Tuesday, October 23, 2007

He's Getting So BIG!

Here is my sweet baby Andrew...sleeping in his crib. I took these photos of him asleep because I couldn't believe how long he's getting and he's almost looking too big for the crib! Before I know it, he will be in a regular bed like the rest of them. Andrew will be 16 months old at the end of this month. Hopefully he won't try to climb out of his crib anytime soon!!



Random Pictures

A.J. is unnaturally good at baseball. He has amazing hand-eye coordination and can hit a pitched ball with percision that is unpredictable for a young boy his age. Here he is in action as older brother Tony pitches the ball to him.



And little Aislynn sits by and watches....


and here is Afton in her room, sitting on her bed....supposedly doing her homework.

My BMX Boys

This past Sunday, I went with "the boys" to the BMX track because it was going to be the first time A.J. raced. Up until now he has only been practicing on the track. Daddy gets him all geared up before he goes out to ride....

putting the chest protector on....

and the helmet and gloves....

and here he is! A.J. is all suited up and ready to ride!!

Here is a picture of Rich on the track. Rich races BMX, too.

And here is A.J. in action!! It's amazing that he is only 4 years old. He's been riding BMX bikes since he was 3, but we didn't let him go on the track until he was 4. And finally we've agreed to let him race at 4 and a half. Today was supposed to be his first race....BUT...the winds were too strong and they only allowed practice time. So we will have to wait until another day to race.

Here is A.J. with Alex. Alex is an awesome BMX racer and has gotton first place in many of his events. Here he is on his new green race bike that he got for his 8th birthday a few days ago. Tony is a strong BMXer, too...but on this day he had to work, so he couldn't go with us.

Alex

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can it BE any busier?

My day started early as usual. Audriana and Afton are up and out the door at 7:45, everyone eats breakfast and gets ready, the baby gets a morning bath, I take a shower -- and then at 9:15am we were out the door, all seven of us (Tony, Alex, Avery, A.J., Aislynn, Andrew and me) to take Tony to his biology and English classes in Tustin (about a 20-25 minute drive from home) We do this every Tuesday and Thursday. I hate the drive -- not that I don't like driving. I do love driving, actually. And it's nice to get out early and start our day. But the GAS is KILLING our budget!!$$$ We have a routine down, though. I drop Tony off by 10:00am and then the kids and I head to the Discovery Science Center on Tuesdays, and the Santa Ana Zoo on Thursdays. They are both just two minutes from where Tony's classes are.

Okay, but back to today: So we drop Tony off at 10:00am as usual. Then me and the kids drive to the Science Center. They have a new "mummy" exhibit there this month and the kids really had a great time exploring that. I was wishing I had my camera, because Andrew was busy building a pyramid with these huge styrofome blocks the size of his own body. To see him carrying these things around was such a sight! And so we had a fun time at the Science Center, ate lunch there, then at 12:15 got back into the car to head home to Ladera Ranch to get A.J. to preschool by 12:45. As soon as I take him into his class and sign him in, we all get BACK into the car to drive all they way back to Tustin to pick Tony up at 1:30. Yes. That's TWO trips to Tustin in one day (twice a week, remember) Okay, so we get Tony and then drive back home to Ladera Ranch. We get home by about 2:15. Now I have an hour "chill time" at home before I have to get BACK in the car to pick up A.J. from preschool. Of course when I say chill time, you know that doesn't ever happen. I have diapers to change, kids to tend to, a house to pick up (because you know there is always the clutter around -- ALWAYs -- and the kitchen is forever needing to be swept up) So then 3:15 comes too fast and I get BACK into the car to pick up A.J. Lucky that I can leave the kids home now. Audriana and Afton are back from school and can help Tony watch the little ones. I pick up A.J. at 3:30 and then we drive to the Post Office because I have to mail out some packages that have been sitting in my car forever. Then A.J. and I get back into the car and drive home. It's now 4:15 and Afton is dressed and ready for soccer. I drop off A.J. and get BACK into the car to take Afton to soccer practice. That's 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back. So when I get home, Alex is ready for his soccer game. And Audriana is ready for her choir program. And Avery is ready for her first day of religion class. So everyone piles BACK into the car. We drop Alex off, then drop Audriana off (after picking up her friend who needed a ride to choir) then we drive Avery 15 minutes down the road to her class. It's now 6:30. Afton's practice gets out at 7pm. So we don't get out of the car but drive to her practice. And then we sit. Because the coach doens't let them out at 7pm but decided to keep them until 7:10pm. By now the baby is crying, and A.J. has to pee. We pass A.J. back an empty water bottle and he pees in that (not the first time he's done this -- that kid has a very small bladder and those empty water bottles come in handy!) Afton finally comes to the car after the coach decides to end the practice, and she comes with a friend who needs a ride home (now see, although I do love my 15 passenger van, it's fairly common that we get "strays" quite often who know they can get a ride with us because we have the room!!) So then we take her friend home, and I drop all the kids off at home while I stay in the car and drive to Alex's soccer game. I catch the last 7 minutes of the game and hurry him BACK into the car again so that we can pick up Avery at her class. It is 8pm by that time. Avery is waiting for me, along with two other boys who I am giving a ride home. We get in the car, drive back to Ladera Ranch, and I drive passenger #1 to his door, then drive passenger #2 to his door, then finally head home to our door. It's now 8:25pm. Everyone is at the kitchen table ready to eat. Tony had put a pizza in the oven and had made scrambled eggs, plus cut up apples with cinnamon sprinkled over them. This is our dinner for the night. We all manage to eat together! During all my driving around, Audriana managed to get a ride home from the friend that I gave a ride to choir to. So we are all home, sitting around the table, eating dinner at 8:30pm. Not quite my ideal evening, but we made it work. So now it's 9:53pm and they are all still up. Well, Andrew has fallen asleep, and the boys are quiet in their rooms. I know that Audriana and Afton are doing homework. Aislynn is in my bed. Tony is taking out the trash for tomorrow's trash day. I told him to do that earlier when it was light out but he insisted on waiting. And that was my day. It's crazy over here. Now I'm tired but I have so much still to do. Laundry. Paying bills. Cleaning up after the day. And poor Milo needs some attention!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Santa Ana Zoo

