Monday, November 16, 2009


Today I made the most yummy lentil soup ever! I have never made this kind of soup before. It was so easy and tasted so yummy. Lentil's are packed with protein and I have been trying to increase my protein this year, for various reasons. You should make this some time.


2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, cubed (I didn't add onions, I don't like them)
1 tsp minced garlic
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups lentils-soaked, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
7 cups chicken broth
1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.) In a large stockpot, saute the onions in oil until they are glossy. Stir in garlic, paprika, celery, carrots, and saute for 10 minutes.

2.) Once the veggies have sauteed for 10 minutes stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, lentils, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir well, then add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Slowly reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour on low to medium heat or until the lentils are tender.

3.) Sprinkle the soup with parsley and parmesan (optional)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Trojan's Soccer
Charli's first official sports picture!

Trojan's soccer team: Coach Kristi, Michael, Charli, Gracie, Alli, Braden
Marcus, Aubrey, Martin

Soccer friends!
James (The Cheetah's)
Brian (The Panther's)
Charli (The Trojan's)

Charli, James, Gracie
This day Charli and James played eachother

Charli enjoyed a very yummy snow cone after a hot day of soccer!


My little scarecrow!

Mrs. Levin reading the class a story
Charli was picked to be the helper of the day
notice her sitting in the special chair
in front of the class

Taking pictures outside the classroom
in front of the art wall
with the class scarecrow

Chad took the day off to par-take in the special day.
helping Charli make a crow

Charli passing out the cookies and Halloween candy
that we put together for the class

Look at all those cute Scarecrows!

This was a super fun day in Kindergarten! All five Kindergarten classes participated in this day, and each class had special things going on in their classerooms. Charli's class had face painting (I got to paint faces!), make a crow craft, and games. The school plans a theme for each grade and Kindergarten takes the Scarecrow theme. This is how the school gets around letting kids wear their Halloween costumes to school. Chad took the day off work to par-take in the festivities and I think he had as much fun as the kids.


Juliette, Charli, Gracie, Hailey, Kiley
waiting patiently for the bus to arrive

Charli & Gracie's first bus ride, ever!
Kids where excited
Parents where nervous

Amy helping Charli grind the corn

Gracie's perfect pumpkin

Charli's perfect pumpkin

The Curious George Class

TJ Farms was a very fun filled day for The Curious George class. The Kindergartener's rode the bus to the pumpkin patch and then Amy, Owen and I met them there in my car. The kids got to grind corn, feed the farm animals, pick out the perfect pumpkin (Mrs. Levin told them, the perfect pumpkin is one that you can carry all by yourself) they also got to play in a hay maze. Charli had a great day until she noticed that her "perfect pumpkin got mud on her, and then it was all over as we know it. Mrs. Levin got to see Charli's dark side that day. Charli threw one of the biggest fits, even I was impressed. I pretty much ignored her and put on a happy face as she melted down. Eventually Charli her own time...and we were able to enjoy the rest of our day. After TJ Farms, Amy, James, Owen, Charli and I went to lunch and also to the candy store for some very yummy gelato.


Charli and James in their adorable shirts that Amy made!
They really are the graduating class of 2022
Is that crazy or what!!!

I also made Mrs. M and Mrs. Levin matching shirts!

Mrs. M is the Clifford class
Mrs. Levin is the Curious George class
I also sewed their room numbers each shirt

I also sewed a linking monkey shirt for Mrs. Levin!
Both teachers loved their shirts
I was so excited to make these two amazing teachers shirts!

Oct 2nd was Matching Outfit day at school! Amy and I knew exactly what Charli and James would wear on this day! Over the summer Amy sewed matching shirts for Charli, James and Renton. The three kids who would be going into Kindergarten in Aug. We got so many responses from parents and teachers when Charli and James wore their shirts this day. 2022 seems so far away, it is crazy! I also wanted Mrs. Levin (Charli's teacher) and Mrs. M (another Kindergarten teacher) to have matching shirts. They both loved their matching shirts.


