Nunez News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankfulness-sweet and simple

Since November is over I figured I'd talk about Thankfulness. ;)

Kiera said she wanted everyone to say a prayer of what they're thankful for during our Thanksgiving dinner. I told her I thought that was a great idea. It was my parents and my grandma (mom's mom) and us at our house Thanksgiving evening. Kiera started and said she was thankful for ALL of her family, my grandma listed off all of her kids, grandkids and great grandkids, Nathan said he was still thinking when it was his turn and Domenic said he was thankful for cars. :) My dad said he was thankful that God had a plan for his life and already knew what it was because my dad had another plan but God's plan was much better. How true are those words! God already knows and it's better than we could ever imagine.

I apologized to Robert just the other day for there being lots of laundry to be done and him having to feel like he needed to take care of it on his day off. He (the wonderful man he is) just smiled and said that it was ok and laundry was actually relaxing to him. [Big cheesy smile from ME] "That's why you are the perfect man for me! God knew I needed a husband like you." I'm so very thankful for him!

When we pray we always thank God first for the day. "Dear Lord, thank you for this day..." What am I thanking Him for? For waking up in a funny sleeping position because our bed is overcrowded way past the recommended # of sleepers for a queen size bed; because we are so very blessed to have such cuddly, lovey children. For being able to take a deep breath and feeling my lungs fill up with air. For my husband who so diligently takes care of his responsibilities and still has time to make waffles (most of the time) when requested by one of our little loves. For our cozy house on the cold, chilly days. For a bump or cut not being as bad as it could have been (I've thank God many times for this one!). For being able to pray anytime and anywhere. For my mom who is my close friend and mentor. For His love for me.

This list could get mighty long, but I need to remind myself of how much I am blessed on those days that don't feel so blessed. You know, the days that start with a grumpy child or a pounding headache. The days that feel so overwhelming that I tend to through my own pity party, whether it be in my words, actions or just my own head. Whoa, whoa! Who am I? I am a child of God. And when you give your child a job to do or a responsibility their response can bring you joy or frustration. You want them to work diligently at the task(s) that you have given them. Should I not work less diligently for my heavenly Father?

I am blessed and I thank you Lord for adopting me as your daughter! I need your guidance and I am so very thankful that You are always near.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Traditions-What's Important to ya

Thanksgiving is in 2 days! Got our turkey yesterday and am hoping it's all defrosted by Thursday morning. Robert does the awesome job of brining the turkey the night before and has this special way of roasting it. He sets it in the oven at a high temperature (I think 500 degrees) for the first 30 minutes to give it a crust and then drops the temp down to whatever it's suppose to be and covers the bird with foil for the rest of the roasting time. It's pretty yummy and turkey isn't my favorite flavor during the meal usually.
We also made this sweet potato casserole last year (I got the recipe from Eating Well Magazine) and it's a keeper! Super yummy, not much fat, perfect!

But enough about food... I'm talking traditions here. After having kids we think every year what are some things that we'd like to do for them and with them every year that will be fun and exciting and most importantly make them remember what the true meaning of the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas ) are and WHY (like Domenic has been asking about everything lately) we celebrate them.

Every year we bake. We bake pumpkin bread to give to family and neighbors around Thanksgiving. We bake cookies around Christmas to share with friends, family and neighbors. There's usually some marathon baking going on Christmas eve. Yesterday the kids and I gave a few of our neighbors some pumpkin bread. It's sad that we've been here for almost 3 years and haven't met the people 2 doors down or across the street and to the right one house. I need to work on that. But anyways we met a few neighbors and hopefully we blessed them. The kids are always so generous with giving, especially if it's something they've helped create. The older couple next door to us was very thankful (we give them goodies often because we see them all the time) and I think they wanted more. :)
When I was younger my mom use to bake a bunch of cut out cookies and we'd have the neighbor kids over (our friends, because everyone's your friend when you're a kid) to decorate a plate full of cookies and make an ornament with their photo on it. My dad would take everyone's picture and then run up to the 1 hour photo place. I do remember the instant pictures from the camera though too!
Since we all enjoy baking together for the fun, for the smell, for the taste and for it always seeming to multiply enough for us to share plenty, I think we'll keep that as a tradition.

Now here's a new one that I saw on another blog recently. What this other family did was give out the Christmas stockings after Thanksgiving dinner. So they're more like Thanksgiving stockings with something small and useful inside. For instance, new cookie cutters, an ornament, a craft kit. Something that can be used during the current holiday season and get the kids in the mood for Christmas. I thought that was a really cute idea (and when I find where I read it I'll post it). So Robert and I decided that we're going to give the kids their stockings on December 1st. Maybe it will be a tradition, maybe it will be a one time thing. We'll see.

Another thing I remember doing when I was growing up was buying presents for my brothers. When I was little I think the limit was $5. So some new race cars or GI Joe's it was. Robert and I always help the kids pick out presents for each other. When the younger one is a baby obviously mommy and daddy take care of it and say it's from the baby. But I think it helps them think of each other a little more. Not as much about "what am I going to get?" but "what am I going to get them?" It's pretty cute to see the little shoppers pick something for their siblings and then see how excited they are when the present they picked gets opened.

I also saw this felt wall hanging called the growing tree. If we do it this year I'll take a picture. But there's a fabric tape measure on the side and the tree is made out of green felt triangles and the circle ornaments have the child's name, height and the year stuck on the tree. I don't think that's a tradition but it sounds cute and fun!

