Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tower is Falling

The school year ended, and Paola got a chance to take another group of students to Europe at the beginning of summer.   What a life?  She kept sending us great pictures of having fun while I stayed with the kids and we worked hard to keep everything running without her.

Leaning Tower

I guess it was well deserved after a long working year with all the students.  Next up is summer time and a trip to Ecuador to visit Paola's family.  That promises to be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Secret Tacos

Paola and I have started taking advantage of our Wednesday evenings when our kids are at the church youth activities.  On this occasion, I even got Paola to ride on the motorcycle with me.  That was a lot of fun.  If you know Paola, you know that she is was very entertaining when the speed picks up or there is a sharp turn.  I am trying to take her to places she may not visit often.  So on this occasion I took her to Bella Vista.  It's tucked away in the back of an old shopping center on the conyers exit.  Authentic and Delicious!!

Secret Tacos

Saturday, May 06, 2017


Last week we had a little surprise guest in our basement.  The window had been left open and a little friend decided to climb in.  It had warpped itself aroudn the curtain rod.  I had walked downstairs to go to my office and had felt a breeze.  I thought that had been odd.  Perhaps one of my kids had left the fan on.  I walk in and turn on the light and noticed the fan was not on.  I did also notice that there was a snake on top of the curtain rod.  I thought it was Matthew's rubber snake and reached for it.   Just short of grabbing it, I thought to myself, 'I don't think that Matthew's toy snake was this big..."

So I stopped and stared at it for awhile.  It did move a little and so it was time to prepare for war.  I make a snake catching tool from a broom and a telephone cord.  Matthew helped me to get it in a box so we could take it outside.  It was heavy and almost five feet long.  I think if Paola would have seen it, she would have had a heart attack.

Friendly Snake

Let's not talk about the fate of our little friend.  I think I will either have to keep the basement windows closed, or brush up on my snake handling skills.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hello Moto

Another year has passed.   Tons have happened.    My daughter Megan said to me a few weeks back, "Dad" why don't you post anything anymore.   Yeah, sorry about that.   Life has been pretty busy, but I think I just need to find the time to record a lot of the little things, and it will be better than trying to do it all.   This really is a cool place to record a lot of what happens to us.  So I will re-kick it off with this:


When Paola and I got engaged, she did not want for me to keep riding motorcycle.  During that time we knew a few people that rode that got in to a couple of bad motorcycle wrecks.  So it has been many years, but before Chirstmas, Paola said "I guess you are responsible enough now..."   blush    That day I called my sister to see if she still had that motorcycle in the garage.   Man I love riding this thing.  It's a beutiful ride and so very relaxing.   Since then I have been riding almost every day.  Along the way I seem to have picked up a riding budy.  Sophia loves riding with me.  Now we just have to keep it safe out there.

Well with that, one final thought.  I love my kids, and my wife.   God has been good to us.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Bang Bang Weekend

This past weekend we had an alignment of stars.  There were so many things going on for all the kids, that our tires seemed to be on fire.  Matthew and his wresting team had a great season and they are in the final matches next Saturday.  Matthew won all four of his matches this day.  Below is Matthew throwing down with his crazy wrestling moves.

Matthew Wrestling Match

Sophia and her team did excellent on their reading bowl competition.  It was a lot like the wrestling match because they threw down on their opponents without mercy.

Sophia Reading Bowl 2016

And not to be left behind, Megan and her team also did some stomping at the Middle school level.  But also it was her day for the photography competition.  She came in first in the district.

Megan First Place in Photography

Overall a great day for the kids in the things they have been working so hard on.  We are so proud of our kids.  They are hard working and determined.  We pray they work hard at the things God has in store for them as they grow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Flash Bang Tokyo

We had a chance this past week to go out to dinner after Matthew's music concert.  It was a chance to not only celebrate the performance, but also get some dinner with my parents at a little place that we liked to visit.

Matthew Concert

My Dad's birthday had just passed and we also wanted to celebrate his 200+ years... (ok .. .maybe a little less).  Here is a picture of the fire they set at the Hibachi table before they get cooking.  That is a good way to get a birthday / concert celebration started.

Little Tokyo

One nice night with no work, music concert, and a family dinner.  Busy but good.  Man these kids are growing up quick.  Man my father is growing up quick.  :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Run for Pancakes

This past weekend it was time for the 2nd annual Flapjack 5K run.  Last year we did awesome!  We had all been practicing and running regularly.

Rockdale Baptist 5K

It was a fun day for everyone.  We did our run and had fun as well.  I was really rough on the run, but glad I did it in the end.  I was really proud of my family for doing this.  We almost chose not to do it since several of us had been slacking for a while.

Fachisthers FlapJack 5K

Now some of us (not me) really did good.  Matthew was in the top group but there was stiff competition.   Sophia and Paola were able to get first in their age group.  So we were all very proud of them (and a little jealous).  :-)

Friday, October 09, 2015

The Robots Are Coming

There is this really cool burger place near the project that I am currently working at.  It's called Killer burgers (or at least that is the sub title).  One of the cool things about this place other than the delicious burgers and the bacon ranch French fries, is the cool robots on the counter behind the bar.  Its a line up of really cool and old robots from throughout the ages. 

Robots - Part 1

Robots - Part 2

Robots - Part 3

Robots - Part 5

Some of these robots bring up great memories from times near and far... and some of them are just cool looking although I have no idea where they came from.  This place is really interesting, not only in the decorations, but that they show old black and white movies as well on the wall and screens.  Some are SciFi and some are kung-fu, but its all awesome!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Of Weekend Past

A couple of weekends ago we got a chance to have a little date.  Just Paola and me.  We hit Agave, a place that we had visited some time back with some good friends.

Agave Dinner Date   Agave - Delicious Food

Last weekend was also busy as usual.  The kids of course are even more demanding than ever!  But I guess that is part of growing up.  I had to bribe the girls with delicious milk shakes from Chick-Fil-A so that they would not shave my head while I slept.  I wonder how long that will last.

Chick-Fil-A Milk Shakes

And as the season winds down I finally got a chance to catch one of Matthew's game.  I have been hard pressed to be available for some of these games already.  Although they were close on the score, they were not able to pull out a win.  But I was glad to be able to see my son get some field time.  He is number 75 in the picture.

Matthew - #75 - Playing Football

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Elkmont 2015

What a great time we had this year at Elkmont.  Time to unplug and rough it up for a few days in the Smoky Mountains with family and friends.  If you click on the picture or HERE you can go to the Gallery where there are a bunch of more pictures so you can get a taste.  God is so good for allowing us this little break away.  Remember these times!

Elkmont 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Of Cats and Snakes

Well ever since Sophia used her powers of persuasion and pouty face to convince Paola that we needed a kitten, things have been a little more exciting around the house.  The last couple of days we have had not only the kitten but another little visitor.  When ever the cat does anything that warrants a severe beating, she will make a cute little kitten face.  I am starting to think that Sophia has been training her to do that to avoid exile.

Cleo the Kitten

Well, the other day I was working in my office and I saw something out of the corner of my eye moving behind the bookshelf.  Lo and behold a little visitor.

Visitor Snake

We have been living here forever, and this is the first time we have had one of these little guys paying us a visit.  Well, although it was mostly uneventful, and we were able to take him to the woods and let him loose:  Paola was not to happy about having this uninvited visitor.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mountain or Rock

This morning I got a chance to go climb stone mountain with the kids.  It was a nice cool day and the climb was not too taxing.  We had a great time climbing and talking about life.  The yellow flowers  were blooming everywhere (weeds).  They really did look nice.  The gang is all in pretty good shape so it was pretty easy.  Now we have to clean up and get some of our favorite Taco Bell and play some D&D.  Yeah, that's right:  D&D!

Stone Mountain Climb

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Megan Day

I got a chance to have lunch with Megan and her crazy friends today.  She is growing up so fast, and I am sure at some point she wont want her old dad embarrassing her in front of her friends.  Well today was not that day.  We had some good laughs and I got to see some of Megan's personality when she is being silly with her friends.  A good bunch.


Lunch with Megan

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Taco Cat

Me and Taco Cat got a chance to visit Sophia for lunch today. A very rare and auspicious occasion. I am working from home for a few days so that gives me some flexibility.  Well, as part of the entertainment, Sophia tried to drink her shake with a straw through her nose. Where ever does she get these crazy ideas?  I am sure I did not encourage such crazy behavior.


Lunch with Sophia

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Close Shave

I was backing up some of the photos that Paola had on her phone before she finds a good way to blow it up.... please don't tell her I said that.  smiley  Well Anyways, I came across this picture of Matthew shaving.  It was August of 2014 and this was the first time that Matthew did a full shave.  How quickly they grow up.  He was only 12 years old but his mustache was already kicking him in the nose.  Better get that under control before it gets out of control.

Matthew Shaving - Aug 2014

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Family Cruise

In February we got a bunch of the family together to go on a Cruise.

Duck Cruise

Well we got a bunch of pictures scanned that we bought and we added them to a gallery HERE.  Follow the link to see some of those.  We will add a bunch of the camera pictures when we get a chance (but don't hold your breath too long).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Of Rain and Naps

One of the new things that has happened to our household is the loss of our cat Sarah.  She has been my pet since 1992.  That is a very very long time indeed.  Well with the passing of time, we had the clamoring for another fluffy companion.

