Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

We have been married for 11 years now and have tried to send out a Christmas Card and or letter every year since 2003. Well, this year it's not happening folks. We are doing this Christmas on a tight budget and had to cut back and this is one of the ways we felt like we could. Postage is very expensive these days and with email, blogs, and social media we feel we can still reach friends and family and wish everyone a Merry Christmas in a much less expensive way.  I realize that a blog post just isn't the same as a card in the mail, I still get excited when something other than a bill is put in my mail box, but this is the best we could do for Christmas 2014.  So, if you are reading this - Merry Christmas! Please know that you have made some kind of positive influence in our lives and we appreciate you. It has been a long time since I have blogged, so I have posted an update on each member of the family below.


This year has been a year of home improvements. We have done a lot of projects around the house and they have turned out pretty fabulous thanks to Darin and all of his handy-man skills.

Our biggest project was converting the garage into a classroom. Darin put in lots of hours and I am so happy with the final product.


 This is my happy place! Now my teaching doesn't disturb my family and my family doesn't disturb my teaching. We have our house back. I love it and my students do too!

Before school started, Darin made the girls some bag hooks to keep them organized.

Darin put some new cabinets in for our anniversary (not pictured) and got me a kitchen island and hung some cute red spice shelves.
We had to get a very large shed to host all of Darin's tools that were moved out of the garage for the garage conversion.
Also, not pictured: my new dining room (which used to be the preschool room). It has a nice clean coat of green and cream colored paint and a vintage style table and chairs. We also painted the bathroom peach and white instead of the 90's inspired sponge-blue paint that we had going on.
It is clear that Darin loves his family from the acts of service that he provides. Probably the biggest news for Darin this year is that his truck-driving days have finally come to an end. He began a job with All-State in October and he loves it so far. He is in training until February, so we are not out of the dark yet, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we have hope for a bright future with Darin and All-State. So Proud of Him!


Things are really busy for me. It is a constant struggle to find a balance between work and home. Everyone is pulling for my attention: my husband, girls with their school and extra-curricular activities,  and demanding toddler. It is nearly impossible to find a minute to myself for meditation, relaxation (ha!), self improvement, and exercise. I am very blessed to have a successful music studio and preschool and I love all of my students.
This year I started teaching Let's Play Music and I LOVE it!! It is a fabulous curriculum for starting the young child on the road to complete musicianship through sight-singing, note-reading, and piano playing and it is all done through PLAY. If you have a 4-6 year old, you seriously need to check out this amazing program, there are about 300 certified Let's Play Music teachers nationwide.

Lovin' on my boy! Having four beautiful children has caused some health issues for me in 2014, so I will be having a hysterectomy on December 22nd. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the Christmas Holiday and hope for a speedy recovery.

I was a black widow for Halloween this year. It is fun to be a teacher and mother of small children because you never really have to grow up.


Abigail is a very talented, busy girl. Take a look at her 2014.
Abigail's first day of 5th grade. She wanted to make sure to make a fashionable appearance as she was voted most-stylish at the end of her 4th grade year.

Dance Competition Season

Reflections Winners! Dance Choreography. They got an Honorable Mention on  the NATIONAL Level

Practicing tumbling on  the beach.

Getting ready for her talent at the Pageant. She sang "Born to Entertain"

Formal for Pageant

Open Modeling

Abigail WON! Abigail got Best Interview, Most Photogenic, Gold Talent, & Mini Queen for her Age Group at the Miss Western Sweetheart Pageant

She broke her finger the first week of school.

Fierce Tiger for Halloween

All of Abigail's activities and shopping habits are expensive, so she has been subbing paper-routes occasionally. She is a hard worker.


 Emily's first day of first grade.
 Emily's sixth birthday.
 Emily loves her Singing Made Easy Class and Let's Play Music. She especially loves doing recitals.
 Emily spent most of the year toothless. Such is the life of a six-year-old.
 Little mouse-dancer.
 Minnie Mouse at Disneyland.
 Emily loves her recreational cheer-leading class at Randy's gym. She dressed up to cheer Elizabeth on at her soccer game. 
Little Lady Bug


Elizabeth's year at a glance.
She loves basketball.

1st day of 1st grade.

Elizabeth turned six in January this year. She always requests rainbow pancakes for her birthday breakfast.

Elizabeth loves Camo print clothes and baseball caps.
She loves to go to Home Depot with dad and do crafts.

 Elizabeth went to the ER in the spring for a severe UTI, she had to be on IV antibiotics, poor thing.

Elizabeth is a pretty good soccer player too.

Little Lady Bug for Halloween

This strong girl loves gymnastics too.


Carson keeps us on our toes. He is all boy and our number one mischief maker. He is learning to talk and has some pretty funny words for things. He is happy and curious and smart. We love him!
Carson decided to get into the Vaseline one day. This is after his bath.

Future Make-Up Artist

So Sad. Carson had a terrible case of hand, foot, and mouth in the spring.


Climbing and emptying out medicine drawers, mom's jewelry box, and dresser

We have a two-year-old on our hands. Need I say more. 

Big Boy Bed that Carson refuses to sleep in, but he thinks it is a great spot to play.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Doing Dishes