Tag Archives: Tradition

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

So much has happened since your last birthday! It was a year of friendships, independence, growth and learning. Before I start your year in review I want you to know how very proud Mommy & Daddy are of you! Daily you exceed our expectations.
I know you have only completed Kindergarten so far, but we hope you continue your education for many years and live a long healthy life that brings you joy. You have a drive in you like I have never seen in anyone else. We only see a bright future for you and while I don’t want you to grow up anymore than you already have, Everyone can’t wait to see who you will become. Happy Birthday Emery, we love you so much! 

Emery’s year in review

You started Kindergarten


I have never seen someone end the first day of Kindergarten with so much sass.

& completely nailed it!


You worked hard & earned all your awards! Everyone is so proud of you!


You were in a winter performance & end of the school year talent show (Ariel’s Under The Sea song and dance)


You made new friendships


Leelah, Emma B., Emma V. Kashia & Emery hanging out


& miss Makayla

You had your first field trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo


& mommy got to come along

We went to Disneyland for Halloween!


Captain Hook (or Hoot as you say), Peter Pan & a lost boy.


As a 5 year old you were a Kinder Kid in gymnastics. You finally learned how to do the monkey bars! Your forward and backward rolls are great! Your cartwheels are getting better (just remember to go fast and straight legs!) and Your jumps and finishes are amazing! Miss Kaitlyn says, “Shes been ready for level 1 for a long time.”

As a family we started Vlogging on YouTube. Whenever we go some where, Mom is forced to capture the moments! (I say forced because I always kick myself for never bringing the camera. Vlogging makes sure I do it!).


We went on a few snow trips to the Sequoia National Forest


We took a trip to San Jose & went to The Children’s Discovery Museum! It was mommy’s favorite museum as a kid & I was so excited to take you two!


You painted your own face & gave yourself a mustache. Mustaches are still an obsession with you.

We went to Zoo Lights with Aunty Brandi & had a blast!



& we found Santa!


Your favorite days were spirit days at school.
[Halloween, Crazy hair & favorite decade]


Mommy got to dress up with you and help paint nails on Carnival day at school


We made a gingerbread house for the first time (& possibly last time)


Because you did so well in school & were Student Of The Month, you got to go on an extra special field trip to the movies to see Angry Birds.


You said good-bye to Mrs. Jasso’s Kinder class


& you took one last school photo with some friends



& some school friends came over a week later to wish you a happy 6th birthday!



& here are all the memorable things you did & said while you were 5:

  1. Driving by, The Island car-wash and Emery said, “The Island” [ME: “Very good Emery!”] Emery: “What did you think I was going to say? Is land?” [ME: :|]
  2. Favorite color: Yellow
  3. Favorite Cartoon: Hotel Transylvania 2
  4. Favorite Holiday: “Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Family Day & also that green Day … leprechaun Day”
  5. You did most cartwheels in your gymnastic’s class (25!) for Cartwheel-a-thon
  6. You want to be a Scientist when you grow up


    Dad bought you a lab coat & goggle’s so you could be a scientist for career day.

  7. Whats cooking homie
  8. Clownin
  9. You love family movie night
  10. Favorite Disneyland ride: Star Tours & Storyland (the boat ride that starts off by going in Monstro’s mouth)
  11. You love tea, especially on a cold night Dad will make you chamomile with honey
  12. You love chili
  13. Instead of “la cucaracha” you sing it, “Sriracha, sriracha!”
  14. Carlos I need some space to myself real quick, then we’ll be cool
  15. Mc Donald’s #2 is your favorite
  16. You love to put on your pink lipstick on. Sometimes a dark pink and a light pink mixture.
  17. What’s that whale’s name in Pinocchio? Nostrol?
  18. You love to watch make-up tutorials & cosplay tutorials.
  19. Every night you sleep with a stuffed animal. (mommy & daddy love it)
  20. You know where Grandma’s peanut stash is and either ask her for some when you visit or let her know she needs to buy some more
  21. You love Tim Burton’s work. Your newest find – Beetlejuice
  22. You learned how to ride your bike in Dec. inside the house with no training wheels!
  23. you love to make “potion” with your shampoo
  24. You cut the top of your hair right before school started
  25. What kind of animal is this” – something I don’t want to think about every night at dinner
  26. Chocolate chips are the most important part of cookies” – Emery

2014 Christmas

2014 Christmas

We welcomed December’s cold crisp air and cold nights with hot chocolate. Emery and Carlos decorated the Christmas tree this year while I stood back and watched. Carlos grabbed the ornaments and handed them off to his big sis. The clusters of ornaments together was a signature look that my babies were doing the tree all by themselves.


