Friday, December 29, 2006

The Largest Piñata in the World least I think it is. What do you think?

This was taken December 22, and yes, those are real-live maternity jeans I am wearing. I finally gave in.

My parents finally made it to Big City Friday at midnight. We had a great time with them except for fact that 67% of us fell victim to a 24 hour flu bug.

We took my parents to an awesome flower market in downtown Big City.

They sell the freshest flowers for practically nothing along with fruit, veggies, and of course "little" piñatas.

I finished up a purchase and my kids were all crouched on the ground oooo-ing and awww-ing over the cute little "mouse" they had discovered:

Yes, that would be a huge icky RAT. Yuck.

We made sugar cookies with Grandma.

Here's one of Juan Carlos' works of art, personally decorated with his gooey little frequently-licked-fingers and a half of a jar of sprinkles:

Doesn't that just look tasty? Thanks, I'll pass on that one.

We did fondue for Christmas Eve.

And, being in a Latin country, we of course had to celebrate with some kind of fireworks:

I hope everyone had as much fun as we did!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Christmas Fun

Well, as I write my parents are on a plane from Denver to Big City. DIA opened at 12:00 pm and their flight was scheduled to leave at 1:25. My mom called this morning and said if they got out of Denver it would be a miracle as they were bumping people with seats and giving them to people who had missed flights the previous two days (my parents had missed a flight, but on a different airline, which didn't "count" as far as they were concerned). I guess a miracle took place because they are in the air.

Guapo is off to the airport to get them and depending on Friday night Big City traffic they should be here within 1 hour to 4 hours.

Here's what we've been up to with "Plan December"

December 14 which really happened December 18 which had to be finished December 20: Growing Tree. This turned out cute, but really huge. When it said 6 ft X 2 ft I wasn't really thinking about finding a spot for something that size.

December 21: Poinsettia Napkin Rings. I would highly recommend this craft; it was way easy and they turned out really cute.

(Check out my new pewter chargers! I am on quite the pewter kick these days.)

I was thinking it would be fun to do the same thing for an Easter dinner using different pastel colors.

December 20-22: Baking Assorted Goodies. I don't know why, but I just not in the mood to bake this year. We have made just a few things so far. We will probably do sugar cookies and my mom's yummy fudge in the next couple of days.

Here are some yummy mint brownie/cookie things that taste dangerously like Thin Mints:

And my first attempt ever at buckeyes. Ok, all of you buckeye experts , how do you make them look uniform? I had a hard time getting the chocolate to not look like a mess.

They still taste good of course; how could they not, with the main ingredients being chocolate and peanut butter? :)

...and some candy cane cookies that spread out way to much despite the fact that I added extra flour.

It was so cute this morning, Julio (6 years old) brought the rest of us of breakfast in bed. It consisted on one of these cookies for each of us and a "glass" of hot chocolate. So sweet!

And last but not least, December 21: Elf, One Present, and Sleeping by the Tree.

The kids loved this activity. We had a nice dinner (using the pewter chargers of course), then they opened their presents (sock-monkey PJ's), and then watched Elf, my current favorite Christmas movie. Then we all slept downstairs together by the light of the Christmas tree (well, Guapo and I actually snuck up to our room as soon as they had gone to sleep!)

Coming up: our trip to the coolest flower market ever, Grandma's famous fudge, Christmas Eve Fondue and so much more!!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

My parents poor parents, who live in the Denver area, are trying to make it down here to Big City with no luck so far due to the massive storm there. They had quite the day yesterday. Here's an excerpt from an email my dad sent to a work colleague this morning that he copied me on:

"Recap of yesterday's Trains, Planes, Buses, and Automobiles:

6:00 AM - left for airport
8:00 AM - boarded plane
2:00 PM - deboarded plane
2:30 PM - train to terminal (piece of cake!)
4:00 PM - found luggage among thousands
4:30 PM - unable to get to parking lot, we boarded Boulder bus
9:00 PM - dropped off at Louisville Safeway in 30 inch snow level (in tennis shoes)
9:45 PM - arrived 2 blocks from home by police car, yes... both of us in the prisoner's seat (bullet-proof plexi glass and all!)
10:00 PM - we, shuttling 3 fifty pound suitcases through 200 yards of 30 inches snow, arrive whence we began.
10:45 PM - I shut my eyes and say my prayers: "God, why have you done this to me", the answer he replied: "there's just something about you that pisses me off!"

Besides all that, we have crying grandchildren in Mexico City.

I'll let you know the next chapter.