Nap Time - Sophia and Cleo

And on a completely different note, a quick storm passing by near the night a few days lead to the opportunity to do some bouncing with the rain for Megan.

Oh to be young and carefree (and fluffy).   There is a joy in that.

Birthday Pizza

How long has it been?  I have not been posting for over a year.  "Why would you abandon us this way, Briam?"  Well I went back to finish my degree at Georgia Tech.  And then the truth is that I got really lazy.  wink

Well now I am back.  And so much time has passed that I think I should really start now and then every now and then do some back tracking until I catch up (which is pretty much never).  Either way, Onward!

On Friday Night, I turned 43 ... or 430, I don't recall.  But we went to celebrate with some Chicago Style pizza.   Umm umm.  One of my favorites.

Nancy's Chicago Style Pizza

After some awesome pizza, we then moved next door to watch the magical world of Krispy Kreme creations.  Below is the machine that makes the magic.

Krispy Kreme Machine

Oh look closely at the sugary sweetness that pours down.  It must be healthy for you!!

Sugar Sweet - Krispy Kreme

And to top it off a little chuckle at the warning on the side of the machine.  Be careful with the hands.

And with that.  The first post is in.  yes

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Elky Elky 2013

This past September we got a chance to go to Elkmont again.  Another great camping trip with some great friends.  And as in the past years, on the Labor day, we throw in for a nice biker ride around Cades Cove.  The kids ride like champs, and the reward after the 11 mile bike ride was a nice tall ice cream treat.  We ate like kings around the campfire... For a short days,... life became simple... and we ate like kings.

Elkmont 2013 [Sept]

Click HERE for more pics.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


What ever happened to long relaxing weekends with rest and no alarm clocks?  Those days are long gone.  Most of the weekends are packed full of activities and events.... games and projects...This Past Saturday was no different.  But I think these were some pretty good events.

Matthew at Match Competition April 2013

Matthew did great.  But more importantly, he really enjoyed the competition. The last thing we want is for him to burn out and not enjoy these events.  After that we celebrated with a little Taco Bell!!  ...oh yeah. Nothing says "I Destroy Math" .... like burritos.  We got a little rest, and then we were off to the Soccer game.

Where were the girls during all of this?  The girls had a girl scout Science field trip instead.  They also had a blast.  They got to see a ton of cool stuff.  From race cars to experiments.... arts and crafts with robotics.  Pretty cool stuff, ... I wish I could have also gone.

Girl Scout Science Event

The weekends don't seem to be getting any lighter... and the kids aren't getting any younger.  Onward!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family and Wings

We had Paola's brother in town for a few weeks.  They came with the whole tribe.  And boy did all of the kids have soo much fun!!

Tios y Primos

On this day the gang got a chance to go get some wings...  there were many chickens in fear that day.  This is a good picture before everyone dug in and got sauce on everything.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 Bowl

The reading bowl for 2013 got here quicker than I would have thought.  Last years bowl was full of reading and testing late in to many nights before the competition.  This year was no different...  But the day finally arrived and the Shoal Creek Sharks were ready... and they did great.

Reading Bowl Winners 2013 [County]

So now it is more studying and practice since next weekend they now go to Regionals.  I do have to say that one of the biggest aids in Matthews practice has been Paola.  She is the motivator... the one that is up late and up early helping Matthew to practice.  She is the one that reminds him of the goal and encourages his progress.  Paola and many other parents and teachers helped the team reach their goal.

Reading Bowl

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Santa Time

A little over a week ago, we got a chance to have our Breakfast with Santa.  It was good to see a lot of friends and their kids coming to take pictures with Santa.  You forget how many kids everyone has until they are all in the same room together.... and it is a little nice... and a little scary when you finally do see it. 

Christmas Santa [RBC]

 The breakfast was provided by Waffle House... Oh yes... and it was syrup-licious!!  And in our rare photo with Santa, all eyes where open.  Another bonus!  smiley

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sleeping Over

Megan recently had her birthday party [Nov 24 th was her B-Day] and had a bunch of her friends stay for a sleepover.  I was all about painting nails, watching movies, playing games, and eating pizza.  But even though they did a lot of things... I don't think they got a lot of sleeping in.

Megan's BDay Sleepover

There was way too much giggling...and to be honest I was a bit scared and hid in my room.... every now and then I would listen to see if it was safe to leave my room, but I was trapped almost until lunch the next day.   Well at least Megan loved her birthday party.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Making a Plastic Tree

Some people like to put up their Christmas Decorations early... Way Early.  I am not sure where the find the time.  We were lucky to even start talking about it after Turkey Day.  ... but the time did come to bring out all the Christmas boxes. Including old faithful. The tree that is older than my kids (It might be time to get a new one).

Time for the Tree

And here are the volunteers.  Ready to get the decorations under way.  We added everything around the house and some lights in front.  And at the end the sun had gone down and we sat around the fireplace with some hot chocolate and talked about some Christmases Past.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Many Waters

This summer we got a chance to to get family passes at White Waters for the family at a really good discount.  So, what does that mean for this merry band of kids and their two chauffeurs?  Yes, you guessed it, we went to White waters as much as possible.  With the season passes we also got a bunch of coupons so that we were able to head to the water park with some friends, so the kids hot turns picking who they wanted to bring.

Sophia and Kyden

So on this particular day [September] it was Sophia's day and she invited her friend Kyden.  The kids had such a great tan.... and I actually started to lose some of my pale white skin this summer.  smiley

White Water Girls

We had so much fun at White waters this summer that we are definitely going to have to do this again.   And of course the kids agree.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sophia's New Bear

Like the tales of old where the mad scientist brings to life a new creature...  Well kind of like that.  Sophia got a chance to create a new teddy bear.  From warming up the heart and filling the bear with stuffing.  Paola and Sophia got a chance to go on a little date to use Sophia's "Build A Bear" gift that she had been holding on to.

Sophia and her new bear

They had a great time of course and Sophia made a new friend... [Literally]  Click on the picture or click HERE to follow the whole saga.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Older Boulder

There is one thing that you can't stop... no matter how hard you try, you can't stop your age.  Well at least I know that I can't.  Last month [Aug] I hit the big 40 !!!  And that wheel of time never stopped rolling.

Old Man Briam [40]

The whole family has been on a kick lately.  More family bible time... A little more order in the house... More exercise... and a little healthier eating.  The family has lost over 40 pounds.  Everyone is doing really good.  So as you can see in the picture, no birthday cake.  Just a healthy sandwich and some carrots.   wink

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mountain Rules

Last month we got a chance to take a little trip to Stone Mountain.  The climb up the mountain seemed harder than I remember, and the temperature was a bit warm.  But we did prevail, and it was well worth it.

Stone Mountain [Briam & Paola]

At the top of the mountain awaited us a beautiful site.   The rays of the sun punching through the clouds was awesome!!

Stone Mountain [Briam & Kids]

It was good to see that the climb up the mountain is getting a bit easier each time.  We are keeping active and getting fitter.  Soon it will be hard to keep up with these kids.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

When Hunger Strikes

The sun was setting... and the fridge was empty.  What were we to do?  So Matthew and I went out to forage for some food like real men.  That's right.  To the nearest store.

Hungry for Hotdog?

What do you think Matthew was in the mood to eat?  surprise

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Black Hawk Sophia

Sometimes as I work away the hours to support my loving family, I wonder what they are up to.  Wife working hard with all the things that she is in charge of.  She does too much... and then I reflect upon my kids, and wonder if they are studying hard and making every moment count to excel in their work....

Sophia and her class with the Helicopter

Then I get this picture from Sophia's teacher about what they did that day.  Looks like they had a visit from a Black Hawk Helicopter!!   I don't remember having school days like that!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Am I a Muppet of a Man

In days long gone, (in a galaxy far far away),... I remember a time when the muppets ruled the world.  Well at least they ruled the living room every time the show was on the air.  The Muppet show...never did I think that they would seep in to the lives of my kids.  I thought their days may be slipping past...  Even my most favorite of muppets:  Beaker....

Beaker and Profesor HoneyDew

So when the latest Muppet movie came out... I did have some doubts if it would live up to the tradition of the original show.  My son actually wanted to go see it so we made a night of it.  And low and behold, there was a little sitting area where Matthew would rest just in time to capture this picture for posterity.

Matthew and Muppets

And the legend lives on.  Matthew loved it ... and wants the movie when it comes out.  cool

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Boys

What is in a name... or a last name.  There aren't too many Fachisthers left in this world but in this photo we capture a few. 

The Fachisthers Boys

This next generation I am sure will surprise us...  You can just see it in the smiles.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reading in a bowl

I have never figured out why they call it a bowl...  Super bowl...  Science bowl... Reading bowl.  But what I do know is that it takes a lot of hard work on everyone's part to make it a success.  And in today's world, the definition of 'success' can be very different from person to person.  What do I call a 'success'?  Well it really is not about winning the competition.... or having the highest score for me.  To me, I try to step back and see the 'success' as the hard work and effort that is put in.  I tend to see it as the team working and practicing together.  You can see some of it in the reactions, when the team wins, ... and when they lose.