The most important thing we always do is talk a lot about the story of Christmas. The story of Jesus' birth and how God gave us His son and that's why we give gifts to others and each other. We make a cake for Jesus (streussel coffee cake!) and sing happy birthday to Him. He also has a stocking that is white and sparkly with a J on it (all our stockings have our initials). The kids can make birthday cards for Him or write a note. Robert and I usually talk about ways we can serve more, more outreach work as a family and as individuals. We're suppose to write them down and put them in the stocking so that we can look back and see how God worked over the year but I don't think we've written them down yet. Something we need to do this year! And now that the kids have more of a comprehension of what being a servant of Love is we'll involve them in the discussion and see what their input is. I'm all excited now! :)

Do you have any fun traditions? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My place-Helper

I've been thinking a lot about marriage. How sad it is that the word's "forever" or "as long as you both shall live" are not taken seriously. Just like how the word love is tossed around so flippantly that the word no longer carries the same power that it was originally intended.

Marriage, unity, is under attack and we need to check ourselves and remember Who brought us together in the first place. Our marriage is a gift that was given to us by God. We made a promise to each other and to God that we would stay together for the rest of our lives. I'm pretty sure there was no, "unless...". Genesis 2:24 says, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." I looked up cleave and found this definition, "to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly." So he is my other half! :)

What's even worse is marriages are falling apart over trivial things a lot of times. Something that could have been caught early on. My husband and I read this book written by Jerry B. Jenkins called Hedges. Like the little title states, it's about loving your marriage enough to protect it. It's mostly written to men but I think it's good for the wives to read it as well. Just to put myself in his shoes, since my usual day looks much different than my husbands and my weaknesses are not his. It's about having a plan before you come across a situation that could eventually be detrimental to your marriage.

So this made me think about my place, my role as a wife. Us women tend to be pretty opinionated and since we run the house most of the time (while our husband's are at work) we can sometimes fall into running our husband's too. We can put our husband's up on a pedastool and expect him to be what we ourselves are not and what he can not be, perfect. And then we get frustrated at him for not being perfect. But hello, I am not perfect! And he doesn't get frustrated at my imperfections so easily.

Eve was created for Adam because God saw that it wouldn't be good for him to be by himself. Genesis 2:18 says, "Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." I am the helper. I'm the one who sets the tone of the home. When my husband comes home from work I can great him with a smile and a kiss or barely acknowledge him. Which one would be more of a blessing to him? It's pretty obvious right? 1 Corinthians 11:9 says, "for indeed man was not created for woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake." I'm guilty of having a bad day, an emotional day and talking to my husband on the phone crying. Of course he's going to come home, not very happy and instead of him coming in to relax after taking care of things at work he's coming home to "fix" what's wrong with me. The house, the kids, whatever. I'm not saying we're not allowed to have bad days, but how we handle things and who we take our upsets to first should be God.

I went to a women's retreat last weekend for a day and the challenge was to think of things that we say or do or think that tears down our husbands, and then give those things to God and ask Him for help to stop. Then think of things that we could do to bless our husband's. I also have to remember that I'm setting an example for how a wife should be. What my sons should be looking for in a wife should be the way their mom blessed and respected their dad. And for my daughter, how she should be her husband's helper and not tear her husband down. Proverbs 14:1 was the theme verse for the weekend. It says, "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." If I'm building my husband up, I won't be tearing down my house.

These seem to be a couple different topics that could have been different posts, but I needed to get my thoughts down and they go together. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our weekend in Big Bear-told by Nathan

Nathan was trying to add to Kiera's re-telling of our weekend so I had to tell him to wait his turn and that he'd be next. So here is what he had to say.

When we just got there we watched a movie and we played with cars.

And we made a track in the morning and played with cars.

I remember the tree that the woodpecker put holes in, and there were a lot of holes.

When we left we packed up tracks and we packed up my cars and Domenic dumped them, when we were leaving.

I only remember that we were looking at the pond at Riley's Farm.

And that's all I remember.

Our Weekend in Big Bear-told by Kiera

This is Kiera's memory of our weekend up in Big Bear

We went up to the cabin and it was a very long drive. When we got there it was nearly night time. We put on our footy jammies. The next night grandma gave me some new jammies and Nathan new footy jammies.

When we first got there we unloaded the car and then I put my jammies and my clothes away. We saw, "Milo and Otis".

The second day I remember we all got up. Most of them were upstairs, me, mommy, daddy, Nathan and Domenic were downstairs. We saw "Cars" in the morning. Brian and Julie came for the day, Julianna. We were going to go on a hike but we didn't because Brian and Julie were there and we had more things to do and me and Julie baked some cookies.

The next day we went for a hike. We saw a split tree that looked like a V. We saw a coyote and Papa climbed on a rock. That day was mommy's birthday. That night we saw "The Black Stallion".

The next day we had to get up, pack everything and then go home. And on the way we stopped at Riley's Farm. We ate pot pie and we ate apple pie. And then we went home.

The end!

****I'll have to add pictures of her illustrations later*****

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Santiago Oaks

We recently went to Santiago Oaks for our nature studies. It was beautiful!

My friend identified this plant for me after I had first posted. It's Datura which is highly toxic if ingested so it wouldn't be a plant you'd want in your yard.

We saw this swallowtail butterfly just hanging out. We thought it might have been injured at first but it wasn't too sunny yet so it was probably just trying to stay warm.

On our walk to the dam

When we got to the dam this little crawfish was guarding our (his) rocky path. He wasn't very friendly either. he'd snap at you if you got too close.

The kids saw a bag dispenser on our walk and thought the perfumed bags would be a good thing to hold onto for anything they wanted to collect.

We walked a little further to have lunch and draw in our journals

It was a fun little outing!