Christmas fun and stuff

Christmas was very nice! We were behind in our gifts this year (hmmm wonder why? Nothing really happened this year - yea right!). But we were able to get them all done before the end of the year. I think they turned out beautifully and we were really proud!

This was just a few of the bottles we made this year. I personally consumed each wine or cider and will be checking myself in to AA promptly. (Kidding - the bottles were ones I have saved over the last 6 years!)

Mom brought some very special gifts. There was something for each of us, that her and Jennifer had been collecting or saving or making for us. Some were very personal (and emotional) like the afghan that she crochet for Akasha. It was the last thing she ever made. Some were totally surprising, like the cars she had been saving for Jarod. Some were just totally cool - like the coin collection her and Mom and been saving for Jamie and myself for 10 years! There were special gifts for each of us. It was a very emotional, but a good end to the year. We did miss her laughter, but I know she was with us, beaming from ear to ear! (You betcha!)
Christmas gets better each year with Kaitlyn, she cracks me up everyday. When she was passing out presents (most were for her) she said "WOW! I love presents that start with "K!" We couldn't stop laughing at that! She was so excited and surprised - but I think she liked giving gifts the best. She was so proud of the gifts she picked out for me.

For my birthday, I got Band Hero! We had a blast rocking it out with everyone! Here are some video's that will surely make you laugh!

This is Guinness enjoying his Christmas gift.

The fam jammin! Kaitlyn pulls out one of her personalities for Band Hero!

Here are Jeff and Chris gettin' down! Amanda was "slappin da' bass mon!" LOL.

Here is Kaitlyn singing "Big black "hawk" and the cherry tree" Check out my husband! He swore he wouldn't like this game - Looks like he's enjoying himself, what do you think? LOL

Last one! Here is everyone singing Kung Foo Fighting. Check out Mike B, he had no idea I captured him getting down!

There were a few other video's but I think I posted enough! We had a great time!

2009 was full of laughter, tears, ups and downs. There some incredible moments, that took my breath away and some that made it hard to breathe! I am happy to move on to 2010 and to another amazing year!





It's January 2nd, 2010. Where did 2009 go? It seems like it vanished in a blink of an eye, which got me thinking. What got me to this point in my life. What shaped me in to the person I am today? So many people have left impressions on me, changing me and shaping me in ways that I never knew important at the time. I thought I would reflect on these people.


Bev laid the foundations of who I am today. She gave me all of the necessary "tools" any mother gives to a child. I learned how to take care of myself as an adult because of the lessons she taught me. I also got my love of music from her. Music always graced my house - and Bev's voice was something magical for me. The power behind it. It was captivating. I wanted to sing just like her ... She not only helped raise me, but she loved me and taught me valuable lessons that I am passing on to my daughter. Thank you and I miss you so much.


I'm not quite sure where to start - Patty taught me what it meant to be a woman. To be pretty, to smell nice, to look nice. To value nice things. I used to watch her get ready, for work or to go out. I loved watching her. She was graceful and confident. She was everything I hoped to be when I grew out of my gangling awkward pre-teens. My love of perfume comes from her. She used to wear Night Odyssey - and I loved it. She gave me a bottle of it once and I cherished it for ever and tho it's really hard to find, sometimes I come across it and it brings me back to that time, sitting in the bathroom, watching her put on make-up. She continues to be a person I look up to, and I can't imagine my life without her. She is much more than an Aunt to me, she is a friend. Thank you.

Jeffrey and Christopher (Jeffy and Crit-o-fur affectionately)

They are the brothers I always wanted; even if I didn't know it when we were kids. They would get in to my things, and squirt me with squirt guns. They would plan "missions" to annoy me. But I loved it. Even if I yelled and screamed it. I miss it. I am so proud of the men they have become. They are honorable, intelligent, funny and handsome! I thank them for the gift of being my little "brother's"

Sherry and Dean

Sherry made me aware of religion, what it meant and not to fear it. The lord shines through her and I love that about her. I will admit that growing up I didn't really get it, or understand - I was like "blah blah, religion, blah blah." But I get it now. I thank her for setting the foundation of my spirituality. Dean was my favorite uncle. All the other kids were afraid of him - like he was big and scary (a well crafted act) but not me. I always admired him. He could make me feel better without saying a word and it was that gift that helped me through one of the most tragic events in my life - I will forever be grateful.


Laurie taught me about being a kid - laughing, having fun and not being so darned responsible. I was always the responsible one. I was always worried about everything. Very seldom was I careless. You might think I wouldn't appreciate being careless, but I do.... and I think of all the laughs we shared fondly.


Jamie taught me how to be a mother. How to love and care for someone unconditionally - which is what I always did for her as a child. I think I am a great mom today because I had good practice with her as a kid. Jamie was a ball of energy and I learned how to forgive, and forget from her. Some one could do her so wrong, but with an apology she would forgive and forget. I love that about her.


My Dad taught me to love the outdoors, the simple things in life. A bike ride, a walk around a lake or a board game. He was funny and silly and those are things I look for in almost every person I meet. He would do anything to make me laugh. He was soft and caring and would lull me to sleep by rubbing my cheeks. I think of my Dad every time I'm camping or playing monopoly (which he ALWAYS cheated at).


My granny - my star. She is the kindest most wise person I know. She taught me how to keep some things to my self, a kind of quiet lesson I am still trying to learn. She is generous, kind and brilliant. Everything I aspire to be. Everyone - and I mean everyone should know my Granny. My time spent with her is some of the happiest times of my life. She taught me poker - grin. And I must say - I'm not half bad. I think I get my temper from her too - takes a lot to get me fired up - and once I am, I stay there for a bit. However, a simple kiss, a genuine apology and my flames are doused.

Mamo and Papo

Mamo loved to sing, dance around and "make believe. I loved to pretend with her - and sing. I loved to go through her closet as a kid and put on her shoes. They made me feel pretty -

Papo was the man! I thought he was the biggest, strongest smartest man ever. He could do anything, and fix anything and every man I met (boys really) until about 6 years ago could never measure up. If my husband only knew.... :-)

Mom and Dad Manzanares

Taught me to give. Give without expectations. Trust in the Lord. These are things that I always knew how to do, but didn't really see how important they were. They helped me see the importance. I am eternally grateful for that.


My Mom is the strongest, hardest working, most loyal person I know. She can fix anything, she is funny and sweet. She is super woman. She wasn't the typical "mom". She didn't' dress in a frilly skirt, and pack my lunches. She didn't do my hair and teach me about make-up. She didn't teach me to cook. But for everything she couldn't teach me, she taught me 20 things in return. I think I'm quite crafty because of her. I don't judge a book by it's cover which is a lesson not often taught by parents, and its probably the most important lesson I learned from her. I'm thankful she wasn't a typical mom, because I wouldn't be who I am today if she was.

My husband

He is so proud and strong. Quiet and outspoken at the same time. I love his spirituality. I love his strength. And I love that I feel comfortable and safe with him. Being that I didn't have a male role model growing up, it was really hard for me to trust him, and allow him to take the reins on things. After all, like my Mom taught me, women can do anything a man can do - and in half the time (wink). But I really love that I love him. I love that he loves me.

My Daughter

Has probably changed my life the most. I had no idea how life altering being a Mother was. She made my heart grow two sizes. She is funny and outspoken and brilliant! And I owe all of that to the wonderful people in our lives... past, present and future.

These are just a few of the important people in my life. I am forever grateful for the gifts they have given me -
Love ya!