Reading Bowl 2012

Matthew was part of the reading bowl this year.  And the whole team did great.  They put in a lot of practice as a team every single week.  And Matthew also did a lot of hard work (reading and studying) on his own as well.  Of course Paola also helped out a lot with the practice questions and reviews.

Matthew Reading Bowl 2012

This year, they won first place in the the competition at RCA for the county which means they went on to the next regional level.  There the team won second place and also went to the next level of competition.  At that regional level they came in fourth place and did not move to the next level.  Matthew was a bit hard on him self and was not happy with the results.  All that hard work and effort that he and the whole team had put in.  We had to chat...  and remind him that team did amazingly!!  They hit a new level for the school that had not been reached before.  Even if the team had never passed the first competition, the 'success' was in the team work and in the experience.  And that follows you through the rest of your life long after the trophy is gone.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

When the grass was green.

The other day we were in the front... throwing and attempting to catch the old Spiderman Nerf football.  Matthew was trying to teach me the proper technique to no avail.  When I noticed the grass... it really was not-green.   It was dry and stiff.  Running around barefoot was not as nice at it used to be.

Spiderman Nerf Ball

I know that it is supposed to be something like winter... although this year it really has been a lot not-winter-like.  But I saw this picture from last year.  It was a warmer time.  The kids were a little younger and they had some friends over.  But the grass... man it was greener.  No chemicals or service or anything.. It was by no means a great lawn.  But it was soft to the feet... and it made the memories sweet.

Kids and Friends [2011]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cows and Hearts

A couple of weeks ago we went to the annual Chick-Fil-A Father/Daughter date night.  This was the second year that we have been able to go and we had a blast!!  Normally I am very suspicious of those Cows.  They always seem to be plotting and planning something.  But I have to say that this time they seem to have gotten right on the mark.

 Sophia Flower

There is something about that time with the girls where they can be the center of the world.  Where they can dress up... and its all about them.

Megan Flower

The place was well prepared. Table cloths... flowers... balloons.   The works.  They even came to our table and took our orders.  But I really think that their favorite part was when we shared multiple desserts.

Father Daughter Date Night

In the end it was not about the food...or the flowers... or even the awesome milkshakes.  My hope is that the girls remember how they are to be treated when they grow up (much much much later).  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blog Hibernation Over

Mere words can not describe how slack I have been on posting on the Blog.  There are no excuses.  Except perhaps that I have fallen in to a deep hibernation.  Well, ok, maybe not.  Tons of things have happened in the months of absence from the posting world.... and where do I begin.  

Briam Sleepy Time

So I guess that I first need to organize the thousands of pictures that have been accumulated.  But oh yes... I am on it now!!  blush

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fuzz Run 2011

This past Saturday we got a chance to get out there an run the annual Fuzz run in Covington, GA.  A great little family run for a good cause [“Police Who Care Fund"].  The kids did great on the Fun Run... and the parents survived the 5k.

Family Fuzz Run 2011

I was happy with my time compared to last year.  I did notice that once I get in to the 70+ age group, I will be able to dominate due to lack of participants!!  ... just a few more years to go.  Well on a furrier note, there was a special guest appearance by the famous Chick-Fil-A cow.

Sophia and Cow

The cow was not fast enough to escape Sophia's crushing hug.  Better luck next time, Cow!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

On top of the Mountain

This Summer we have been trying to stay more active.  What that usually means is that I end up carrying a lot more stuff and everyone is sweating.  cheeky

One of the places that we have hit a couple of times this summer was Stone Mountain.  I brisk climb for a nice family picnic.  The first thing we have to do is convince the kids that this is really a cool thing to do... even when it is really hot.  DON'T FORGET THE WATER...

On Top of the Mountain

We did make it up there... with not too much fuss.  The view up there was great, and the kids were proud of their accomplishment.  After a nice (hot) climb to the top, the hunger sets in.  We all gather under a little tree for some lunch.

 The Hunger on the Mountain.

The lunch was good... not just good, but also enhanced by the strong desire to eat after climbing that mountain.  As we sat under the tree and enjoyed the breeze and the lunch we started talking about Jonah... and his little tree.  Matthew pretended to be a worm and started eating our tree. 

Jonah and the Tree

Johan 4:9 ...But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant [tree]?”

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Stroll in the Park

As I was looking back at the backlog of pictures I have not had time to post about, I came across these photos.  While the kids and Paola where in Ecuador, I did get a chance to do some bike riding in Arabia mountain.  And a couple of my rides actually took me to Panola park and back.  There were some really nice places to ride through...

Arabia Mountain

I had actually gotten to this bridge with the kids at some point in the past.  They did complain about how long it took to get up that hill... but they did love riding back down that hill.

Arabia Mnt 2

There are some cool bridges and crosswalks on the path.  But I do recall that in this summer heat, I contemplated jumping off the bridge in to the creek below. 

Arabia Rabbit

 There were TONS of rabbits.  Well not actually a measurable ton, but rabbits seemed to be everywhere.  Every time I saw one I thought about how Sophia would love to see them.

Arabia Jail

And then there was this wall.  I am not sure what this place used to be... perhaps some storage while they mined the rocks.  Who knows.  But it reminds me of Matthew.  He swore this was a prison from a long time ago.  I think I have a picture somewhere with him behind the bars.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Christmas 2009 Memories

Oh, am I a little late with these?  surprise

Well I guess it can't be helped.  I was doing some clean up and ran across some of these pictures.  Click on the picture to go to the gallery and live the past!  ... some things never change... some things change too quickly.

Matthew Megan Sophia - Christmas 2009

Enjoy!  ... I know that I did.

Friday, February 25, 2011


The local library had a chess program for the kids for a few weeks, and Paola thought it would be great to enroll them.  At first I had my doubts about how interested they would be in chess at their age, but it was really amazing how quickly the wanted to jump in... learn the moves... and start destroying their opponents.

Matthew and Megan

At one of the classes, the local Rockdale paper was taking some pictures for an article the wrote.  Little Sophia made the picture in the paper.  Here is a scan of the article... It did come out a little rough.

Sophia Chess

I hope they use these new found powers for good...  cool

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baker Matthew

Here we have one of the worlds finest bakers (under 8) working his craft.  This is Matthew (at the end of 2009) performing his magic in the kitchen.

Matthew Baking 1  Matthew Baking 2

Matthew Baking 3

Since he was able to walk (7 months old) he has had a passion for eating... and cooking good food.  The best part about all of this is when we all get to sit down and share in the good cooking.  I will have to ask him for his recipe. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ski Feb-ulous

I know, I know... I am so on it that I am posting about our Youth+Kids Ski trip from February in December!!  I am such a slacker.   smiley

 Family and Youth Ski Trip 2010

Click on the picture above or HERE to see some cute pictures from our trip earlier this year.  We had a great time with the youth and our kids also had a great time.  It was the first time that they had ever gone skiing and they did awesome! 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bed Head [Past]

A few months back... in a galaxy far far away there lived a bed head monster.  This terrible beast would attack any resting soul without notice.  As you can see Sophia and I were both victims of the beast.  Sophia was a bit 'lolly pop' while I seem to be a bit 'Elvis'. 

Sophia and Briam [Bed Head]

I found this picture from a few months back and could not remember why we had gotten up so early (dark outside)... but I am sure it was for a very good reason.  If you will notice in this picture, Sophia seems way to happy for it being this early...  I must ask  her how she does it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Greetings at the Airport

Last Saturday we got the call.  It was time to run down to the Airport to pick up a couple of special people.  Paola's parents (The "Abuelos") were arriving.  Paola and Matthew stayed at home so they could finish up some last minute preparations so it was up to me and the girls to give the Abuelos a warm welcome.

Sophia hugs Abuela

While Abuelo Humberto had to go and guard the luggage, I was able to get this rare photo of the girls (not jumping around like crazy monkeys) with Abuela Isabel.

Abuela and the girls

It's really nice to have them with us.  It has been too long, and we look forward to having them with us for quite some time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Family Visit

Last night we had a chance to visit Tio Juanito and Tia Debbie.  Since Paola's parents are in town, we loaded up the wagon and headed over for some fun and delicious food!

Family Visit

As usual it was a mad house!!  But I mean that in the best of ways.  The kids were running around and laughing and playing.  Everyone had a great time.  It was really good to see and hang out with everyone again.  We really should do it more often. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

More Flags More Fun

A couple of weekends ago, we got a chance to go to Six Flags.  No just any trip, but a trip earned with the cold hard sweat or our kids and their diligent reading.  That's right.  They were rewarded for there fabulous (and voluminous) reading.  And some of the nice teachers provided a couple of tickets for the parents (so that someone would watch the kids while they ran around the park).

Six Flags

First things first, we had to decide what we were going to do while we where there.

Kids Six Flags

Then we had to find all the Loony Tunes character and harass them for pictures.  It was key that we all stick together so that we did not lose anyone.

Six Flags with the family

...especially not the parents.  Good thing there is a place for that.

Lost Parents Six Flags

Click on any of the pictures or HERE to see the rest of the pictures we have from that day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sophia Kinder Land

This year Sophia is in public school kindergarten.  How quickly they grow up.  This is a picture of Sophia the week prior to school where they had a Kinder Camp to prepare the little ones to be acclimated to the new big kid environment.