Here is Alex on his 8th Birthday! He won't have his birthday party until later in the month (he has requested a Halloween Costume Party with his friends) but on the day of his birthday we went to the Santa Ana Zoo. We actually go here every Thursday, and since his birthday fell on a Thursday this year, well...that's where his birthday pictures were taken!
Aislynn and A.J. stand with Alex near the bamboo shoots.


Alex next to the monkey cage

at the entrance of the Zoo
Alex touches our favorite tree to visit. We call this the "spikey" tree! (in case you are wondering...Alex has the last part of his ice cream cone sticking out of his mouth in this photo)


The aviary is one of our favorite exhibits. The kids love to look for turtles in the pond.

learning about all the different animals and plant life in the aviary






and here is Andrew, who is simply along for the ride in our Zoo adventures each week. We also go to the Discovery Science center every Tuesday. Andrew is being exposed to so many different things at the wee age of 15 months. And he gets excited about EVERYTHING and loves being part of the group of homeschooling siblings!



Monday, October 8, 2007

Tony's First Job!!

Okay...the sun was very bright this morning and Tony had a hard time smiling for the camera...but I just wanted to get a few pictures of him today because this is Tony's first day at his first job! What an exciting day! He got a part time job down at our neighborhood Vons Pavillions. He rides his bike to and from work and it takes him about 4 minutes to get there. Today he works from 9:30am to 2:30pm. Because he is homeschooled, he is available at these hours, which the store really likes. Most kids his age aren't available until after 3pm. He will only work 20 hours or less a week, but this money will go in the bank and be used towards car insurance. Tony wants to start driving, but that can't happen until he can pay for his own insurance!!
He looks so handsome in his uniform.


His name tag!!

Avery and Aislynn take a peek at him through the door :) Tony's job is to bag the groceries, collect the carts, and assist the customers to their cars and in the store. He will do great at this job because he's so personable and friendly. On Sundays he will get paid doulbe time, and if he works a holiday he will get paid triple time. I'm excited that he has this grown-up responsibility. I know it will be good for him as he works towards his independence. He'll be 18 before we know it!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's Been TWENTY YEARS!!

I went to my 20 year high school reunion on Saturday. I can't BELIEVE I am that old. Seeing all these people makes it seem like just yesterday that I was in high school. It's amazing how time flies.

Of course I "won" for the classmates with the largest family!! I got a certificate and A LOT of recognition. Everyone who came up to me started with, "Trina.... wow, eight kids!!"


Below are some pictures of the night.