Later that night when Carlos was a sleep, Emery helped me make a popcorn garland; I had never made one before and I was excited. We made fresh popped popcorn and I sat on the couch starting to thread. Emery handed me popcorn with puffy tops … and then slowly her hand ended up going from the bowl to her mouth. I didn’t mind, I know she enjoys popcorn and I was just happy to have her company. The garland didn’t take very long and soon we had our very first popcorn master piece, a tribute to my two popcorn monsters.

Emery capturing my hard work

Emery capturing my hard work

The next day we made our wish list for Santa. Emery needed help putting words together, we talked about what she wanted and then I helped her spell it out. Dad was near by on the computer and ordered a few more gifts that were on her list. For Carlos I put down things that he likes-  trains, cars, animals and Diego movies. When the kids were done with their list, I made copies for Santa (so I could keep the original list). We stamped the envelopes and mailed them off to the North Pole!

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I hope Snowie put in an extra good word for us!

I hope Snowie our North Pole elf put in an extra good word for us!


In December our special friend Snowie the elf comes back to visit us and watch the kids during the morning as Santa’s little spy. At night he gets into things and the kids wake up in a hurry to find what he got into or where in the house he is. Emery was especially excited to see him! His antics were a hit with the kids and when Carlos was cranky Emery would give him Snowie to sleep with and Carlos snuggled him safe. 


A few of Snowie’s tricks at night were admiring Em’s drawing of him


I agree! Great job Emery!

I agree! Great job Emery!

Snowie made Emery and Carlos into little tree elves


Snowie was leader of his own sleigh, thanks to the help of a few dinosaurs, animals and a My Little Pony.


He got into the kids underwear and decorated the tree with them.


And one night he bothered the kids while they were sleeping . . .


Last minute I had the idea of making an ugly Christmas sweater for Carlos. I spent nights sowing little trinkets like small plastic ornaments, ball puffs, garland, gift bow and we topped it off with a Christmas light necklace.


Every year for holidays I like to make something using the kids foot print or hand print as a size reminder of how much smaller the kids were the year before. The kids dipped their foot and hand in some flour and placed it on felt. I use flour to make a print of the hands and feet instead of tracing an outline. I find the kids are more willing to get dirty and stamp their hand on something rather than holding their hand down and trying to trace around it. The flour is also more accurate, to the actual size.



outlining the flour print

outlining the flour print

Emery's little reindeer hand

Emery’s little reindeer hand

Emery & Carlos' feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

Emery & Carlos’ feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

The week of Christmas we did a mini photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree and fireplace. Taking photos of the kids was kind of difficult, things don’t always go as planned but its even harder when I’m shooting at night with no flash, every little movement from me or the kids turned the photo into a blur. I tend to shoot fast and I often neglect the background whether its straight or crooked. I think even when I shoot slow I have that problem.

Looking for Santa

Looking for Santa

Drinking Santa's milk

Drinking Santa’s milk

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at Great Grandma Mary’s and Papa Joe’s house. We had traditional tamales with pork and olives. Christmas day we went back to celebrate their Dad’s birthday and enjoy some homemade menudo amongst lots of delicious sweets.

Great Papa joe & Great Grandma Mary

Great Papa Joe & Great Grandma Mary

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Carlos had a very “train-y” Christmas and made out with lots of Thomas the Train toys. And Emery got a karaoke machine and lots of songs and movies.

Carlos the conductor

Carlos the conductor

choo choo

choo choo

Disney karaoke!

Disney karaoke!

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa's

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa’s


I’m blessed and thankful it was another year with all of our family in our lives and the kids were able to share traditions that I grew up with and to have so much love in the house.


2014 Christmas 031

Getting in the Christmas cheer


It seems like Christmas has come early this year. Before the turkey had even been cooked, lights around the block were going up for the next holiday. The Monday after Christmas I took down the Fall/Thanksgiving decorations and started getting Christmas ready. It’s always a bit of a surprise to see what kind of decorations we have stored away. As I went through the box I had forgotten about the little souvenirs stowed away. The clay hand prints, Emery’s first Christmas picture and first Christmas picture ornament, Victor’s kindergarten drawings and our 2011 family ornament photo. This is the first year we are participating in the, Elf On The Shelf craze. We got our elf at Costco, I didn’t realize until we got home that he didn’t come with the book that tells his story. However, I did find an Elf On The Shelf website to register our little guy. I walked outside at night and “found” the little elf right by our door, sitting on the pumpkins left over from Fall. Victor had just bought a Christmas tree that night so we were cleaning up and walking in and out of the house. Little Vic thought we had put the elf outside but didn’t see anyone setting him up. The kids ran to the door when I asked, “Who did this?!”. We brought the elf into the warm house and Emery named him Snowy, everyone agreed to keep the name. That next morning the kids found Snowy cuddled up next to the Christmas tree with a mini pillow and blanket. It’s going to be a fun new tradition here, to wake up and find the little guy and see what he has been up to when we were all sleeping.