Sophia Heading to School

She did not skip a beat.  She loves her new school and her new friends.  Thank goodness that we didn't have any issues with the change over.  Now if we can just get them ready for the college entry exams... 

Monday, August 02, 2010

Kids are back in School 2010

Each Summer, the kids seem to be heading back to school sooner and sooner.  This year the kids started their classes back on July 29th.  Thats right... you heard me:  July 29th?!?!  I figure its only a few years before they are just going to school year round.

First Day of School 2010

I think they were all ready to get back to school.  Don't get me wrong, they did tons of fun stuff this summer.  But I think they also like the structure and hanging out with their school friends.  Sophia was very excited about school since this was her first year at the "Big" school with her brother and sister.

Matthew Megan Sophia

I am sure that it will only be a few weeks before they are back to wishing for the summer... Just like we used to when we were their ages.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Prima and Ice Cream

Last month we had a little visit from Aunt (Tia) Karin and Cousin (Prima) Liliana.  It was great seeing them again.  Where does the time fly,   The kids picked up like they had just seen each other a few days ago... wile the parents stood back and wondered where they got all the energy.  Below is Sophia and Liliana with the rock star sunglasses...  who do they get their fashion sense from?

Liliana and Sophia

And of course... while I was hard at work, the kids got a chance to go out and enjoy a little ice cream on such a hot summers day...  I wish they would have saved me a cone... even all melted, it would have been delicious.

Kids Pirma and Ice Cream

We are so glad they could spend some time with us... We hope to see them again soon..  [We love you guys!!]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

They're Graduating

Where did the school year go?  The time has blown by so quickly and now the future is on the horizon.  We have not known the youths for very long... but how quick we grew attached to them.  How proud we are of all the hard work and accomplishments.  Last Sunday the graduating seniors where in charge of the worship portion of the service, and it was awesome.  We pray and hope for the plans that God has for these young adults.

They're Graduating!!

After the service there was some great time of fellowship.  We got a chance to chat with everyone and even had a surprise from a certain dog that was not my schools mascot. 

Sophia and The Dog

Don't let Sophia's innocent little smile fool you.  We had to stop her from pulling out the dog's tale.  She thought it was the funniest thing ever.  And then of course the other kids wanted to do the same thing.

The kids and The Dog

The bible speaks of how the church is our family... And its times like this that you realize how true that is.  I'm going to miss a bunch of these kids when they go off to college.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bouncing Basketball

The previous season of basketball came to completion a couple of months ago... and Soccer season has just begun for Matthew, Megan, and Sophia.

Matthew BasketballMegan Basketball

The games change... the uniforms change... the kids grow... but one thing always remains the same.  They will always be our little angels.  [That and the driving them every week to practice... that never gets old.. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Atlanta Blizzard

Earlier this month, was a very interesting time.  In a very rare show of snow force, the blizzard of 2010 was upon us!  The kids were very excited about the school days, but more importantly, they were very excited about actual snow (accumulation).  A rare thing in Georgia indeed!

Family Snow Time 2010

There was snow enough to play in ... (and Sophia's favorite : to throw!)  We got a chance to slide in it ... make angels... and almost make a decent snow man.   But that may have been more of a skill thing, than a snow thing.

Matthew and Dad

This was the first serious snow that the kids (and Little Mac) had ever seen.  ...and good preparation for the ski trip that followed the next week (I just have to go through the pictures).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Princess Sophia

Lately there has been a lot of time with Matthew and Megan on the basketball courts.  They sure do love to play around.  And they even get a little bit of basketball in from time to time.  We are just glad that they are having so much fun as well as learning some good team skills.  That will come in handy no matter what they do in life...  I guess at some point I should put some basketball pictures here... but instead, I wanted to post about Princess Sophia today.

A couple of weeks ago, the girls where watching Disney's Ice Princess movie.

Disney's Ice Princess

So they were showing one of the skating scenes near the end, where the entire competition depends on this one performance.  It was at that time that Sophia looked at me and said "...this is so beautiful, its making my eyes cry..."

Princess Sophia

She looked so sad and cute when she said that , that I had to cover my smile so she would not get mad at me.  Sometimes Sophia is the most interesting mix of serious and adorable... so much so that its hard to know how to react.

Monday, January 25, 2010

There Will Be Singing...

Back in November (Yes, I know... I am a little late as usual) the kids got a chance to show us some of the songs that they had been practicing.

Matthew and the Kids Chorus

They performed for us a beautiful collection of worship music.  I was surprised at how well they all did.  I remember back to my younger years... and the singing that we did (and I am thankful to God that Matthew sounds better than me). 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Daddy Day

Before the end of last year (again) it was time for Daddy Donut Day at my kids School.  It is much better than Daddy Broccoli day... trust me.  You don't want any of that..

Matthew's Class (Megan came to visit)

I wish I had more time to visit them at school and go to these kind of events.  They enjoy them so much (and so do I).  After the healthy donuts, we got a chance to go to Matthew's class to say hi.  A great group of kids.  Megan came with me since we dropped her off after this at her class room.  I wonder if years from now they will think back to these things?... or if they will look at the pictures one day and remember...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Doggy Days

The cold weather reminds me of warmer days (odd isn't it?)  I found some pics on my blackberry from when we were last at a nearby park (Johnson Park) and got a chance to take our dog (Little Mac) out for some fun.  A good friend, Tracy, came with his two dogs.  One of them we call Big Mac (Ha... I crack myself up).

Dog Days

It's funny how dogs are like little kids...  they want to run and play and before you know it all your time has disappeared.

Megan and Little Mac

The kids had a great time... the dogs had a great time... and the adults?  Well they seem to have a good time watching the others have a good time.  How our perception of time changes as we get older.  Those wondrous memories... how quickly they pass.  Hold On To Them!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mission Frog

Mission Frog is always watching... always waiting.  I think this was in the airport on the return from the Jamaica Mission Trip.  Here we have Paola looking at a picture of one of our kids...  and Froggy wants to see also.

Paola and Mission Frog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Matthew's Creation

Have you ever noticed how easy these things come to this next generation?  How easily they are able to pick up on how technology works... and use it as if it is second nature?

Matthew buling out a computer.

Here is a picture of Matthew building out a system.  This is not the first one that he has built out, but it is the first one that he has built out from scratch by himself.  I have been there to guide him on previous hardware changes... but on this one, he only needed me to get the empty case out of the box.  Wow... age 7, and already building out a computer...  I did not get my first computer until I was a teenager (let alone build one out).

Matthew installs Windows 7

But he did not stop there.  Afterward, he installed Windows 7 on this system and a bunch of other stuff.  Oddly enough, he now has Windows Seven on his home machine before I have it on my home machine.  Matthew is also hard at work studying for the A+ Certification that he wants to get before the end of the year.  Not sure if there will be enough time... but we will see.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When Cups Attack.

Silly long work filled days.  A person must work and get the job done... and there I was doing my part.

Briam and the Cup

...minding my own business, when the Cup attacked.  What could I do but defend myself...  Well OK, my co-worker thought it would be funny taking this picture of me at work.  Some times its the silly moments that make the long work hours bearable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Princess on Horse

Ahh.... I had forgotten about this picture.  When Sophia turned four, we got a chance to have the party with a few friends and some horses.

Sophia 4th Birthday

The horse looks a little startled, most likely from the line of kids waiting for their turn.  The kids of course all had a blast.  How the girls love the princess horsey ride.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kids at RBC

This picture is from a few months ago.  We were rushing out of the church on a busy Sunday (as usual), and thought it would be nice to get a picture by the front of RBC.

Kids at RBC

It really is hard to get a good picture of the kids... dressed up... not setting things on fire. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pizza Past

Some time past, we got a chance to visit my brother for some pizza where he works part time.  "Avondale Pizza"  The pizza was really good, and the atmosphere was very interesting.  One of the things to note is the little knight below.

Knights of the Pizza Table

The odd thing is that this little night was in a corner behind a both.  But that did not seem to stop the kids from wanting to play with him.  I call these, the Knights of the round Pizza!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Time Flies

Where does the time fly?  I was looking at the blog and noticed that I had not posted in over a month.  Well we cant have that, can we?

Sophia and Liliana

Here is a picture of Sophia and Cousin Liliana, when Tia Karen and Liliana came to vist from California.  It was so good to see them, and the kids all had a blast.  Cherish these moments... time slips away all too quickly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cousin Gabriel

Last month we got a chance to take a quick weekend get away to visit Paola's brother (and family) in Florida.  Nice warm sunny warm beautiful warm Florida. 

Birthday Party

While we were there, we were able to get together and celebrate his son, Gabriel's Birthday!


If you look closely .... you will notice that there is already chocolate on Gabriel's face.  I think all the kids had an abundantly healthy serving of sweets this day.  They all had a lot of fun with the games, bouncy, little pool.  And after all that sugar, I remember all the kids crashing that night (and some of the adults).

Birthday Party

Life is busy and always packed, so we don't get to visit very often, but its great when we have a chance to get together.  God has blessed our family!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Class Zoo Trip

A few months ago (before schools end), Matthew and his class got a chance to go to the zoo.  Paola was happy to tag along and assist (and that also meant that Sophia and Megan would also get a chance to tag along).

