and its challenges quickly filter out those big dreams.  I hope, with all my heart, that Nicholas and Noah go through life believing in their dreams; knowing that they will be the only ones that stand in the way of making them come true. 

With that . . . I just want to share some of my favorite pictures of Noah's last Tball game.  He is truly our "Lil Slugger!"



Leading in the Little League Pledge

Getting Pumped . . .  :0)

Our Lil' Slugger

On first base . . . Look how serious he is! 

Sliding into home plate!

Alligator hands!  Just like Nicholas taught him :0)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Perfect Day

Yesterday was the perfect day.  It was perfect for all the ordinary reasons and something inside me was calm enough and in the moment enough to stop and really, really appreciate my very blessed life.

There was no particular moment that made it perfect . . . Rather it was the little moments throughout the day that tugged at my heart.  Reminding me that it really is the little things that matter.

It was the sweet tasting oranges we bought at the farmers market yesterday morning . . .

It was the sparkle in Noah's eye and the sound of his giggle when I gave him a chocolate mint after his lunch . . .

It was having Nicholas call me to ask if he could play with his friends in the neighborhood . . .

It was the quiet time I got to spend with Jay in the afternoon . . .

It was seeing the baseball fields busy as teams prepared for the upcoming tournament . . .

It was being in a carpool . . .

It was hearing Noah's laughter and excitement from our backyard as he and Jay filled balloons up with water . . .

It was the sight of pure bliss on Noah's face as he sat with his teammates during his team party . . .

It was the honest joy and pride in his eyes as Noah held his very first trophy in his hands . . .

It was the sight of the water balloon fight between Noah's tball team and the parents.  There was so much laughter and joy - it was a perfect celebration!

It was sitting by our firepit with Jay as we grilled dinner for our family . . .

As I got ready for bed I smiled and felt so blessed.  I never dreamed of an extravagent life, but I have always dreamed of being a wife and mother . . . Having my days filled with the sound of my children's laughter and my husband at my side.  That was yesterday . . . It was just perfect.

Noah enjoying his teammates!

Receiving his trophy.  His squeal with delight was the best!!!

Pre-water balloon fight . . . Siblings joined too.  What a great time for everyone!

Noah and Jay battling!  :0)

Noah getting his coach!  And look at Jay in the background, he had no mercy on the lil' guys :0)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is it really summer . . .

Today is the last day of May!  Oh my word!  Time sure has flown by.  This past Friday was Nicholas' last day of school.  It really didn't feel like the last day of school, it felt like just another Friday . . . This is the first time his school district has ended school this early; usually he's in school until the second week of June.  He's happy to be home and be done with school a couple weeks earlier :0).

So summer is here . . . Oh what to do?  We really have no plans at this point.  Well, besides baseball.  Today is Nicholas' last season game, before his team goes into the Tournament of Champions.  Noah has one more game this Saturday.  So we're still in basball mode.  It's safe to say that it doesn't really feel like summer just yet. 

Our plans for summer vacation are all up in the air.  We don't have anything set in stone just yet, but we'd sure like to get in our annual camping trip and Wild Rivers trip; not to mention a few trips to the beach!  Nicholas has some friends that moved into the neighborhood and his summer days are filling up with bike rides, street wiffle ball, and hanging out at eachother's houses.  Oh to be young and filled with frivolous play :0) 

Well for Memorial Day weekend Nicholas' travel team played in a tournament here in town.  His team lost all 3 games, but it was their first tournament . . . It was an experience for the kids and it's only a matter of time; they just need a few more tournaments together under their belt.  They'll do great; I just know they will.

Today . . . it's, kinda, the official first day of summer.  The sun is out, and my days aren't really that much different then all the others.  I have bathrooms to clean, laundry to finish, and meals to cook!  However, I have a few projects around here that I'd like to get done . . . Projects that involve paint! 

Happy 1st Day of Summer!



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baseball videos

The boys' baseball season is winding down.  They each have 3 games left and I can't believe how fast this season has flown by.  But, Nicholas' team, with one more win, will be playing in the tournament of champions!  So really the season isn't quite over yet.

This is also Nicholas' last week of school.  I'm looking forward to the summer days ahead!  The days of no routines, beach day, pool days and the smell of bbq!  I can't wait.

I wanted to share 2 videos of the boys over the weekend.  Both at the baseball fields . . . Enjoy!

video
video

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

The May-Grey that's been going on here has been awful.  Noah and I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies the other day.  I love baking with him; I love the smile and happiness on his face when he gets to help mama out.  Sure it gets messy . . . But I'm so over keeping everything all clean and tidy.  Right now it's all about hanging with my lil' guy having some yummy fun in the kitchen.

I've been using this chocolate chip cookie recipe for years now!  I like to try different ones, but I always come back to this particular recipe.  It never disappoints.  It's loaded with chocolate chips, it's fluffy, and it's sweet enough to put a smile on anyones face.  I wish I could say that I created this recipe all on my own . . . It's from a cookie recipe book that was given to me years and years ago . . . When Nicholas was still a sweet-smelling toddler :0)  I have since renamed this cookie recipe as Auntie Mis' Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Every time I make these cookies I think of my 3 handsome nephews, Vincent Jr., SJ, and KJ.  They never fail to tell me or show me, by the grins on their faces, how much they love and appreciate the sweet treats I bring along with me to our family gatherings.  That is the beauty of homemade chocolate chip cookies . . .

Auntie Mis' Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. real vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix butter and sugar together until completely blended.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Add dry ingredients a little at a time.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips and mix.  Bake for 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven. 

* I have found that these cookies bake well if they have been refrigerated overnight.  Hope you enjoy this cookie recipe!

Of course I had to include a few pictures . . . Of the cookies and my assistant!

Fluffy and Loaded with Chocolate Chips :0)

A perfect after school snack. 

Assistant Chef . . . Or taste tester.  Wherever he's needed :0)

Delicious!