Friday, February 29, 2008

We love Sing Star

You may have heard of or may even be addicted to guitar hero or rock band, but our family is all about Sing Star. When Ashlyn had her birthday party in February we bought her High School Musical Sing It. The girls loved singing karaoke to both High school musical movies. Noah and I enjoyed it too and decided to get the Sing Star 80's. We loved it and for Valentines day bought the Sing Star Pop which we also really enjoy. The best part about it is that our girls like both the Sing Stars we bought and want to sing them all the time. It is so much fun to sing with them and watch them sing. Their favorite Sing Star is the 80's and they know most of the words to the songs now(even Aubrey tries to sing) . Their favorites are Men at Work's "Who can it be now"(Aubrey walks around the house singing"beeee nowww") , Twisted Sister's "We're not going to take it", Madonna's "Material Girl" and "Our House" by Madness. We love spending time together singing, laughing, and just having fun.We posted a video of the girls singing. Enjoy!
video

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tired of being Sick

Our whole family has been sick for most of February and frankly we are tired of it. We have had sinus colds, coughs, chest colds, ear infections, and high fevers lasting for 2 to 3 days. We are tired of being sick and want to get all the viruses out of our home. I am armed with Lysol spraying everything in site. I have thrown away all toothbrushes, washed all the bedding, and I am deep cleaning all the bathrooms. I hope this will kill anything lurking around. If any one has any recommendations for keeping your home and family sick-free let us know.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flat Stanley

Ashlyn's class read a book about a boy named Stanley who makes himself flat so that he can travel in books. They each had to create their own Flat Stanley. They had to bring him home so he could go to work with mom or dad and then tell the class about his experience. Ashlyn wanted her Flat Stanley to go to work with her dad. Here is a letter her dad wrote to the class about their experience together.

Flat Stanley and I did a lot of work together. I am a soils and structural engineer. We wrote several reports together telling people how to prepare and compact the dirt where they want to build their house or pool so that they won’t fall down or crack. I took a picture of Stanley sitting in my chair at my office for you to see. Stanley and I also drew several plans to tell people how to build their buildings. In particular, we drew several plans for swimming pools, waterfalls, waterslides, and caves. That is one of the fun things I get to do. I sent Stanley back with a pool plan for each of your classmates so that they can see what pool engineering plans look like and how a pool is built with steel and concrete. We traveled all over the Bay Area. We traveled to San Francisco, San Jose, and San Rafael just to name a few places. In San Rafael, we looked at a lagoon, or pond, near some peoples’ houses where a wall was falling over into the lagoon. We figured out how the people could fix the wall so their house wouldn’t slide into the lagoon. I took a picture of Stanley at the lagoon. We also looked at pools that were cracking and leaking and figured out how to fix the pools so boys and girls like you and your classmates could swim in their pools again and we looked at pools and buildings that were being built to make sure the people were building them right. We had a good time together except when we had to tell people that their pools or houses were broken and couldn’t be fixed. It was our job to tell the people the bad news. I didn’t get a lot of pictures of Stanley because it was raining on us on most of our travels. Hopefully you enjoy the pictures and the pool plans. Thanks for sending Stanley to visit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Playing in the Snow

Every year we make our annual visit to play in the snow. Sometimes we have family that comes with us and sometimes we have friends that will come along. We always go to Echo Summit which is now Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe. They have groomed sled hills at various heights were you can use a saucer, inner tube, or sled to ride down the hill. This year Noah's older sister Rebecca, her husband Art, and their four kids joined us in the fun.
Ashlyn had a great time going down the hill with her cousins Kylee and Davis.Autumn was totally excited to play in the snow and go down the hills (she has been for weeks). Noah took her on her first run, they counted to 3 and then they were off. Faster and faster they flew down the hill. Noah put both feet down to slow the sled, it worked, and they didn't crash. But little Autumn who was in the front of the sled, became a human snowman. Her face was all wet and covered in snow. She was whimpering and mad at her dad for getting her all wet. She walked over to me and with a serious face said "My daddy got my eyes and my hair all wet!"



We never did get Autumn to go down another hill the entire time we were there.
Aubrey even sat on the sled and went down a baby hill we made for her (when she wasn’t asleep).
We made a silly snowman named “Mole” and threw snowballs at each other. The sun was shinning and we couldn't have asked for a better day. We all had a wonderful time laughing and playing with the kids.





Friday, February 15, 2008

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Noah and I barely made our reservations at Ruth's Chris Steak House (it's a long story) but we really had an enjoyable romantic evening. This is a restaurant for those willing to Pay for the food, Pay for the atmosphere, and Pay for a relaxing time as they serve You at a slower pace. We ate there once last year and it was one of the most expensive meals we have eaten. This year we received a gift certificate for $100 and knew it would be all gone in one night.
We decided on the Valentine's Special for two (with very generous portions). This included the steak house salad, a loaf of homemade sourdough bread, the steak petite filet and lobster tail, roasted garlic mashed potato, sautéed mushrooms, and chocolate sin cake with a delicious hot chocolate syrup in the center. We had a wonderful evening with leftovers to enjoy the next day. Noah and I love and recommend Ruth's Chris Steak House(at least once).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a fun day to show those people in your life that you love and care about them. We always have a fun Valentines planned for our family. Noah surprised me with a dozen red roses, candy, a card, and a new sing star playstation2 game (Pop). I gave Noah a box of Just for Him candies, a card, a magic deck of cards, and a movie. He got the girls a new outfit (which has become his tradition for them) and we gave them each a heart shaped box of candy. I decorated the table with candles and other heart shaped items. I made two heart shaped pizzas with Cesar salad and a fun dessert for dinner. We then watched a valentines show and just really enjoyed each others company.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Lollipop Cookies