Matthew Zoo Trip

Here is Matthew with one of his humble subjects.  As you can see, Matthew practically has this subject eating out of his hand.

Megan Zoo Trip

Here we have Megan.  She seems a little apprehensive about this crazed bird of pray.  Luckily I think there is enough food to keep him subdued until the field trip is over.

Sophia Zoo

Here is Sophia in her element.  She has always been our little Dr. Doolittle.  She could have wondered around the Zoo for days... and never noticed the rest of the class had gone home.  A good time was had by all... and no one was left behind.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Suegra Birthday!

My favorite Suegra just had a birthday last week [July 8th]!  [Suegra = Mother in Law]

Suegra Isabel's Birthday

Here is Suegra Isabel with some birthday cake on her nose.  Here with Maria Daniela and Maria Paula (Two of her granddaughters).  Isabel is such a wise and wonderful women, we are so glad that God keeps blessing her and others through her.  Happy Birthday Suegra!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Little Mac

So there's a new puppy in town.  Well, actually its the first puppy we have had as a family.  We have had cats before, and still have Sarah (Who I am sure is loving the new addition to the family)

Little Mac

Little Mac comes to us from a universe far far away... in a little unknown planet called Conyers, Georgia.  Actually a good friend of ours (Tracy) brought him by and though he would be a great addition to the Fachisthers family.

Little Mac

After some serious debating and analysis ("PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, CAN WE KEEP HIM!!!") from our kids, we decided to accept Little Mac in to our clan...  The interesting part will be see the loving bond develop between Little Mac and Sarah

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Wind Blows

We have some great friends who keep our kids from time to time.  They are wonderful people, and I don't just mean that because they keep our kids (and survive)... 

Matthew in the wind...

Here we have Matthew versus the leaf blower...It is hard to tell who will win.

Megan in the wind...

Here we have Megan versus the leaf blower.... but between you and me, I think our little chatter box has got this one hands down.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Soccers End

Well a few weeks ago, Soccer season came to an end.  Megan and Matthew were on two different teams, and have been really playing great and loving the game!

Soccer Trophy

One of the mom's donated trophies for all the players on Matthew's team (very nice of her).  Here they are showing of the new trophy.  I was out of town on a mission trip for the last game... but I was there in spirit.  They are growing up so fast... even Sophia wanted to get in on the games (but spent much of her time just catching bugs).  Maybe next year Sophia.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tea for Three

A few months ago, the kids got invited to a Birthday party.  But not just any birthday party... it was a Girl's Tea Birthday Party.

Megan at Tea Birthday Party

Of course the girls had a blast.  There were tons of cool stuff for the kids.  Now, I must say that it being a girl's birthday tea party, it was more geared to girls.  But that would not stop the boys from having fun with the games and prizes.

Matthew at Tea Party

Here is Matthew showing off some of his bling that he had collected from the tables... Cool idea, but it might look more menacing if they weren't pink and red. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Of Basketballs Old

Ah yes, the season of basketball has come to an end.  Matthew was not a towering giant in this sports of heights, but he did enjoy the games, the friends, and (most of all) the snacks that came at the conclusion of every game.

Last Basketball Game

Matthew had a great season.  His skills were improving and his shooting had gotten a lot better.  But what stood out most was how Matthew loved to steal the ball.

Matthew on the bench

Sometimes  a little too much.  But I guess at the first grade level, its better to focus on the fun they were all having.

Matthew in play

Although there were a couple of times when parents got a little over zealous with their kids playing... Note To Self:  Never scream at my kids while they are playing about mistakes they just made.  The last thing I want is for my kids to have bad memories about these events and games which are supposed to be fun.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Of Inventions Past

I think back way back way way back... (if I had a decade for each 'way back' I think I covered them all).   So I think back to a time when I was in school... and I was young (yes, no beard yet).  I recall having show and tell or a little one page report on some person in my life.

Matthew gives Presentation on Thomas Edison

But then I see the project that Matthew had to do and the requirements, and I am impressed.  I am so glad that Paola is home to help guide and encourage our kids during these projects.  Working at them little by little so that it does not overwhelm them near the due dates...  now if only I could get my beautiful wife to help me on my big work projects... 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kung Fu Cat

This is a picture from when we were at the girls school (Rockdale Baptist Church) for a show that each of the classes was putting on.  After the spectacular performance we were able to go back stage and spend some quality with these super stars.

Princes Sophia Feb 2009 Performance

This reminds of a conversation I had with Sophia a few weeks ago.  I had noticed that she had some scratches on her legs...

[Briam]   "Sophia... how did you get those scratches on your legs?"

[Sophia: Age 3] "I was practicing my kung fu on the cat..."

It would be some time before I stopped laughing enough to ask her to please not practice her Kung Fu on our little old cat...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Of Tea Parties Past

A couple of months back (yeah yeah, I know I am very late with the pics), the girls got a chance to go to a birthday Tea Party.

Birthday Tea Party

Of course I (and Mathew) was not allowed to attend.  Something about "No Boys Allowed".

Little Tea Party Cakes

From the pictures we were allowed to see it looked like everyone had a great time and the layout was spectacular!   They even had those little cakes with the fancy names.  I wish I would have gotten a chance to taste one.

Birthday Tea Party Girl

Here is the birthday girl (Ellie) and her mom (Marilee)They grow up so fast, but these are the memories that they will remember.  I guess a little part of us will always remember our

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fishy Fish : TN

As I was catching up to the long list of things I have not yet posted about, I ran across the pictures from the Tennessee Aquarium (Nov 2008).  We had a chance to go and meet my sister (Ivana) and Nicky.

TN Aquarium

Click on either of the pictures to see a lot more from this day.  As you will notice the picture above, the kids got out of control and started destroying the sidewalks.

 TN Aquarium Group Picture

If you dig through the pictures carefully, you will find the picture of me almost losing my hand to a ferocious beast! 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Of Megan Past

Ok ok... I know that I am a bit late on putting some of Megan's birthday pictures up on the blog.  Her birthday was in November.  But I have a good excuse!  I was abducted by aliens...

 Megan's Birthday

Well... any who.  I wanted to do a quick post and put down some of the pictures we have.  We had a chance to invite some friends from church.  All of which had bunch of kids.  That makes the numbers grow very quickly.  Click on the picture or Click HERE to see.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Its Daddy Donut Day again!

Almost a national holiday, Daddy Donut Day was upon us.  Before the holiday I got a chance to go spend some time with my son Matthew at his school.  There was enough sweet donuts to put me in to anaphylactic shock!

Daddy Donut Day

Here we have Matthew enjoying a nice healthy donut.  It was a good turn out, and it was interesting to see the kids in their natural habitat... roaming almost freely. 

Matthew's Class

Matthew gave me a little tour of some of his popular hang out spots around the school.  He seemed to know everyone at the whole school.  All the teachers knew him by name... and so many kids.  I know I was never that popular at school.  I got a chance to take a picture of Matthew and his class mates.  It seems like a very good bunch.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Painted Face

A few months ago, we were at a small activity at Lakeview.  It was like a little Holiday festival with Hot Chocolate and face painting.    That and an overwhelming truck load of sugar laced treats that was sure to work up a frenzy in the most reserved of kids.  But not my well behaved kids... (yeah right!!)

Megan Flower

Megan:  "That is a beautiful flower with a crystal star in the middle." 

Megan Butterfly

Megan: "That is my butterfly... isn't it cute?"

Sophia (Not Sure)

Sophia:  "I don't remember what that is but it was very pretty"
Megan:  "Sophia you don't know what that is... thats just a heart with curls..."

Sophia Spider

Sophia: "That is a cute spider... I want to keep it forever!"

They passed out from sugar overdose that night.  All their talks about wanting to keep the paint for at least a few weeks or days on quickly faded...  By morning they awoke from their sugar induced comas and we were able to clean up the faces before they became clear headed enough to demand that we hire art restoration experts.  That was a close call.  Lesson learned?  Always carry handy wipes when on the run...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Message in a bottle

We just got home this morning from a Christmas visit to see some family in Miami... and we came back to a stack of mail (not email).  Among the ads, spam and offers of financial freedom was this little gem...

Prima Liliana [Age 3]

Our Niece Liliana and Tia Karen sent us this  precious picture.  How quickly they grow up.  This is a picture of Liliana who is three (if I am not mistaken).  The kids loved this picture.  We send our love!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Arabia Mountain 2008

At the end of October (2008) we got a chance to go to Arabia Mountain with some good friends of ours (The Lents).  Its a cool state park area, that I am surprised we have not gone to before... since we live so close.

Arabia Mountain

Click on the pic or HERE to see more picture from our outing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Family Saturday

Where does the time go?  They seem to be growing up so quickly.  It seems like just a few days ago we were changing dozens of diapers per day...    Well I guess its not all bad that they grow up.

Sophia Reading

Even from their early days, their personalities seem so different.  They all come with their own idiosyncrasies, quirks, moods, and even hair styles.  Although I am starting to thinking that the last item may not be as important.

Megan Mittens

I guess what is really important is mitten selection.  That and "TIME".  No, not the magazine.  "Briam, of course time is important?"  Yeah, we all KNOW that time is important, but its much harder to do it than to say it.

