Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day of Silence

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name,
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King,
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of Mom and Dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools."
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the families that have been affected by this tragedy. I will be loving and hugging my little firsties just a little tighter as I have my own children in the wake of these events.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Catch up and Instafaves

This past Tuesday I went back to work and I must say the transition has not been as bad as I thought it would be. On the home front I know my super dad husband has got everything covered. He's actually pretty good at managing kids, house chores, and a business on top of that!  I truly admire him for being able to handle all of that. I always say he's better at it than I am. I remember when I stayed home with our first child he would come home from work and I hadn't even started dinner yet! The house had not been picked up and I was completely exhausted. Now that we have three I must confess I don't like when left by myself with all three. At first I thought it was because I come from a small family and am not used to being outnumbered. Where as Johnny comes from a family of 4 boys and having a loud house is totally normal. I am currently taking a leadership class at our church where I have been learning a lot about myself and I finally figured it out! My personality type enjoys peace, order, and stability. And when I am not in that kind of environment I easily feel flustered and out of control of the situation. I know that's weird to think about considering that I am a teacher and am outnumbered every day of the week in my classroom. BUT, when their not your own kids their usually at a somewhat decent behavior and I have routines and a system for every little issue that can come. But for some reason your own kids know you so well, know what cards you hold, and know what buttons to push to send you over your limit sometimes. I think the key too is that at school the kids are almost ALWAYS busy. Where as at home they get bored of playing with each other or with their toys and thus will get into some sticky situations just because they have nothing else better to do. Anyone have any ideas how to keep a 7 yr. old and a 2 yr. old busy aside from watching a movie? hmmm......

On the school front I have been super blessed with a great group of kids! They have been looking forward to having me join them this year. My long term sub had my coming back to school day noted on the classroom calendar and the kids had a countdown going. They were super excited for the big day and it's been fun so far interacting with these little first graders! Not a day goes by that something is said or they do something that cracks me up. I love to share the funny stories! Here's one...

1st Grader- I just want to let you know I won't be at school tomorrow b/c  Iam going to the airport tomorrow to pick up my cousin. I have to go to welcome her to Texas.

Teacher- Oh ok. That sounds like fun. I am sure your cousin would love to see you at the airport. Will miss you tomorrow.

The next morning.......

Same 1st grader- As you can see I decided to come to school after all. I told my mom I could not miss today because I am scheduled to go to the computer station during center time. And I was not about to miss computer time over going to the airport. I told my mom she can go without me and I'll just see my cousin later. She'll do fine without me.

So funny! I am glad to see these kids love computer time so much!

Here are some favorite instagrams of what we've been up to! 

Go Texans!!!

Going to the Texans Game with some friends IN STYLE!

Secret to get a 2yr. to smile.....Tickle time during the pose!

Let's play "Can you copy my face?"

Oh yah!! You go girl!

Happy Halloween from Trouble 1, Trouble 2, & Trouble 3!

Trick or Treat!

Our small group hosted a gender reveal party for my sweet friend Trina! It's a boy!!! Boy # guys are on a roll!


Saturday, October 13, 2012


I am usually the last one to join any kind of bandwagon. But I recently fell in love with Instagram! I am still not one to take pictures all the time but am hoping this gets me rolling. We'll see! Here are some of my favorite pics. We'll see if I can have regular posts where I just dump all my instagrams on here on a regular basis! I should probably stop making promises about doing anything on the ole' blog on a regular basis. I epically fail each time! Oh well....better to make and live the memories vs. trying to record them. : )

BIG BROTHER....little sister

Why is she putting this thing so close to me?! What is going on?


Friday, August 31, 2012

A New Time Out Spot

Our little Maciah has officially entered into his terrible 2 stage! He tests his boundaries with us constantly and pays a visit to time out several times a day....well on a bad day that is. He has his good days sometimes.  He has become accustomed to time out and doesn't argue when the consequence is called for. He calmly walks over to his time out spot and sits down quietly. It's the cutest thing to watch him accept his consequence so eloquently. EXCEPT when as a parent you wanna see some sort of emotional reaction for those bad choices. Well on one of those bad days we got that reaction we were looking for by just changing his time out spot. I think it worked! What do you think?

***Disclaimer*** Before you go calling CPS this is the picture of him before we threatened to walk away. Which we never did. It only took 2 seconds to get the cry and for him to learn his lesson. He's back to his original time out spot where he is safe instead of hanging by a thread! LOL.  Our little terrible 2...gotta love him! At least he's got cuteness going for him!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A peak into the waiting area....