Follow us on Instagram Gypsywidow for my Snowy pictures

Follow us on Instagram Gypsywidow for my Snowy pictures

Every year during this time, we take our annual family photo and send it off in a Christmas card. This year is extra special because it’s Carlos’ first time joining us in our family tradition. While every year the photo comes out beautiful, behind the scenes it’s a struggle to get everyone to smile without looking like they have to poop or to have the kids looking into the camera. Over the years Emery has always done something that wasn’t “as planned”. We’ve learned that’s just part of her quirky self. My husband and I are usually the ones taking our own family photo, so it becomes a mad dash to the camera and back to the setting before the timer goes off. This year we had Carlos’ Nina, Valerie, take our photo. Shes somewhat of an accomplished photographer, with her own calender of Sacramento and her blog about her love of film. I thought this years pictures would be a piece of cake! All we really had to worry about was the baby looking at the camera and not facing away or looking down. Well, I was wrong! Emery decided she just didn’t want to participate this year and that sent me and my husband into a panic. Another year of going crazy to get the right picture of our expanding family. While the baby was completely fine and smiled here in there, Emery was in a mood. She just wanted to go see the Christmas trees. Nothing will work when she doesn’t want to do anything, we begged, pleaded, bribed her with candy (how awful I know) and offered to pay her in gold (I maybe exaggerating a little now)  but that little smile of hers wasn’t budging. Emery’s latest thing for the past few weeks has been her collecting walking-sticks. She usually finds the shortest ones and walks around hunched back with her stick. As we posed for the photos in group pictures, Emery walked the orchards and found a walking stick to her liking. We let her take a picture with it, because as we said before, Emery will be Emery and her silliness is what makes her so special. THAT and because she looked like a cave women in her faux fur vest, little fox shoes and her warding club.

The walking-stick that will live on in pictures.

The walking-stick that will live on in pictures.

However, when it was all said and done with we got the photo we wanted! Valerie messaged me the best of’s and believe it or not, the last picture she took with her phone as a fast quicky so we could see how they looked, right before it died was the winning picture!  It captured Emery in her funk but with a slight smile, the baby looking up with a slight silly face, the 10-year-old messing with grass and the two parents who survived another year of our favorite yet hectic tradition in a perfect (if i do say so myself, and I will) pose. It’s classically us.

2013 Family Photo

Family Photo

Before it gets too late into the month I sat the kids down after dinner and had them write their Christmas list. I played Christmas music via Pandora, made them hot coco and gave them each a Christmas cookie I had bought them the day before. Cooking is not my forte, I can’t cook or bake. I had to make the hot coco three times before it came out. The first attempt I just put the powder on top of the milk, apparently this was a big mistake, as it did not mix at all. The second time I read the back of the packet and it stated that I needed to pour warm/hot milk into the cup. I put milk into a saucer and waiter for a slight boil. Then I smelt burnt milk and realized that the milk on the bottom was burning away. Third time was a charm! I put the milk back in the saucer stirred it the whole time and put it on real low. After telling my cooking story to my Sister-in-law, she asked me “why didn’t you just nuke it in the microwave”. Yesterday while driving around Emery started to question Santa. She asked, “Why is Santa magic?”. Why is he magic? I don’t know why he’s magic really, so I said I wasn’t sure, he just is. She  responded, “Well, he doesn’t have a wand”. Haha how can I argue with that logic! She’s always been impossible to trick, by the time she’s in Kindergarten she’s going to hand out pamphlets to the kids, telling them to question “big brother” and think for themselves.

The Santa paper can be found on my Pinterest Mommylaughs

The Santa paper can be found on my Pinterest Mommylaughs

Emery's Christmas list. Written by her this year, with guidance from me. This will be something I will save .

Emery’s Christmas list. Written by her this year, with guidance from me. This will be something I will save .

And as I do with each Holiday I printed out some pictures for the kids to color. I found some religious coloring pages with scripture, so that especially the little ones can grow up remembering Christmas is religious time and not just about elves and gifts.
Every night or when there’s time I’ve been reading a story or two from Emery’s children’s bible. Her favorite is Adam & Eve, so I have to read that at least once. There’s sure to be more memories made this year and crafts to be put away, and found again next year.

As I’m about publish this to the world-wide-web I realized it’s a very special day! Emery is now 3 1/2 today! Every 6 months I cry when the kids get a year and a half older. It’s always bitter-sweet to see them growing up.

Happy 3 1/2 Birthday to my crazy Angel!

Happy 3 1/2 Birthday to my crazy Angel!