Charli and Drake
jumping into the huge
bounce house obstacle course

The humongous basketball hoop!
The balls where almost bigger than Charli

Another obstacle course!

Charli running back from the obstacle course
Go Charli Go!
The 4 way tug-o-war!
This was the coolest tug-o-war I have ever seen
The kids loved it!

Charli's whole school was treated to an Obstacle Course Day, hosted by the high school students!
The kids loved all the events set up but I think they loved the 4 way tug-o-war the best!


Charli was picked to take the
Curious George backpack home
along with all his treasures!
(She is in the Curious George class, if you couldn't tell)

1.) Curious George and I took a nap together
2.) Me and George watched Buddy (Elf)
3.) Curious George and I watched the Giants with my Daddy.
Go Giants!

Mrs. Levin posts the class art work outside the class room
Charli is standing directly under her masterpiece!

Big Buddy day!
Amy's 6th graders from Evergreen 6, are the Kindergarten's buddies this year!
Charli and her buddy Lexi
working on the Skill-A-Thon


Here we are in front of California Park
waiting to start our adventure!

Princess Charli had royal makeup applied
before she met the princesses
Doesn't she look beautiful!

Charli lucked out
she got to meet 4 Princesses
Cinderella had to take a tea break
so Aurora elegantly stepped in

We toured Mickey Mouses house
and got to meet him
he was waiting in the back
They announced to Mickey that he had
royalty coming to meet him
and he bowed down to Charli when she entered the room

Disneyland was all decorated for Halloween
when we visited
they had a huge candy corn display.
Charli also found the cutest little house to play in
I think she would have played in that all day if I let her
she also posed with a Lego Darth Vader and Mater and Lightening MacQueen!

Charli also hitched a ride when ever she could
Daddy and Uncle Dave were always willing to pick her up!

Here we are waiting to see the Bugs Life show
It was called "It's tough to be a bug"
We had to walk out of the show
Charli was hysterical
it was a very 3-D show and too scary for her!

Overall we had a wonderful trip and can't wait to go back. We are thinking when Charli is 7 yrs. So in two years! We also learned that you can't tackle Disneyland and CA Park in just one day. So next time I hope to go for two days. One day at Disneyland and another at CA Park.

Uncle Dave, Aunt Sherri and Aunt Marie all made this wonderful trip possible for us and we are so thankful for that! We flew down to Corona and stayed with Dave and Sherri on Thurs Sept 24th, went to Disneyland on Friday, Chad and Dave golfed on Sat while Sherri, Charli and I played at a local park and then flew home on Sunday. It was a whirlwind of a weekend but so much fun!

Monday, October 5, 2009


8 yrs old

Last month we chose to make the heart retching decision to have Zilba put down. It was a strange thing to go through all around. Chad was for sure ready way before I was and I thank him to this day for letting me be the one to make the final decision that it was time. I think Chad just knew that he would never win that battle. So like any good husband, he sat back and let me come around to when I was ready.

We got Zilba in May 2001. He was only 6 weeks old. Chad and I instantly fell in love with this tiny furry grey...steel blue eyed puppy. From that moment I knew Zilba was meant to be our dog and also fill two very important voids in my life. That Zilba came through with flying colors. At that time in 2001 I was feeling the baby itch...pretty bad! But we weren't quite ready to start a family. My open adoption with Chiara and the Muratore's was still so new and fresh and I was just needing something to hold onto. Zilba was the prefect fit, for all my desires. He became MY dog in no time.

As the years when on Zilba had many health issues from very sensitive skin, to ear infections which would turn into hematoma's. I think he got around 10 hematoma's in his life time. He seemed to also have boarder-line separation anxiety, which was no fun to deal with.

In Nov 2007 Zilba bit Charli on the face, and ever since then our trust was lost with him, around Charli. From that point on he was never allowed around Charli unless we were in the room with him. Otherwise he was kept away from her or any children when in our house. That was very stressful and caused Chad and I to always have our guard up and be on alert at all times.

