It’s Good To Have Friends with Places

We feel so blessed to have such great friends in our lives to do and share life with.  We have some friends who have a cabin in Bass Lake and we have spent many weekends away building great memories, with and without their family.  I feel so thankful that God allows us opportunities of rest and solitude in His creation –  there is nothing like being in nature for me.

Our friends recently moved cabins and they offered it to us the weekend after my ARTofFREEDOM event.  Sure, there was plenty of follow up that needed to happen, but even more we needed a getaway.  Unfortunately, it also happened to be Jon’s men’s retreat weekend, so up me the kids and my mom went (despite Jon’s recommendation that it wasn’t a good weekend to go 😉 ).

We did a lot of this…


My Jovi…photo_2-2

My Swee…photo_3-3

Symphony has personality plus to say the least!  Which also includes her own fashion decisions (which to be honest, I LOVE) AND a really great attitude to help.


I think Big Brother has done a great job in leading by example as a hard worker (sometimes).  So why not start sweeping the leaves into a pile just to kick!?!


The first day we walked to the lake and got perfectly messy…

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I Love this woman.  She has given me the best example of what a GREAT MOTHER is.  I’m so thankful to have her in my life.IMG_4917

And so are my kids… After nap time, we played cribbage and a eye spy board game G-ma brought.IMG_4969

Sunday morning we had reading time (and looks like we also had some nose picking time)…


Then we had some watercolor painting outside…IMG_5002

It was a great weekend making memories!  We love doing life with our G-ma!  IMG_5008


Celebrating my Two Littles in a Smashing Way!

My MOST PRIZED, CHERISHED, and FULFILLING role in life is being a mom.  Honest.  I wouldn’t change having one dirty diaper, time out or whine for the world!  Christopher and Symphony make my cup full of so much joy, love, life, exploration and just plain goodness.  So celebrating them is very easy to do!  I know this is a very old event, but these two are worth the post no matter how long ago.


In March we get to celebrate both of their births.  So this year, we had a combined birthday; and since Christopher is the oldest, and at the time Symphony didn’t have much of an understanding of ‘themed parties’ Christopher got his way – it was a Smashin’ Angry Bird Training Camp!

Cropped Pic


The night before the party the kids stayed at my mom’s so when they arrived in the morning, they got to see their backyard Angry Bird Training Camp for the first time.  They were so excited, and we were so excited for them!  It was the perfect Spring day!



The decor was everything smashing angry birds of course!  Christopher was not allowed to have gum until he was 5 years old.  He did so good!  So naturally centerpieces were filled with gum balls and the golden egg!


Food… (not pictured was gummy worms “Bird Food”)


This area was for Symphony’s friends… birds still in bootcamp.


Training camp was on!!  Kids got to launch their bird and smash those little piggies!  We couldn’t have done it without the help of some awesome family and friends who kept the walls intact and kids in line!  (Official Training Camp Sling Shot designed and created by Dad and Son Shabaglian.)

Angry Bird Training Camp 2013!
Angry Bird Training Camp 2013!

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Bless these little ones and all You have in store for them God.IMG_1971

Peace out piggy’s!!!


My Firstborn in Kindergarten

Last Monday, I emotionally sent off my first born to kindergarten.  I am mixed with mostly negative and helpless feelings.  Feelings of inadequacy and guilt.  The first five years are the most important they say for the success of their entire future! (wow, what a load to carry for new young moms!).  His first 5 years now behind me, I can’t get them back.

Did I do it right?  Did I play enough?  Did I build enough forts?  Did I dig in the dirt enough?  Did I listen enough?  I know I didn’t kick the ball enough, or pull out the finger paints enough.  His manners and ABC’s is not what I worry about.  He’s off the charts there.  It’s the knowing that for the next 13+ years he has a routine that I am no longer in control of, and I am sending him off into the hands of others, wondering if I really did my best and gave him my all before letting him go?  I still don’t know; but I could not be a more proud mother.


Christopher stole my heart from the day we knew we were pregnant.  Then once again, when we found out he was not a ‘she’, then again from the moment he was born; I was in awe, smitten and heart handed over to him!

In preparation for his big day, we went shopping, got a back pack (yes, turtle power is cool again), and tried to make his 1st day extra special!


My mom (like second mom to my kids), Jon’s parents and Pastor JR came over for Christopher choice breakfast… cereal and bacon!  😉  We all prayed over him and walked him to his classroom.

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Then there was the ugly cry…. glasses had to go on.


And as any good first mom would do, I stalked him at recesses.  Yes, I did that.  And guess what, he came out the line leader!  My heart was so happy.  But he wasn’t playing with anyone and he shortly went to go sit down under a tree by himself.  ;(  My heart broke.  Now not occupied with a playground, he spotted us across the street – and started to cry.  I of course went up to the fence (assured the teacher is going to hate me), encouraged him and had to leave before it got too bad.  However, by the end of the day the tide had changed.  (whew!) Response to “So how was your first day of school?”, he replied, “I loved it, I loved it!”  WHAT?!?!  Ahh, and every day since it has been just as wonderful!


