child, thank you for teaching me patience.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought Chelsea down into the world to join our family eight years ago. She is full of spunk, wittiness, and a lot of sassiness. She's 100 % dad, and 100% me, and I wouldn't exchange her for anything in the world.

The fact that she is the youngest girl in the family helps her get away with things...sometimes. Being the only one in the family (besides her dad) with naturally straight hair and a double crown on the top makes her even more unique.

And very special.

The minute we found out Chelsea was a girl I immediately knew that she was going to be unlike her sisters. The way my moods were when I carried her, the fact that she was one day overdue, a breeched baby who flipped in my uterus at the last minute which resulted in an emergency c-section, and born on her sister Alexandra's birthday meant that she wanted to be the center of attention.

Because she always wants to be the center of attention.

But this girl, she is awesome in her own right.

Frankly because she speaks her mind in the most polite way possible. She is very caring, and helpful and every teacher that she has had since preschool tells me she is their cheerleader, and 'mom' of the class. Always looking out for the smaller kids, protective, and extra helpful.

Sometimes I wonder, and I'll joke around with her present teacher and say, "really?" 

Then again I know how my daughter is. She may be a little sassy, and demanding at home because she is in her comfort zone, but in public she is the complete opposite. She can be quite the samaritan. Very kind, respectful, and mindful towards others. If she wasn't like that outside of the home then there would be some issues of concern, and I would have to find a way to change that..or at least try. 

Sometimes I wonder if I gave birth to her first would I have had more. Honestly...probably not. The way my patience was 18 years ago I probably would have gone into major depression. Who knows. Luckily my first two daughters had a talent of obedience the minute they came out of my womb. The Lord definitely knew what He was doing, and I thank him for giving me two children to teach me how to be patient, and to have somewhat mastered it when Chelsea was born...somewhat meaning I'm still working on it!  

She's just like her sisters in the aspect of being sociable, and she'll be the first one to say hello to another child, or adult. She is fearless when it comes to making new friends, and will say the funniest things.

She is gifted when it comes to piano. She obviously takes after her older sisters, and even though she and her baby brother Noah have a love/hate relationship...there's a lot more love involved.

Her generation is pretty awesome, and I actually look forward to this girl growing up, (and more gray hairs), and it'll be interesting to see what she'll be like ten years from now. 

Very interesting.

I have a feeling she's going to do wonderful things in this life, and become someone great! 

Because she already is. 



Thank you for your tantrums, loud cries, and the little things you do that you know will push my buttons, because child...they are teaching me to be patient! 

You are amazing, and I'm so glad I had you! 



Longwood Gardens '13

One of our favorite places we fell in love with two years ago was Longwood Gardens. I remember the first time we stepped foot into this huge garden I felt as if I was in a different country. This is certainly one place you can escape form the world to feel tranquility, and take in all of Gods beautiful creations. Once again we spent all day here, and walked every acre of this garden...and then some!
Noah had his children's map in hand, and was our little navigator today. 

Entering the children's garden was more fun for him this year since he's a little bit older. Since he loves to get wet, he and Chelsea took advantage of it. Too bad we didn't bring their swimsuits. They do provide towels as your exiting the area, but luckily they didn't get too, too wet where they needed a change of clothing.
This was a pretty cool attraction in the childrens garden. There are paint brushes in which you get wet, and the kids were painting this dragon with them. This area was all about getting wet. 
I can't remember if they had lily pads on display the first time we came here, but these were so cool! This would be a perfect place for a wedding reception! (okay...that was random!)
This spot near the bell tower is my favorite. We can sit here all day listening to the sounds of the water flowing, and the carillon of the bells. If only I had one of these in my backyard. 
One thing the girls look forward to is the water fountain show. This time we viewed it from up on top where the girls got a tad bit wet, and getting cooled off was needed as the day was pretty humid! It was awesome! was so humid I felt like jumping in this coin pond!

Since when did these girls become taller than me???? I feel like a shrimp compared to them. I'm five foot nothing, yet my eight year old is one shoe size away from mine! You've got to be kidding me!
Walking among a row of flowers is so breathtaking. It makes me want to be a botanist or something. Everything here is just so beautiful, and well kept.  
Hydrangeas, hydrangeas, hydrangeas! They are my favorite.
This truly is one of our favorite attractions in Pennsylvania. Coming here on a hot, humid day was totally worth it. They have water fountains all over the garden (just in case you forget to bring your water bottles), and a delicious cafe inside. We loved this day, and the rain made the day cooler which also made for taking better pictures. I love my family, and we love venturing out together.

Like I wrote in a previous post. We are taking advantage of our time as a family of six before we are down to least until the fall.
excuse those of us with our eyes closed. some sweet old lady took our photo, and only took one! 

our days with the grandparents.

I love our family. I love my husbands family...especially when my in laws come for a visit. They have really made effort after effort into visiting us so much since we moved to the east, and I want them to know that I appreciate their time, money, and those hours sitting on the plane because when you start getting up there in age, (not that their old because being in your 60's is still young to me) I know it's not that easy. 

They always go out of their way to accommodate us instead of us accommodating them. They always want to make sure our needs are being met, and that we have enough food in the fridge. Having four children makes for a lot of meals, and snacks which I hardly ever buy because they will be eaten within a week! Grandparents are the key when it comes to snacks because they spoiled these kiddos with dark chocolate icing spread in between graham crackers. You should eat them after they have been sitting for an hour. They are deliciously moist! 