So this last Sep. Zilba got another ear infection which caused a hematoma and I just knew in my gut that it was time. Chad and I had talked about our options with Zilba and both of us felt exhaused by him overall. It seemed to be never ending with Zilba. I also started to emotionally detach myself from him this last year, knowing in the back of my mind that this day was coming sooner that I would probably like. So we decided that we would have our vet put him down. I told Chad that I couldn't take Zilba in and hoped that he could step up. And of course he did. I was very emotional for about 2 days leading up to the day, Chad seemed fine until it was time for him to actually take Zilba. I was go relieved to see Chad show some emotion around this. It made me feel like I was not alone in this decision.

Overall I know we made the right decision. It was not easy by any means but I know that Zilba is relieved of his medical issues, we are relieved financially, and we have now been able to really connect with Leia (Zilba's daughter) whom we absolutely love! Leia is such a great dog and we are really enjoying being a one dog family.

Zilba I hope you have forgiven us for sending you to doggy heaven sooner than you probably planned...but I hope you have found your brother Will, and I hope he is being nice to you up there. We miss you and love you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My little girl turned 5!
I can't believe how fast the last 5 yrs has gone!
Charli you have changed mine & your daddy's lives in so many ways
I can't imagine life without you.
I love you so much

I love your sweet little smile in this picture.
You really enjoyed your party.

Emily, Kadence & Charli
on the twisty slide.

Kadence & Charli
having a great time!

Charli admiring her beautiful
Hello Kitty cake
created by my amazing friend

Charli so excited to receive her very own camera
from Brookie!
She asked Brookie for a camera for her birthday
back in March
and of course Brooke fulfilled Charli's wishes!

Look at all these very patient friends
watching Charli open her presents!

Charli's birthday party was a great success! This year we held her party at a local park and everyone that attended had a great time! My wonderful friend Kelly came through...once again with an amazing Hello Kitty themed cake...per Charli's request! The cake was a huge hit and the boys enjoyed watching Hello Kitty get cut up once it was time to serve the cake.

This year I opted to go as simple as possible for Charli's birthday party. And I have to say I actually got to enjoy the party for once... instead of stressing about the little details. I let it all go this year and am so glad I did. Charli had a great time....and I think all 21 of her little friends did too. Thank you everyone for making Charli's day so special.

And thank you so much Dad for taking all the amazing pictures!

Friday, August 14, 2009


James, Renton and Charli
are the future class of
Amy made these cute shirts
for these three kids
who are all going into Kindergarten

August 11, 2009
The first day of school!

This is one of my favorite pictures!

Charli with her new school bag!

Rug time in Mrs. Levin's class

Charli and Mommy doing the first project together.

It's official....Charli is in Kindergarten, and we have completed a week of school already! Charli is really loving her new class, her teacher Mrs. Levin (we just love her), making new friends, and she brought home her first packet of homework today! It is all very exciting! We have had some ups and downs at home lately but overall things are going well in our household. I know that we will all get into this new routine and everyone will be fine.

Tuesday was a parent/student orientation at school from 8:15 to 10:00. Chad took the day off, and was able to participate in the day too! Mrs. Levin introduced herself to the class, sent the kids off on a tour of the school while she went over her program with the parents. The kids came back to class about 30 mins later and we participated in a project of getting acquainted with the classroom.

Wednesday, second day of school from 7:55 to 11:15. Charli had a rocky morning and wanted to wear the same outfit from the day before. Finally she found an outfit that would work. Thank goodness because there was no way I could let her wear the same outfit on the second day of school. She had a great day at school, but that was about as far as her good mood lasted. I think she left it at school or gave it to Mrs. Levin. Melt down after melt down with me for the rest of the day.

Thursday, 3rd day of school was a great day! Home behavior not so much but really it was only 2 outburst for me, so I can't complain too much.

Friday, 4th day of school, again another great day at school. Charli had a hard time when it was time for me to leave. This afternoon has been fine though. She is currently asleep at 2:40 in the afternoon. I know that she has got to be tired from this very new routine we are all on, and all the new everything she is taking in at almost 5 yrs old!!!