Girls are Ready

The work week does get hectic, and time seems a bit limited, but on the weekend, we tend to have more opportunities to do things as a family.

Dad and Kids

Here is a picture of us all all ready to go out for a rare treat at McDonald's (breakfast).  I am normally in charge of breakfast on Saturdays, and I was feeling especially lazy.  Where is Paola?  (She is taking the pictures...)

Megan Yummy!

Megan seems to be the one that really tends to love the eating out for the food, where as Matthew and Sophia I think just like the concept of being out and about.

Kids at McDonalds

As long as they don't go berserk and drive us crazy, its usually a great time out.  Talking about deep world shattering issues like their politics, global warming, and finger painting:  Its never a dull moment.

Briam in Prison

Can you spot the trapped parent in the picture above?  I am just glad we did not have to call the fire department to get me out of there.  How truly blessed we are... and how sad it is when we don't keep that in mind, because then we are really missing out.  Yeah, it is about 'time'.  And its not easy... but it is worth it. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reading Time

The fever for the flavor of a pringle... minus the crunchy chips, I guess.  Well thats what story time is like around the house.  The kids have a love of story time.  I know that Paola gets more chances to read them the story... but more and more it is the kids who get to read the stories to us.

Reading Time Sophia

Well, perhaps when they read the stories, perhaps they dont get all the words right... (or even perhaps any of the words), but the stories are very interesting.  These pictures all come from the kids personal bible story time.

Reading Time Matthew

Here we have Matthew reading a little deeper.  But you cant really dig deep without a nice hot cup of coffee... (or maybe that was Paola's).

Reading Time Megan

Sometimes the story time leads to some interesting questions.  Sometimes quiet bible time is not so quiet.  But I guess its good that we are working with these habits at a young age.  Now if only we could get them to clean their rooms... 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Little Princesses

What a crazy busy day yesterday was.  I hope to post a little more about Cuba later today, but first things first.  The other day I was heading to work early early early, and my kids happen to be awake.  Sometimes they will get up just to give me a goodbye hug/kiss before I go off to work.  Well, I give all the kids a hug and a kiss and tell them to be good and to have a great day. 

My Girls

Well, I am at the door and Megan had followed me to close the door behind me and she says "Daddy, you be good today... and try not to get fired."  Hahaha... I am not sure where she picked up a line like that, but it did make my morning.  I told her I would try my best not to get fired today.  But in all reality, with so many blessings at home, how could I be down even if I was fired today.  The Lord will provide... always.  In a book I was reading the other day (Facing your Giants), one of the lines jumped out at me.  You will never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have…

Monday, October 20, 2008

All about Matthew

Last month there was a big project that Matthew had to do for his school.  It was called "All About Me"  They had a few months to work on it, so it was a pretty big project for them.

All About Me : Matthew

Matthew did great on his project!!  It looked great.  And all the information on it had to be hand written.  We were so proud of his hard work.  Matthew was able to put together tons of information on all the different parts of the project.  But the biggest part (which I wish I could have seen) was the presentation of this information to the whole class.

Matthew's Presentation

He had practiced over and over until he knew all the information by heart.  Matthew really does have a good memory... and with a splash of charm and pleasant smile, he delivered his presentation.  He did so well that they even choose his presentation out of the whole class to display in the library.  And check out that cool pointer that he used during the presentation.... I wonder if he will let me borrow it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Tower

Ah finally made it to first grade!!  Of course Matthew says its old hat now.  He has his own alarm clock.  He gets ready all by himself.  He focuses on getting the work done.  But what does he miss while he is out and about?  ...What are his sisters up to on days they don't go to school? 

Matthew Off to First Grade

Well, maybe some days are more exciting than others... but we always feel that when we are not there, was the day that they did the coolest thing ever!!  This day was just about towers.

Sophia's Turn Megan's Turn

The girls did play some nice games while Matthew was out.  I guess they needed to practice a bit so that they could surprise him with their mad ninja like skills when he got back.  Of course like all fun games... the inevitable happens.

Again Game Over

Once the blocks come crashing down... some smiles turn to frowns.  But I am hopeful that they will recover and live to play another day.  Because this too shall pass.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Gift

There are little things in life that we take for granted... and I guess that is ok.  But then there are big things in life that we take for granted, and that really is not ok.  Sometimes we need a smack to the head to remind us not to ignore the important things in life...

We have been pretty good at doing bible stories with the kids...and also a kids devotional every couple of days.  They love it, and participate eagerly.  Its hard to do this all the time, but I think we are doing good if we are getting to it three or four times a week.

Now that Matthew is getting older and reading like a college student, he has been reading more during our family sharing time.  And now that Matthew is in 1st grade, he is also moved to a new class in Sunday school.  So, on  the first day of the new class, the students all got a new Bible.  Not a kiddie bible will mostly pictures, but a real full bible (with some pictures).  Matthew was ecstatic! 

The Gift

He was jumping in to bible verses and doing memorization.  He was asking questions and asking where to find things... Have I grown so old that I do not remember that level of joy?


Now, I (the father) am being motivated by Matthew (the son).  He is teaching me the appreciation that I have started to take for granted.  Is this not what sharing the gospel is supposed to be like?


Here we have Matthew reading a bible story to his sisters.  Its a new shiny present that far surpasses any of the others he has received.  It truly is THE GIFT.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

School Yet?

It seems as if the days of summer are slipping away and school is on the horizon.  Its not just the tax free shopping day that reminds me either...  Ok, well maybe it is.  That and Paola running around buying school supplies was a big clue...

Mrs. Gamble and Kids

Here is a pic of the kids at a school function with Matthew kindergarten teacher:  Ms Gamble.  She is AWESOME!!  Constantly challenging Matthew.  Which is not easy by any means.  Of course the new year will bring on a new teacher.

The Girls

The girls will also still be at the same pre-school (Rockdale Baptist Church).  They also love their classes and teachers.  Not sure what changes this year will have for them.

Smile Megan

They are growing up way to quickly.  So much so that sometimes it is hard to remember their ages... or maybe I am just getting old and forgetful.  What?  ...who said that?  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Liliana B-Day Pics!

So I believe that my brother has the same allergic reaction that I have.  He is allergic to the phone... just like me, we are not much for the chit chat or the phone calls.  Some might say that most men are like this (and I would not disagree).  Well, so my brother Damian (Kurt) calls me last Wednesday.  What what?  Yeah.  Thats what I said.  We had not talked in a long time, and it was very nice to hear from him.  He is doing well, and looking forward to trying out some new business ventures soon.

Liliana B-Day 2008

Well, we were chatting and he mentioned he had taken some phone pics of Liliana since she had recently had a birthday.  He sent them to me so I thought I should share.  How quickly they grow up!!

Liliana Bday Pic 2

Its great that the kids are all getting bigger and older... but somehow I can't help feel like I am older than the wind.  Specially when you start getting questions like "...who is fred flinstone?"  They say it will get easier... (yes, but for whom?)

Liliana Bday Pic 3

I hope we get to go visit soon.  It would be very nice to see Lili, Karen, and Kurt.  I know that my parents are talking about going out there in a few weeks.  Maybe we can sneak on the trip with them.  Perhaps hide in the luggage.  Happy belated B-Day Liliana!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dead Fish Dont Tell Tails

There once was a little girl name Sophia.  She was a cute little three year kid with a great love for animals.  She was constantly asking if she could have different pets... from lions and wolves to turtles and rabbits.  From dogs and cats to horses and whales...  And like all smart parents who wish to avoid picking up poop after lions and horses, we told her that she could save up for a fish.

Sophia's Fish

But not just a fish.  She would have to save up her allowance for the tank and food and possibly one little fish.  With the modest allowance that she received, we figured that would buy us enough time for her to lose interest in starting up her Noah's Ark.  But we had overlooked one thing.  For her 3rd birthday she had received some cash!!  Oh well.  At least with a stern father to take her shopping we would be able to control this situaion... Unfortunatly I was not as stern as I could have been, and we ended up buying more fish than we have space for....

Matthew and The Fish

So the aquarium started out with around 9 or 10 fish... We quickly realized they would not all survive in the little 1 Gallon tank.  We ended up donating a few... and a couple died.  We were not sure if it was the overpopulation situation or over feeding.. or what.  I think one of the fish had a drinking problem... anyways.  The end result is one fish in one little tank.  Sophia named this one "Goldie" ...and then renamed him later "Swimmy" ... I think there was yet a third name, but I don't recall what that was.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Slack Weekend

Every now an then, its good to have some 'do nothing' slack time.  Around our house we are usually go go go... so those rare moments are hard to find.  A few weeks ago, we have a lighter than normal weekend that started out with a quinceanera.  A what?  Thats right.  Its the right of passage party in Spanish culture for girls.  Kind of like a sweet sixteen party, but they do it at 15 years old.  And these get very elaborate.  Sometimes more than a wedding!  You should see the dresses and shoes and other stuff that goes along with this celebration ...


So, this picture above is us at the party.  We had a great time, and got a chance to see some friends that we had not seen in a long time.  Four or five hours later ... we were off to our home for some rest and relaxation.

Lazy day for Daddy...

Step one in achieving the perfect slack day is to find the perfect spot to lounge.  It is important that this location be comfortable and free from distractions (like work or ... a tribe of kids).