Job (his last name)"

They already bought new tickets for tomorrow that we think are going to have to be changed to Saturday. :(

I love them for trying!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Plan December: Making a Comeback

My kids are out of school, we have no more school/church/work parties, all of our Sub-for Santa gifts have been purchased, wrapped, and delivered, most of our gifts are wrapped, so I think things are finally starting to slow down. That leaves more time to enjoy the season.

Here's some of the recent highlights from Plan December:

December 12: Teacher Gifts. Homemade Hot Chocolate in mason jars

A friend gave me this awesome recipe for homeade hot chocolate. Here it is:

5 1/3 cups dry milk (the kind they have here in Mex. is whole milk, it makes it really creamy)
2 1/2 Nestle Quik
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup dry creamer (the vanilla and amaretto flavors make it really yummy!)

Mix and then sift ingrediants. Place in mug and add hot water.

December 15: Juan Carlos' (3 1/2) Christmas Posada

As the teachers marched the kids out in front of all the parents, Juan Carlos made a quick break away and found me in the audience. He stayed with me for the first number and then when they pulled out the tamborines and he decided to participate. By the end he was a dancing fool. Pretty cute to watch.

December 18: Growing Tree from

A work in progress, but I think it's going to turn out cute.

December 18: I couldn't find any tri-beads here, so we made these "Fancy Fans" from the Dec. issue of Family Fun.

These were super easy, all you need is wrapping paper, tape, and a stapler.

Hope you are all enjoying the season!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Plan December: A Few Glitches

Plan December encountered a few problems this week. I did not take in to consideration the following:

  1. Julio's 1 1/2 hour Karate belt test, that although was less than 5 minutes from our house, took a good solid hour to get there and back.
  2. A very minor "fender bender" on my part that was really more like a "fender-paint-remover", but nonetheless, not fun to deal with (or to have to tell Guapo about even though he never gets upset at stuff like that)
  3. School Programs
  4. Traffic
  5. A quick trip to Small Town that I must make today for Guapo's Christmas party.

I'll be back Monday and back on track!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Plan December Continued

The Christmas festivites continue here at our home:

December 5: Snowflakes from coffee filters. Thank you, thank you, thank you to whomever it was that recommended coffee filters. This made snowflake-making SO much easier and more fun. They turned out great and we hung them behind our tree:

December 6: Cinnamon Ornaments: I had never made these and I was surprised at how easy and fun they were to make.

One of the ingredients is white glue, so despite the fact that they smelled great, my kids weren't sneaking tastes as they normall would. And one batch made a bunch of ornaments. We will definately make these again.

December 7: Candy Glass Ornaments. Here we encountered a bit of a problem. When I went to take down our 1.1 kilo ( that's 2.42 pounds!) bag of J0lly Ranchers from high up in the pantry (read: my kids can't reach them), this is what I found:

I guess the maid likes J0lly Ranchers. I was.not.pleased. Granted, I've had the bag for a while, come on, 2.42 pounds??? Stay tuned for the forthcoming post entitled, "The End of a Muchacha."

December 8: Baby Jesus Ornaments. Thanks to Grammy, we had supplies to make these so-cute ornaments. Kitty, knowing that they would eventually end up on the tree (her new playgroud), was very interested in helping.

Here they are on the tree:

December 9: Buy presents for Secret Santa families. Done.

Ice Skating: I was a bit worn out with all of the Christmas activities, and not being very graceful on the ice when I am not 6 months pregnant, Guapo handled this one on his own. They had a great time, even Juan Carlos (3 1/2) who is not the most coordinated little tike.

December 10: Visit lights at Temple. This didn't happen because we were invited to a very fun Christmas get together at some friends' house. Temple rescheduled for next week.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Favorite Ornament

Inspired by No Cool Story's favorite ornaments post, I've decided to show you my favorite ornament this year.

Guapo, aka The Tree Snob, does not care much for this ornament as he feels it detracts from the other ornaments and may actually cause damage to the too-short tree.

Here it is:

Meet "Kitty" our very curious Mexican cat.

Here she is stalking one victim:

...and attaking another.

It's a good thing Guapo's out of town!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plan December: December 1-4

Here's my update on Plan December .

December 1: The Search for the Perfect Tree

We wanted to go to this huge flower/plant/fruit market that is in downtown on Friday to buy our tree but, due the the inaguration of the new Mexican president here in Big City, the roads in most of the center of the city were closed. So we shopped around a little closer to home.

Guapo thought he had found the perfect tree:

... until they wanted to charge us the super-special-gringo price of $400. Um, I think not. Poor Guapo, aka The Tree Snob, had to settle for a 7 foot tree instead of the 12 ft. tree he wanted. He has been looking at it with disgust since it went up, but I think it's a nice tree.