I've never been one to cry too much when family leaves. I think the fact of being away from them for too long has caused me to be numb, but in a good way. To me it means that I have learned to be strong, and independent when it comes to feelings of emotion.  Not that I'm an affectionate person because being Latina I am! Hello...tears streamed down my face as we were watching our firstborn graduate from high school! I also cry when something so spiritually strong touches me. It's just that when family comes and visit I want my reaction to be as if I had just seen them last week!

I love their personalities. My mother in law is so personable, and I can see she really enjoys herself when she is visiting family. I love her attitude. She is a good example when it comes to living life. She has learned and grown so much (me too) since I joined her family almost 19 years ago. I am learning a lot from her, and when I'm her age I would like to be like her. I only wish I had her sewing & cooking talents! Seriously though, her and Jay are always comfortable in our neck of the world, and it's amazing. They are extroverts through and through, and I can see where Jon gets his outgoing personality from. That is one of the many reasons why I married him!

The four days we spent with them were too short. We tried to make them count. I felt bad because Sierra still had school while they were visiting, but luckily they had three other grandkids to keep them entertained...especially Noah & Chelsea. It's always the smaller children that lean towards grandma & grandpa more. Sierra & Lexie enjoyed talking to grandma as if she was one of their girlfriends, and Lexie had fun doing crossword puzzles with grandpa.  

Having a BBQ in our little backyard, going to a pre-graduation party for the Harrison brothers, attending Sierra's graduation and our day trip to Philly spent with them was the best! We had fun in Philly, and toured around the city. 
We had lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, and although they might have been a bit overwhelmed as they walked in, they loved the fact that there were so many delicacies to choose from. 
They saw Sierra's school, and the dorms that she might be staying in. They are cute row houses in a quaint spot in center city. I recorded some of our moments in the city, and might make a video at a later date, but all you'll see right now will be still pictures so I hope you enjoy them! 

Love this mural on the wall. There are so many different murals all over the city.
Every trip that we make to Philly is always fun, but this one was extra special.
They truly are the best grandparents/in-laws anyone can ever ask for, and I want them to know that I appreciate them so very much! Thanks for coming, and supporting us on this glorious occasion! 

the graduating class of 2013.

This day was so surreal for me. From getting special seating on the football field to seeing Sierra walk down the track with the rest of the class waiting to be seated, to listening to all the speeches given by the principal, valedictorian, salutatorian, class president, to receiving her diploma in graduating with honors.
Although I was very excited for her graduation day to arrive this is one day that I didn't want to pass, but it did. It came too quick, and flew by way too fast for me. I can't believe these past four years just flew. Flew, flew, flew! I am so excited for her to begin a new chapter in her life. She has done really well in this school for the past four years, and everything she has learned will be taken with her as she begins college in the fall. We are extremely proud of her, and all that she has accomplished thus far in her life. She is a young woman of many talents and has so much knowledge to share with the world.
I explained to her that friends come and go, and sometimes part after graduation. Life will keep many of these kids busy, and hopefully some of them will stay in contact. She has made many friends, and mentioned that they are all keepers for life! She's fortunate that some of them are attending college nearby, and hopefully that'll make it easier to stay in touch.
with Trent, the prom king...again!

From left to right:  Matt, Erny, Eddie, Michael ( 2013 valedictorian), Tj, and Jordan.
She makes these young men look good in pictures!
two of her dearest friends: with Amber (top), and Britney (bottom)
She will never forget her friends of the future class of 2014. She will miss playing in the jazz band with these guys. Who knows, maybe they can all start up a band someday. They need to graduate first! 
It was also nice seeing an old friend, & former alumni.
She had some of the best teachers this year, and she will never forget the ones who really challenged her to be the best.
We were so happy that her grandma & grandpa (my awesome in-laws) flew all the way from Utah to witness her graduation and spend quality time with her. They are so pleased with her accomplishments, and have faith in her that she will become someone very successful. 
Speaking of successful Ms. Petite gave a wonderful speech to the entire student body, and the advice she gave them was remarkable. One of my favorite excerpts she said to these graduates was, and I quote... 

"Remember when you thought that your parents didn't know a lot, watch how incredibly smart they become over the next decade. Parents are pretty skilled at picking up on real life lessons. Continue to talk & listen to your parents. They have learned from their mistakes and will save you much stress and anxiety. They will also not charge you for their expertise, and most of the time you may even get a free meal. Set your goals high and strive to develop your skills and potential, but be careful in how you measure your success. Your success will be judged by those with whom you compete. Rather than being the best in the world try to be the best for the world."~Ms. Petite


I thought those were wise words, and great advice when it comes to being challenged in this life. I pray that you will take those words to heart, and apply it in your daily life. Remember this day forever, because the only thing you'll have left are the memories. Four years of memories at Highland that taught you to be the best. 
Now...go out and conquer the world. You are here for a reason, and your unique talents will take you very far. Just remember that it is up to you to make it happen. Stick strong to your morals, and be solid in your testimony, and love for God, and His gospel. We will be rooting for you from across the bridge. 

This is the beginning of the end of your first chapter in the life of high school, and now...

Let the college days begin.

Oh still have the rest of the summer to enjoy yourself. 

Time to go to the shore!