Here I am with San Pedro "Pirates" football studs, Leonard  and Randy. I have known Leonard since Junior High school. He would always sit in front of me because our last names started with M. I remember once in the 8th grade I was bored in Spanish class and I kept poking him in the back of the neck with my sharp pencil and would crack up everytime he flinched.... and after about 10 minutes of that he finally turned around, and with his pen he marked the arm of my white jacket with a long line. He was pretty pissed. And the long pen mark never did come out of my jacket.


Ron, Craig, and Brian  (Brian with facial hair?!! He always had such a baby face!)
Here is Noelle with longtime friend and neighbor, Jace. Jace grew up with two sisters and 4 brothers!

Franki, Robert  and Brian  .... all lived on my street growing up.

Me and Sandra (who I see regularly -- one of my closest friends) We met in the 5th grade and have been friends ever since. Sandra lives in Arizona now with her husband and her five daughters.
Me with Gia. I've known Gia forever...I think we met in Kindergarten. But actually her mom and my mom went to school together. She has a younger sister named Deva. I always thought these two girls had cool names, Gia and Deva. You just don't hear those names too often. Gia works in the performing arts -- singing, dancing, acting. She was very involved in our high school drama program.
Me and my old friend Noelle:) I've known Noelle since the 3rd grade. We have a TON of memories together. I call her my little Hawaii partner because we went to Hawaii 3 times together -- once when we were 15, again when we graduated high school, and then again the following year when we were 19. Noelle and I spent the day of our reunion together, watch old home movies of ourselves being idiots, got our nails and feet done, and shared a hotel room.
Noelle's hair is long and straight now...something that she has always wanted. I remember forever her trying to have long hair but it never seemed to grow. Now her hair is longer than mine! A first!

Tina is one of my good friends. We met in the 5th grade and went to our church classes together growing up. Tina has always had such funny sense of humor, and her laugh is contagious!! In the 8th grade, Tina and I went to see the movie The Outsiders about 10 times. Once, we even stayed in the theater after the movie ended and sunk down way low in our seats until the next showing! And what is even more pathetic, weonce snuck in a tape recorder to one showing ( one of those big, bulky kind because back then the technology is not what it is today!) and we recorded the audio of the movie so we could play it over and over again at home. I STILL have that cassette tape! You can hear Tina's laugh from time to time, which is the only reason I hang onto it. Tina is married now and has two children.


Noelle with Ron and longtime friend and neighbor John.
Here I am with Aladdin. He was my first boyfriend and we dated during half of my 10th grade year and all through the 11th grade. Interesting name he has...I rarely called him anything but "Alad". I remember my family took him with us once on a camping trip! We both did not drive and we would either walk or take the bus anywhere we needed to go. Sometimes we would take the bus. I have a lot of memories with him. He took me for a ride on his friend's motorcycle a few times. I still can't believe I lived through that -- back when helmets were only an "option"!! It was a HUGE surprise to see him a the reunion because he didn't go to our 10 year and no one had heard from him since high school. Alad has two daughters now! Wow.
This is Patti. We had a photography class together in the 12th grade. In talking, we learned that she lives just a few houses down from my mom's house.  She even remembers the "bug light" that was always on the outside wall of the house when my grandmother lived there, and so I told her all about how it was taken during the estate sale by a nieghbor and she promised to do a little detective work to find it for me!!

Here is Tina with Patsy. I have known Patsy since the 1st grade and we had always been "Best Friends" throughout our school years. Like with Noelle, we have a TON of memories together. I even went to Hawaii with her one year when I was 20. We also took a trip together to Mazatlan a few months before I got married. We were in our senior yearbook together on the "Best Friends" page.



And here is Ken -- he was always so darn funny! We had our algebra class together in the 11th grade with Ms. Andre-Sandor...and spent a lot of time joking around, making "perforated edges" on our paper and then would pass it to each other for the other to "cut through" (you really had to be there to understand what I'm saying here) We used to see who could come up with the best perforated edge. I can't say it enough about how much Kenny used to make me laugh. Going to Algebra class was always something I looked forward to, simply because he sat in front of me.

And here's Noelle taking her own picture with Aladdin.
And here is Noelle taking her own picture with me and Stan.


Jerry -- love this guy! Jerry is my friend who could do the best Mr. Ferley immitation (remember Mr. Ferley from the sitcom "Three's Company"?? Played by Don Knots? ) Anyway, I have known Jerry since the 5th grade Mr. Linkletter's class. He always made me laugh. We used to ask him to "do Mr. Ferley!!" and he would crinkle up his nose and mouth, grab his pants belt to pull up his pants a bit, and would start talking like Mr. Ferley. It was so funny. I always thought he would grow up to be some kind of comedian. Jerry is married now, and he and his wife are expecting their second child soon!