For the birth of Illana we had a sweet friend take pictures of our special day to capture the moments and reactions of our family to the gender reveal! Being that I was in recovery I missed out on the jumping and hollering going on in the hallway. I wish I could have been there to introduce little Illana but having pictures taken was extra special because we get to keep those forever. We had a photographer for the birth of our second child as well and it is awesome to go back and see still pictures of his birth story. These will be cherished forever! I just got these pictures from my friend this weekend and here are some of my favorite!

Waiting Patiently.....

How much longer till this baby comes? It's past my nap time!

You think my mother in law really wanted a girl?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's a Girl!

Illana Eve Garcia
7/30/12 12:54pm
7lb.15oz. 19.75in.

The Lord blessed our family with another little girl on July 30th! I meant to post a birth announcement sooner but the sleepless nights have gotten the best of my energy during the day! Enjoy some shots of the special day we got to meet this little bundle of joy! Maciah has officially become not only a little brother but also a big brother. He is learning how to pet his little sister gently instead of slapping like he normally does everything else. And big sister Atianna is back to smothering mommy mode like she was with Maciah when he was a baby. She asks to hold Illana every 5 minutes! So the adventures continue in the Garcia household....especially now with #3 added to our growing family! Fun times ahead!

Enjoy some shots of the special day we got to meet this little bundle of joy!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Patio Final Reveal!

The Patio is finally furnished and done! We got it completed as soon as summer started and have spent a lot of time in the back patio enjoying family dinners and just lounging around in the shade listening to the palm leaves rustle in the wind. The kids love to play in the sprinklers, baby pool, and slip and slide while we watch them from  the comfort of our patio furniture. When we shopped for patio furniture the retail price was way out of our budget as it was high demand season in the beginning of summer. So.....we got our Craigslist skills on and began the hunt for some outdoor furniture. We scored big time with the furniture we found! We got super great deals on both the conversation set and the dining table set. We LOVE us some Craigslist deals! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Concrete Gone Wrong Part 2

We left off with the concrete truck in our front yard. We were so excited about finally getting our patio floor expanded. The guys starting laying the concrete and smoothing it all out. Here are some pics of their progress..

After this step they started stamping while the concrete was still wet and then came back the next day to stain. After the contractors finished the job on day 2 we were happy with the results! Until....the concrete dried. On day 3 we found that there were some sections that were not covered with protectant sealant. Here you can see the sections that were not covered.

We called the contractor back to seal those sections and then they went on their way. I must note that our experience with this particular contractor was not stellar. Once the project was started unfortunately there were moments of miscommunication between us and the contractor. We found he was not completely honest about certain elements of the job. So by the end we were happy for them to be on their way once they came back to seal the unfinished sections. We were jumping for joy that the job was finally finished and there would not be anymore awkward moments with the conctractor. Here's the clean version..

Until......a couple of weeks later we got some rain. The palapa is pretty waterproof in the middle except for the outer edges where it comes down. The outer edges of the concrete got some water which was not unexpected but what the water did was unexpected! Here's what we found after the rain stopped.

The rain was peeling the stain off the concrete! We thought "Unbelievable...what else can go wrong?" At this point we were so done with the contractor that we decided not to call them back. We were gonna rock the rustic old concrete look and just live with it.

If anything, this taught us to do our research on contractors and look up reviews or at the very least get recommendations. Oh! And Do It Yourself when all else fails!! I'd rather have awkward moments with my husband than a complete stranger! LOL.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Patio Retreat Part 1

The last time I blogged about our outdoor backyard retreat I unveiled the palapa that we built. That was hard work but the next step after palapa construction was to decide on flooring. We went back and forth on what kind of flooring to do but ended up deciding to do  concrete in the end. My DIY self really wanted to tackle the concrete job ourselves like we did the palapa. So in order to convince Johnny I had to do my due diligence and research. I came up with the supplies needed and the cost with doing it ourselves vs. hiring a local contractor. Once I finished all my homework I was ready to plead my case. It went a little something like this....

Jaime: So...this is what we would need....about 90+bags of concrete and.....

Johnny: LOL..... That's all you had to the contractor! I'm not gonna deal with 90+ bags of concrete!

Being that there wasn't a huge difference in cost anyway I agreed feeling defeated and we started to call for bids from local concrete contractors. After the bidding process we chose a guy who also would stamp and stain for a reasonable price.

The morning the contractors came to start the project I couldn't help but watch them lay the supporting beams and lay out the grid for our space. I had read up on all the project entailed so it was fun getting to watch and several times commented to Johnny "We so could have done that....Look how easy that looks!" Until this thing rolled up to our driveway and Johnny came up next to me while I watched through the window wide eyed....and shot back with...."You were saying?"


To say the least, I am glad we  Johnny decided to hire the job out. You told me so Johnny....there it is in writing!! Enjoy it!

Stay tuned for Part 2 to see our finished flooring!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Beach Retreat 2012!