More Lazy Days

Step two is to make sure that when distractions come your way, that you don't let them knock you out of your lounging spot... as you can see in the picture, I lost this battle.

Lazy Ladies

Step three... listen carefully.  This is the most important step of all.  Every now and then you need to STOP DOING STUFF!!  ... sit back. ...appreciate the blessings that you have been given.  Now go out there and SLACK!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Summer Swim

Ah summer time heat means summer time swimming.  We did not put the kids in swim classes this summer... due to global warming.  But that did not stop the kids from finding water (in large quantities)

Summer Swim

So, one day while I was out having tons of fun (working at the office on computer stuff ... yeah, I know you are jealous), the kids got an invite for a little pool time with some good friends of ours.  Click on the Pic or HERE to check out some more pics.  Next time, I hope that I will be around so I can participate...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary

What a special day today is.  “What day would that be Briam?”  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Today is our wedding anniversary!!  Nine unbelievably blessed years of marriage.  Inevitably someone will ask the old question “…are you guys in as much love as you were when you were first marriage?”  Ok, well maybe not too many people will ask this.  But I will answer it anyways.  No andYes.  HaHa… well I hope my wife does not stop reading there or I am in trouble.  No?  Well, when we are out together, people no longer have to hose us down to get our attention…  I guess you could say we have matured a bit (Paola more than me).  Yes?  (This is where it gets sappy)  The Love I feel for Paola gets deeper and more meaningful each year.  It’s hard to describe, but I am constantly surprised by the growing amount of Love I feel for her.  It changes my attitudes… It changes my behavior… It changes my thoughts. (In a good way)


I grabbed some of my favorite family pictures and put them together.  They remind me of how blessed I truly am.  Sometimes I wonder how Paola puts up with me.  Each day is another gift that I did not earn or deserve.  I hope that as I grow older, I will keep that mindset and live each day that God has given me to the fullest!  Happy Anniversary Baby!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Falls of Fury!!

What a great time we had going to Amicalola falls with our friends (The Lopez Family).  On top of it all, we actually survived with all the kids... (and without starting a forest fire).  We had to make the reservations a couple of months ago, and the only thing left was a lodge room.  I had thought that it was a cabin, but it turned out to be a really nice full service hotel/lodge.

Amicalola Lodge

The weather was perfect!  Warm and sunny... when the heat was to much, nearby shade and a cool breeze awaited.  We were able to get some hiking in from the base of the falls as well as from the top area (near the lodge).  The kids did great on the hiking (with our nice and leisure pace).

Amicalola Falls

We had expected to be in a cabin, so we had brought a ton of food to cook.  So, for the meals, we headed out to the picnic areas where we could cook and grill out.  The food was great (Thanks to Jose who saved me from setting myself on fire)...  Also, there was a neat little animal museum and a couple of playground sets right near the area where we ate at.

Lopez Family

Here is a picture of our friends that went with us.  We took tons of pictures, so click on the pictures or HERE to see more.  The one thing that we did not take pictures of was the tubbing we did.  On the last day there we went to Helen after check out.  We all went tubbing for a few hours followed by a picnic.  That was a lot of fun, and the camera was glad that it had not gone with us... for surely it would have been its demise.    So in its place, I will work on my etch a sketch drawings to try to capture the memories...  or not.  

Etch A Sketch

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Strawberry Picking!

Paola and the kids got a chance to go do some strawberry picking last week with the cousins.  Of course I really really wanted to go to work instead... what can you do?

Ready to Pick!!

Here we have the kids in their strawberry picking outfits with their strawberry buckets.  The sun was blazing, so they had to all use hats.  I did not even know we had that many hats.

Sophia and Paola

Here we have Paola and Sophia going around the field.  I believe they are 'taste testing".... I hope the owner does not catch them.

Kids a picking...

The kids, of course, enjoyed the trip and talked about it for days.  Paola made some delicious strawberry jam from a bunch of the strawberries.  The trip was a great hit.  But I bet they are all still jealous that they were not able to hang out with me.... and work... the same daily work chores that I do everyday....  yeah.  I know behind those smiles and laughs, they are just hiding the regret.  For more pics click on any of the pics or click HERE.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Ah ... can you smell it in the air?  Graduations are among us!!  The future leaders of this world are stepping out in to the real world.

Magic Hat

Here we have Ricky and his Magic Hat!!  I am sure he is now ready to conquer the world.  He even had a bout with fame!!  Check out Ricky on the big screen...

Ricky Fame

We are so proud of Ricky... and now we get to harass him every time we see him with "...now what are you going to do?"  

Family Woot!!

We also got a chance to go to Jonathon's graduation with a bunch of the youth we know that were graduation.  We had a great time.  It is amazing how quickly these kids group into adulthood.

Mauri Grad Party

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mommy Weekend

Well, the weekend is almost upon us.  And Paola is heading out for a women's conference.  I wonder who is going to take care of the kids?  

Kids Want Ice Cream

I guess it will be me...  Well one thing is for sure.  I promised to try to squeeze in an escape to the sugar ice cream shop...  They are eager to use some of the birthday gift cards that were received (even the chica who did not have a birthday is eager).  It promises to be a nice quiet peaceful getaway.... or perhaps sheer collision of anarchy and sugar fueled mayhem.  Where would you place your bets?  

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tadpole Time

Matthew really enjoyed the tadpole Tia Karin gave him as a Christmas present.  He was super excited that finally he was going to see how his little new friend developed to be a little froggy.

Tadpole Time

He did feed him everyday as planned, but with probably the help of the younger sisters, the little buddy probably got too much to eat and died this past week.

He cried and cried.  He did not know what went wrong.  Sophia almost cried with him  ( she is an animal lover)  And finally Megan confessed that probably she gave him a little too much to eat. 

Luckily the tadpole is insured!  And as soon as Matthew is ready again we will be getting another one.

Matthew and Swimmy

He was so happy, and then he was so sad.  I hope he is ready to try again.  I am trying to teach him that when we fail doing something, we keep trying until we achieve the goal.  It does not matter how many times we have to try, we try harder until we make it , until we do it right!  

I hope he gets encouraged soon!  ; )


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Birthday Fiestas!!

A couple of weekends ago, we got a chance to celebrate Matthew (April 15th) and Sophia's (April 16th) birthdays.    Matthew just turned six years old and Sophia just turned 3 (going on 30)...   It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day.

Matthew's Cake

 We had a few hundred of our closest friends.... ok, maybe not a few hundred (but with the amount of kids that came, it felt like a lot more).  

Sophia's Cake

We had a great time, and the kids had a great time.  Some how you think that after all the fun and play they would be satisfied for months (or at least weeks) to come.  But our little Sophia asked me "Daddy, can we have another party tomorrow..."  When those great big eyes look up at me, what can I do but say "...ask your mother".    Well we took a bunch of pictures.  Click on the pictures above or click HERE  to see more pics.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Church Camping

A few weeks ago, Rockdale Baptist had a family camping trip... where?  Right in the churches back yard.  

Briam setting up a tent

I have not been camping in so long, I figured the camping skills would have the tent collapsing on us in our sleep.  We were lucky to have some set up help from the Burkeys... (and the loan of the equipment!).

Sack Race 

We had a BLAST!!!  We had a lot of fun with the family time and the fellowship.  What the kids really loved the most were all the games we played.  Nothing like a potato sack to bring out the killer competitive streak in our little angles (and some of the adults).  And of course they loved the smores at the campfires that were set up at night.  A great time, and great memories with our family, and with our friends!!  Click on the pictures to see more or HERE.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grow Kids Grow

The weather is getting nice.  We are even getting some rain here and there to help fight the drought that we find ourselves in.

School Visit

Here is Megan and I last month when it was a bit cooler, but that doesn't seem to stop the kids from getting out and playing.

Learning to Bike

Here is Matthew a few weeks ago when after some practice, started riding his bike without the training wheels.  He loves it, even if there is the occasional fall from time to time.  He looks a bit big on the bike, we may need to get him a bigger bike soon.

Go Sophia Go!

Here is Sophia on her old bike.  She did indeed get a larger tricycle for her birthday a few weeks ago... (I will have to get to the B-Day pics soon)

Churchy Time

And here is the clan.  Dressed and ready for a day of worship.  The kids were a bit reluctant to pose for the picture.  They were ready to go play in their classes.

My Girls

But a little bribery (or threat) helps to get some smiles in the picture.  My Girls!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mountain Escape

A couple of weeks ago, we got a chance to kidnap the nephews and niece, (plus the grandparents) and escape to the Mountains.  We were up in north Georgia near Helen.

Mountain Vacation

We had a great time... boating, playing games, eating, more eating, .... more games... bike riding....  It was a good reminder of how old I am getting.  Or perhaps I should of how Young I am no longer.

Abuelos on Double Bike

And there is a picture I never thought I would ever ever ever ever see....   Even the abuelos showed us a thing or two on this trip.  We took tons of pictures so click on the photos to see more or click HERE.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Breakfast Mobile

With the ever climbing gas prices... comes the challenge:  Make More efficient Cars!!!  But that is easier said than done.  One promising option for the taste future has been found.  It is still in the early development stages, but with a little more development and funding, it may be a real potential for the future.