His teacher Miss Silviera.  (taken a week after the first day).  So far we love her and the fresh spirit she has for her class!

c and teacher

For dinner he also gets to pick the meal.  The menu for 2013?  Pineapple pizza and crab.  Yes, crab!  (2012 – PB&J and Crab).  So amazing G-ma spoiled him with crab and we picked up the pizza!  Thank you Mom for making it such a special night.


We spent the night swimming and playing in the thunderstorm.  Not sure it was the best idea, but it sure was fun!


Christopher already has three ‘best friends.’  We did not know their names for the first few days.  But they were his ‘best’ friends.  What I love about our diverse little community is that the nationalities of these 4 little compadres are caucasion, african-american, hmong and latino.   When I was mentioning that, Christopher said in defense, “they’re all American!”  I concur!  😉

A fireman or not Christopher, you will be a great man looking out for the interest of others!  We love you and are deeply proud of you!




Summer in Cream Puff: Just the Beginning

This summer we have committed to make memories in Cream Puff!  To be coined “The Summer of Cream Puff”

We had a GREAT start a few weekends ago.  A home away from home in Pismo, Cali, our little family has found a place to make memories…

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A must every visit!

Snow Day!

ImageHere is Swee, so sweet and snuggly!!

I have been wanting to get our family to the snow this year (I’m not sure where this year has gone by the way), and had been thinking about this weekend being a good time to go.  BUT, I also had a (task) list of reasons why we couldn’t.  So, when our friends called and asked us to join them for a stay at their cabin and snow day, I knew it was meant to be!

However, just going for the day rather than overnight was our compromise to handle my mental madness, and it was nothing less than perfect.  The Johanson’s are dear friends of ours and our family’s love each other, so it is always just so easy…

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Busy life don’t go too fast…..


Easter 2012

Easter has always been a favorite holiday, and recently even more; as it is the first holiday now BOTH of my children celebrated in their little lives.

Symphony’s first Easter (last year):

Leading up to Easter in this home is always a bit more hectic (then we already are).  Jon and his worship team put in more hours, thought and  creativity than usual; which means for longer rehearsals, and more nights rehearsing.  HOWEVER, it’s ALL worth it!  We had an amazing church service where nearly 30 people came forward to give their lives to Jesus for the first time, or rededicate themselves to Him.  (Isn’t knowing Him really what that day is all about?)

After service we celebrate with Jon’s side of the family.  This side of the family is SO special.  We are all in the season of life where we are growing our families with littles and they are growing up together.  It doesn’t get any better.  I am so grateful for this large family!  For the past few years we have been able to take advantage of beautiful weather and Jesse and Allie’s pizza oven!

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Hope your day was as fun and sweet as ours was!

You Have My Heart…

Christopher… even as I type your name about to dig into the emotional reservoir I have for you, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with such a deep love for you my son.

Never could I have imagined how much fulfillment you would bring into my life.  Today  you turn 4.  (I’m not sure how this is happening because just two weeks ago, you promised me that you would stay 3 forever for me.  However, the time machine is inevitable for us all, thank you for being willing.  😉 )  I thank God for you EVERY DAY.  I really do.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I gave birth to you, and couldn’t take my eyes off of you.  Every stage of your little life I have tried to cherish and soak up.  If I could bottle moments, I would make the current reality show ‘Hoarders’ because I would have no room for anything else.

Christopher, you make your dad and I so proud.  You are sweet and caring.  You love to help!  You, like me, are a doer.  And you ARE our best little helper.  You always want to cook with us, you have fine taste buds little one… from PB&J to crab, you’re pallet is advanced to say the least.  You love the beach and the beat of a drum.  Music is an obvious love –  definitely not from me.  😉  THOUGH, we do often make up our own songs and they quickly become our favorites.  Your favorite color is still blue – dark blue.  You love to hide and be found.  You love to make us laugh.  You have a strong hospitality gift and are the BEST Big Brother!!!

Your sister loves and trusts you.  You have learned to be so gentle with her and love to make her happy.  You will most likely enter preschool this year, and more than ever venture in finding your own little self.  I’m hoping you’ll always kiss me and hug me in front of your friends.

Though I know I can’t keep you three forever, I do hope that I will always be a mom that, just as you do now, can trust me for all things.  I commit to do my best to preserve that trust with you.  I love you more than words can write Christopher Daniel.  I am SO GRATEFUL God has given you to me for this lifetime – you have made me very rich.

You have my heart Son and I hope you feel SOOO much love today on your special day!



Current Nick Names:  Jovi, Shark, Shark Bait, Favorite Son and Jovi Monster!