Noelle and Brian. Noelle calls Brian "Bree O na" and I can't remember back to a day when she didn't call him that.
Me and Sandra
Ron holds the camera out to take our picture. ( a bit better than Noelle's self portraits where she cuts off people)
....and speaking of which, here is Noelle and Patsy (picture taken by Noelle's outstretched hand)


Noelle is big on holding the camera out to take her own picture...and here she is again with me.


Brian -- my best "guy" friend. Brian lived three houses up from me while growing up. We met when we were 9 years old. I always considered Brian the brother that I never had. We got along-- we fought. We got along -- we got on each other's nerves. But mostly I'd say we got along. I used to sneak him into my birthday slumber parties when I was little. He would leave my birthday party and then come back late that night with his pillow. My mom would wake up the next morning and in addition to the girls at my sleepover, there would be Brian. During high school he and I worked at Stuft Pizza together. I would try to schedule my days so that I worked when he did because he always made the time go by so much quicker. Brian could make me laugh just by giving me a certain look. He used to leave funny messages on my answering machine. Brian used to call me "Mur-fee" in a funny voice, or simply "Murph" for short (my maiden name is Murphy) When we got older, he and I used to confide in each other about our "love life" and would come to each other for advice. I remember one time after a break up with a boyfriend, I came to his house because I was sad and needed to be cheered up. He tried so hard to cheer me up, and when all else failed, he said, "Hey...look at my toes." and when I looked down at his feet, he wiggled his toes and for some reason that made me start to giggle, and we both looked at each other and just started laughing. And that was enough to cheer me up. Brian always knew how to find the humor in normal things. He has a one year old daughter now with his wife, Kerri.
Here I am with Stan, who I dated for a brief time in my senior year. Stan was on the high school basketball team and was well-liked by everybody. He was nic-named, "Stan the Man" and was a very fun person to be friends with. We met in our photography class. He made me laugh a lot. He was the very first guy to ever pick me up in a car for a date -- met my parents, took me out... a real date! I remember feeling very grown up on that first date with him simply because I was being driven around town in a car by a guy. He used to live near the high school and during school would go home for lunch. I used to make him watch my favorite soap opera while he was on his lunch break and then report back to me all that happened. After a few weeks of doing this, he became addicted to the soap opera and would get all into it when telling me who was cheating on who, who had whose child, etc. We dated from November to March during our senior year, and then again for a short time when we were both 20. Stan used to call me "Squint" because my eyes get so small when I smile :) He is married now and has 3 children.
Patsy with Ken. Patsy dated Ken's older brother, Tony, while she was in the ninth grade. Tony was in the 11th grade at the time and had his own car. One day in November 1984 he misjudged a turn and crashed his car and was killed. It was a very sad time for all of us. Patsy lost a boyfriend, I lost a friend, and poor Ken lost his only brother. I remember it was the very first time that a friend of mine had died, and it was very unreal.

Me with Ron and Craig. Craig and I met in Kindergarten. He had a crush on me and gave me a love note that his older sister had written for him. Since I could not read, I gave it to Marcus, the smartest boy in the class, and he read it for me. I can still remember exactly what the note said: "Dear Katrina...I love you, and I will kiss you, too. Love, Craig." Well, I never did kiss him, but in the 3rd grade we ended up as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in the school play, so I guess it worked out okay between us afterall :)

Mike  is another friend that was in my Kindergarten class. He also lived a few streets from my house when I was in elementary school. I remember he had a pool in his backyard and I always thought that was so cool. When I w as 5 years old, my younger sister was born and my mom let me take her outside in our front yard to push her in her baby buggy. I was so proud of having a baby sister that I thought I would just mosey on down to Mike's neigborhood to show her off. It was about 4 streets away from my house, and when my mom couldn't find me out front, she got in her car and drove all around looking for me and her newborn baby. She pulled up next to me just as Mike and Suzanne and other kids were saying hello to me and peeking in the baby buggy at my new little sister. My mom got out of the car, came over to me and gave me a swat in the rear end for scaring her half to death. I was so embarrassed!! So Mike saw me get a spanking, but I sincerely doubt he remembers that (at least I hope not!) Mike works in the music industry now.