We like to watch Activity TV On Demand that we have through Comcast. We saw a recipe for Valentine's Lollipop cookies and decided to make them. They are heart shaped chocolate cookies that you place on a stick and dip in chocolate. Yummy! They taste really good and were pretty easy to make. We wanted to share them with all of you. You can go to Activity TV to get the recipe and make these yummy treats for your family and friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Point Reyes

video

Saturday was such a nice day that we decided to go for a drive and enjoy the weather. Our driving took us to Point Reyes on the coast. Point Reyes is located on the north coast due west from Novato and San Rafael. The drive there from US 101 was beautiful. Point Reyes has alot to do there. There are lots of hikes and backpacking trails to go on. We took a little 0.6 mile hike called the earthquake trail. It took us to a place where we could stand on the San Andreas fault where it ruptured in 1906. There is a fence there that was split in half and was offset when the earth moved 16 feet laterally in 45 seconds. Crazy. After our hike we drove by Tomales Bay to Drakes Beach which are both in the Point Reyes park area. The beach was beautiful. There is an old lighthouse in Point Reyes where you can watch the grey whale migration right now and a place called Chimney Rock where you can see 400+ Elephant seals right now. You have to take a shuttle to both places and we were a little late so we didn't make it to see those areas. Maybe next time. We had fun playing at the beach until dark. It was a great sunny February day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ashlyn's Performance and Award

Ashlyn was in a music performance at school last night. Kindergarten, First, and Second grades sang songs together as a group and in their own grades as a group. Ashlyn decided to wear a beautiful skirt given by her Grandma Martinez and a gold lacey long sleeve shirt. We could see that she was having a great time singing. She did a wonderful job.

video

This morning Ashlyn was asked to have breakfast with her principal, Mr. Bowen, for receiving an award at school. We went to her awards assembly at school to watch her get her certificate. She got the Academic Achievement Award. This means that she is doing above average on all subjects at school. We are so proud of her and grateful she is doing so well in school.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Second half of our sabatical

We planned the first 3 weeks of our 8 week sabatical and now we needed to plan out the last 5 weeks. I really wanted to go to Southern Colorado to visit family and be there for Pioneer days. So thats what will be doing for weeks 4 & 5.

Believe it or not the tiny town of Sanford(where my mom was born and raised and my dad lived his teenage years) and Manassa have a weekend long celebration around the 24th of July for Mormon Pioneer days. Approximately half of Sanford and Manassa's residents are Hispanics, many are the descendants of early New Mexican settlers of colonial Spanish origin (that's me). Most of the other residents of Manassa and Sanford are the descendants of the Mormon pioneers who founded Manassa and Ephriam (aka Sanford). These two towns were named after the sons of the Israelite, Joseph. The community and people from all over the San Luis Valley and else where, still celebrate Manassa/Sanford Pioneer Days with a parade on two days, horse races, rodeo, demolition derby, fireworks, entertainment, barbecues, and 5K run. A carnival at Pioneer Days brings the Tilt-a-Whirl, bumper cars, a merry-go-round and other midway rides. Bandstand entertainment and vendor booths line Manassa’s city park on Main Street.
This is one of the oldest festivals in the state, the 129th annual celebration will be held this year. The weekend long affair is held on the weekend closest to July 24, in honor of the arrival of Brigham Young and fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah's Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847. Each year, attendance at Sanford/Manassa's Pioneer Days is estimated at close to 10,000 per day(combined there are only about 1,300 people living in these two towns) with people coming from many parts of the country to visit family and friends and to enjoy the festivities along the way. (Info. taken from wikipedia)

Our family as well as our extended family that live in Sanford are very excited that we will all be together for this great event. We will also be seeing the Grand Canyon, Four Corners, and Mesa Verde along the way. Did we mention that we will be taking it easy around our house the last 3 weeks. Yes, we decided that we should just hang out at home and recoupe from our travels. We can't wait to go on these journey's!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

WHAT A GAME!

What was slated to be a easy win for the Patriots turned out to be a great game with a major upset. However, our favorite part of the game was the commercials. Here are our top 5 favorite commercials from this years Superbowl. ENJOY!













These have our honorable mention:



Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ashlyn's 7th Birthday



Our little girl turned seven years old. I can't believe that our Ashlyn is that old. Time just seems to fly. Her Birthday was spent at school with cupcakes and juice for all her classmates. When She got home her Aunt Rachel, Cousin Logan, and Uncle Kurt were there waiting for her arrival. Shortly after that her Grandma Smith and Cousin Kylee came over to spend a fun filled Birthday weekend with her. She received calls from her Grandma and Grandpa Martinez, her Aunts Tiffany, Amber, Becky and Uncle Aaron.
For several weeks now she has known exactly where she wanted to go eat for her Birthday dinner. Jaliscos Mexican Restaurant was a very good choice and she loved when they came out to sing "Happy Birthday". When we got home she opened up her gifts (loving them) and of course no Birthday wouldn't be complete without candles, singing, and cake. Yummy!


Saturday we had her High School Musical Birthday party. For those of you reading this that have no idea what High School Musical even is, it is one of the coolest things to a 7 year old girl. We sang High School Musical Karaoke, painted nails, made crafts and you guessed it, enjoyed the best part of a Birthday Party the birthday presents, microphone cupcakes, and ice cream. Ashlyn had a wonderful 7th Birthday and life wouldn't be the same with out her.