This past weekend I went on a beach retreat with a few of my friends! It was an awesome much needed couple of days spent nourishing our souls, relaxing, laughing, enjoying great food and the ocean breeze right outside our doorsteps! I told myself before the weekend started that I was going to try to do a good job of taking pictures throughout the weekend. I even left my camera in plain sight on the kitchen bar in hopes that I would be reminded to pick it up and snap some shots. Fortunately, most of the weekend was spent having fun, relaxing, and having great conversation that the time just slipped me by. The only pics I was able to take was before everyone got there of the so very cute beach house we stayed at and at dinner Saturday evening when I handed the camera over to our waiter. He went camera crazy on all of us and kept us laughing while taking random shots. Those are sometimes the best if you ask me!

Our weekend theme was "Biblical Community". We watched several video web casts provided  by the ladies over at  Incourage and had some great discussion regarding Christ Centered community and how to intentionally love each other as Christ loves us. Good Stuff!

Hoping we can make this beach retreat an annual tradition! Here is a collage with a few pics I managed to get of our girls getaway weekend!

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

HE will conquer

Our family friend's baby girl went to be with the Lord yesterday. It has been a long road as they also lost their precious son less than a year ago due to the same heart condition. You can read their story HERE. My heart and mind can't wrap around the loss and pain that our dear friends must be going through. I can only hold steadfast to the fact that our Heavenly Father will someday conquer death and restore His Kingdom for His glory. My heart so badly wants Christ to come back to once and for all claim victory over death that stings us so badly.

1 Corinthians 15:25-26 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

I can't wait to be able to sing this from a mountain top and for what is written in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 to become true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory! Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

I like to imagine I would sing this with a fist in the air in victory that my Heavenly Father finally put death under his feet. Until that day.....let us love one another and cherish each other for the short time that we spend in this temporary place.

Psalm 144:4-"Man is like a breath;his days are like a fleeting shadow."

What will you do with your life that is numbered compared to the time of a fleeting shadow and a breath? If death does anything it is to remind us of our brevity in life. May we live it for God's glory. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Carpenters during this difficult time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Piece of Mexico in the Backyard!

Last summer we decided to redeem our business expense card points(not to be confused with credit card-we are anti credit card) for a nice vacation with the whole family. After all the discussion about where to go and how long to stay we opted to bring a little bit of a vacation to our backyard instead. We figured it would be a nice investment into our home and much smarter to have a relaxing space that feels like a vacation in the comfort of our own home!

With our budget we learned that whatever we decided to do would have to be done ourselves. Hiring it out was not an option. I was so excited to be spending some quality time with my hubby building something together in the backyard and getting my hands dirty. I love making things out of nothing! Although I don't think my hubby shares the same passion.

We did some homework, and we decided to build a palapa in our backyard! I managed to find some easy to understand step by step instructions online to build a 12x12 palapa structure. We wrote out a budget for the building materials and borrowed a lot of tools that were needed with the exception of a few tools that I wanted to keep in our stash for future projects. We got to work 9 months ago and over spring break we finally finished!

I have to give credit where credit is due. Although I wanted to get my hands dirty and break a sweat I ended up holding a toddler in one arm and instruction manual in the other for the majority of the project. My hubby and dad worked most of the manual labor on this and for that I am truly grateful! I didn't complain one bit as the water runner, lunch fetcher, home depot runner, and project manager. Oh and before I forget I would like to thank for making this project possible through it's financial contribution via expense card points! To clarify it didn't take us 9 months to build this thing but that's how much time passed us by before we could complete it. Last summer we spent a couple of days working in the back and then I had to go back to work. I learned that without a project manager a project will be at a standstill. During the winter you won't find me outside unless it's right next to a chimney or bonfire. So when spring break came along we had the perfect weather and time to finally finish! Here are some pics of our building process and the finished product!

This week we will be pouring concrete to expand our patio to the edge of the palapa and then hopefully get some patio furniture to add under it. I'll post some more pics once the concrete is done. Now if only I can convince my hubby to build our own furniture by telling him furniture building is not as hard as palapa building! I'am itching to tackle the furniture plans that the talented Ana White offers on her website. You've gotta check her stuff out by clicking! Luv her!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Father/Daughter Dance

Ati and Johnny have an annual tradition of attending our city's Valentine Father/Daughter Dance. Ati looks forward to it every year and it's so special to see daddy and daughter creating these memories together. Last year they decided to ride in "style" with their friends to the dance and that just adds more excitement to the whole evening! The girls just love to be pampered by their daddy's! Here are some pics from the previous years and pics from the dance this year which they are attending tonight! What about me you ask? Well, Maciah and I had a dinner date at Chick fil A then came on home in time for his bed time and my date with a quiet house and a blanket on the couch with my laptop! Pure bliss I tell you.....