December 2: Continuation of Decorating and the Ward Party

Saturday the streets opened up and we were able to go to the cool market. I figured Guapo would lose control and buy a second tree, but he restrained himself from even going to look at the trees on Saturday. We bought 15 poinsettas and this awesome arrangement of roses and holly berries:And some other decorations:

At our ward Christmas party we had a special visitor:

Here's Julio (3 1/2 yrs) sitting on Santa's lap. (check out the little dude behind Santa trying to give him bunny ears! That kid's getting coal for sure.)

December 3: The Grinch

Sunday we got a little off track. Only some of us watched "The Grinch" (cartoon version). That would be Julio who watched it twice while the rest of us ran around getting the house ready for 10 dinner guests. It was a fun dinner though, we got out all of the Christmas plates and stuff and Guapo manned the grill.

December 4: Prefab Gingerbread House

Have you seen these? I bought mine at C0stco and I LOVED it. It was so easy and fun. I didn't have to make the frosting or bake anything so the mess was minimal. The kids had a blast.



One Cute Christmas Kid Story: when Julio was saying his prayer a couple of nights he asked Heavenly Father that Santa would come and put presents in his "boot" (he meant stocking). :)

On to day 5! I hope you are all enjoying the season.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Plan December: Tenative Schedule

Here's my plan for enjoying the holiday season with my kids. I have wanted to do this for the past few years and the season always sneaks up on me and then it's too late. Thanks to all who gave me ideas. I hope to blog about our different activities every couple of days, but we'll see if that actually happens!

December 1: Buy Christmas tree, decorate.

December 2: Ward Christmas Party

December 3: 1. Christmas Movie: Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
2. First Presidency Christmas Devotional

December 4: Make prefab gingerbread house I found at Costco

December 5: Make snowflakes out of coffee filters to hang on windows

December 6: Cinnamon Ornaments

December 7: Candy Glass Ornaments. From They didn't have a picture but they sound easy to make; you just melt jolly ranchers (in the oven) in a metal cookie cutter that has foil on the bottom. You punch out a hole with a chopstick and hang with a ribbon.

December 8: Baby Jesus ornament. Grammy, 5 years ago, had a holiday breakfast at her home in Venezuela. She gave each woman a sweet little ornament of the baby Jesus and also gave me enough supplies to make several more. I think it's finally time to make them.

December 9: 1. Ice Skating (Not going to be a pretty site, but the kids have been begging!)
2. Buy presents for our Secret Santa family

December 10: See Christmas Lights at Temple

December 11:1. Wrap Secret Santa Gifts
2. FHE: Watch Luke II, talk about meaning of Christmas symbols

December 12: Make gifts for teachers (homemade cocoa in jars)

December 13: Wrap gifts for grandparents

December 14: Growing Tree. I found this on It's a 6 foot tree made of felt. Each year you measure your kids and add the "ornaments" with their name and height.

December 15: Juan Carlos' school Christmas party

December 16: Christmas movie. A Christmas Story. "You'll shoot your eye out"

December 17: 1. Gingerbread Garland. Also from Looks cute and easy.

2. Take a drive and look at Big City Christmas lights

December 18: 1. Cookies. Variety TBA
2. Tri-bead ornaments (candy canes and wreaths) and/or mice ornaments

December 19: 1. Cookies. Variety TBA
2. Poinsettia napkin rings.

December 20: 1. Candy (Utmommy is going to supply me with a no-fail recipe as I am intimidated by homemade candy)
2. Buckeyes These just look yummy, chocolate and peanut butter? Mmmmm.
3. Reindeer Gear: This I found in a Family fun book I have, but I can't find it on their website. All it is is antlers made out of brown poster board that they can wear on their heads. (If I were a proficient scanner, I would scan it, but alas, my scanner and I have a contentious relationship.)

December 21: 1. Christmas Movie. My all-time favorite: Elf.
2. Open one present (I can't say what it is here because Margarita actually reads my blog, but it has something to do with the following activity)
3. Sleep around the Christmas tree (This idea came from Grammy. I am not really looking forward to it, but I know my kids I think I'll be sneaking up to my bed when they all fall asleep!)

December 22: Make Christmas colored dough and play with it.

December 23: 1. Make Grandma's famous fudge with Grandma!
2. Christmas movie. It's A Wonderful Life (Grandpa's favorite)

December 24: 1. Traditional Christmas Eve Fondue (a Guapo family tradition)
2. Watch Luke 2 (I can't watch this video enough, I love it.)
3. Act out the Nativity
4. Open presents from Grandma and Grandpa

***Nettie gave me a cool idea that we are going to try this year: you gift-wrap all the Christmas books you have (individually), and open one per day to read together.

December 25: Christmas!!! (Take a loooooong nap after opening presents)