Breakfast Mobile

Its call the Breakfast Mobile (trademark pending).  Composed of a waffle center, banana tires (with a spare), and strawberry comfort center.  Add a little whip cream on top, and who can resist this ride?  This baby does zero to sixty... if you are eating while driving in another car...  Here we have proud creator, Matthew Fachisthers.  He is dedicated to test driving this until he finds a break through in fuel/motor efficiency!  (or until he has a tummy ache..)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Art Fest!

End of March, there was a fund raiser / Art Show at the girls school.  They had been making things all quarter and it was time to show them off.  Such creative ideas from the teachers.  There was a ton of stuff to look at, and a chance to buy some of the art work in various forms.

Girls Art Fest (Sophia)

Click on the picture or HERE to see more of the stuff that they worked on.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Weekend For the Kids

Last weekend we were able to kidnap some of our friends kids and head down to Brook Run Park.  Its a giant park in Sandy Springs. 

Kids at play!

Tons to do and play with.  Jumping around like a mad man... swinging from all the play sets....  and the kids had fun too!  We played the morning away, and even had time to have a picnic at the picnic tables...

Ice Cream Time

After a hard day of play play play, who could deny a little ice cream break?  What kid doesn't like ice cream?  Here is Paola, Megan, and Grace enjoying a cool refreshing treat...  Once we finished off the ice cream(s), it was time to run.  There was a birthday party for one of Grace's friends, and it was a jumping place!

Daniel SWOOOOSH!!!    Noah DUNKS!!!

I don't know where the kids get their energy.... Above we have Daniel and Noah showing us how its done!  Paola and I jumped and ran through the mazes.  I half expected to find some cheese at the end of the mazes, but time and time again I was tricked... and left empty handed.   We had a great day...  and took a bunch of great pics.  Click on the pictures, or click HERE to see more pictures from that day...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.  These were not ordinary pigs, these were money savvy pigs with a lesson to teach.  Each little pig comes with four sections.  One section for saving, one for spending, one for donations, and one for investing (Tithe).

Sophia's Pig

The first little pig is red and belonged to Sophia.  Sophia's dreams for his spending money is pretty much anything that is a high concentration of sugar covered in something sweet.

Megan's Pig

The second little pig is pink and belongs to Megan.  Her spending plan also includes candy of some sort, but she also has some higher goals and dreams that include some princess coloring books.

Matthew's Pig

And last but not least we have the blue little pig.  This little pig belongs to Matthew.  His spending goals point to a new video game for his Nintendo DS.  Or possible another Wii game... who knows what the future will hold for these kids.  These cool little pigs are helping us to teach some important money lessons to our kids.  Not only about savings and donation to the needy.  But also about how investing in God's kingdom is #1 priority.  We give that part first from our allowances.  A lot of good learning opportunity and the kids seem to really be enjoying it.  Hope these good lessons and habits stick.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Georgia Snow

Oh rare indeed.  Rare that moisture of any kind would fall from the sky in a frozen state.  Probably so infrequent that the little ones don't remember what snow looks (or taste like).  So everyone puts on the gear....

Snow Gang

All bundled up, they poke it... they catch it... Maybe not enough to make any good size snowball... but they still try to throw it (at me..)

What is she planning?

Click on either of the pictures or HERE to see more pictures.  I did pull this picture of Megan out the bunch.  Look at that grin.  I wonder what that could mean.  This was before we ran outside to play in the snow.  Maybe she is thinking "OH I am going to get Matthew good with a giant snowball!!"  .... the world may never know.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pod People

For some time I have known about the Pod people out there.  Waiting.  Watching.  Plotting.  Their plans for world domination are being finalized, and it is only a matter of time before they start their attacks.  But for the most part, we have been powerless to find them and stop them.  No evidence that they exist... until now!  Check out these pictures...and you will be convinced!   Click on the pics to see more from the pod people headquarters.  This alien base has been cleverly disguised as a kids museum called "Imagine IT".

Pod MatthewPod Sophia

In lieu of all this undeniable evidence, we have gathered our greatest scientist to put together a plan to stop these evil invaders.  We have thrown all our resources in to preventing their evil world domination plans.

The Plan!

Only time will tell if we will be able to succeed.  We will not rest until we can assure the safety of the human race!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

All about the Kids

I was trying to catch up on some pictures from January, and I noticed a couple of cute one's from when Paola's parents were in town.

Grandpa Humberto reads the kids a story.

Here we have Abuelo Humberto reading the girls a Dora story.  I have seen that show so often, the theme song haunts my dreams.

Matthew reads to Grandma Isabel

Here we have Matthew reading Abuela Isabel one of his favorite "Cat in the Hat" books.  He really does not like green eggs and ham.

Sophia rides horsey

And here is Sophia showing off her control on the horsey ride.  When it's her turn I don't mind so much, specially since she is still so light... but when Matthew and Megan have their turns, they really twist me up.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Good Friends

I was looking through some of the pictures from around Paola's birthday and I came across one of Paola and Migdalia.

Paola and Migdalia 

I was thinking of the friendships we form... the real friendships and how important they can be to our lives.  It is not something to be taken lightly.  These are the people we confide in ... the people that lift us up when we are down.  They are the ones that we share with in the good times and in the bad.  They are the ones that give us advice when our spouses don't understand (or we don't understand)... Friends try to correct us when we are in the wrong.  Friends celebrate with us when we are blessed... In the truest sense, real friends are an extension of our 'family'. ...who are my friends?  ... am I a being a good friend?  I am glad that my best friend is my wife!  ...and that is truly a blessing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sophia Cooks

Sophia is a cooker.  Loves to help make, blend, mix, stir, season, pat, prod...all in the name of yummy eating!  Specially when there is yummy goodness intended for mommy's special birthday lunch.... some home town delectables that Paola dreams about on a regular basis.

Sophia and Abuela Cooking

To see her and the joy that she gets from cooking and helping is almost as gratifying as seeing Paola eat her favorite meal!

Cook Away!

Patty cake, patty cake, Sophia's choice... or I guess in this case it really should be Paola's choice.  Cook on little princess!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rat Behind The Curtain

There's no place like home!  There's no place like home....  Our journey home can take us to a lot of strange places... down the yellow brick road.  Off to see a wizard... but who is this guy behind the magic curtain?  It turns out that its no wizard at all!  Sure he makes some mean pizza for the kiddies.... but its all smoke and mirrors... and animatronics.

The Rat Behind The Curtain

So we had taken some family and escaped to a magical place called 'Chucky Cheese'.  We had a lot of fun with the kids.  Even when the giant rat behind the curtain started talking and singing, I thought everything would still be ok.  Megan did not seem to like the rat too much, but Matthew seemed to have other issues going on.  How did this giant rat move... and talk... why did it it not respond to any of the surrounding stimuli?  So of course, he had to go take a peek.... and here he is climbing up and over to check out the rat behind the curtain.  He did not get far before Paola spotted him and had him come back out.  But I think he got enough info to satisfy his curiosity.  Just a giant robot rat.  Click HERE to see some more pictures of us at the Rat's house.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chilly Time

Oh the weather outside is frightful... but the fire is so delightful.  The chill hit us a few times over the last month.  What happened?  We hit 70 in January... but also had two different snow days.  I guess its not time to bust out the shorts.

Megan Chilly!

Here is Megan all snuggled up and warm.  You know what?  I think that I have a hat just like that.

Sophia Chilly!

Not to be out done.  Here is Sophia in her winter wear....  Looks like they are almost ready for a blizzard.  

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Crazy Mall People

Ok, I promise this is the last of the Christmas pics... I know we are in February now, but I could not help but put one more pic here (and add some more to the previous Gallery). 

Christmas With Family

In this picture, we just happened to be in the Mall...and walking past the big tree in the center.... then the oddest thing happened.  We became 'those' people.... the picture takers.  Almost as if we were tourist or something.  There was a picture or two... then one more.. then the parents... then just the kids... on and on...   How could this have happened to us?  Now we are just crazy mall picture people.  I wonder if there is a therapy group for us?  

Friday, February 01, 2008

So fondue of you.

Some time after Christmas, and before Paola's parents and Brother's family had to go back to Ecuador, we had a chance to go out with some friends to see a blazing fire.

Fondue Outing

Here we are shortly before we are engulfed by the smoke!

Fondue Outing InLaws

Here are Paola's parents, deep in the smoke.  Where was all the smoke coming from, Ah yes:  Fondue.  We got a chance to eat out at the Melting Pot with some friends and family, so click on the pictures above or click HERE to see more of the pics.

Friday, January 25, 2008

In-Law Xmas

This past Christmas, my favorite in-laws were able to come for a nice visit.  We were able to save some Christmas presents to open with them.  I put together some of the pictures from their visit.

In-laws Xmas 2007

You will notice some of the pictures have that smoothed out format.  An expert level of photographic skills I like to call 'smudgy lens' with just a slight taste of 'cheap camera'.  But the pictures did come out nicely.

In-Laws Wings

We had a great time with them (as always).  We got a chance to do a lot of shopping, eating, and destruction of presents!  As always, click on the pictures or click HERE to see more pictures.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I see Red People

What What?  At some point when I say that I am still catching up with the Christmas pictures, someone is just going to shoot me.  ...but what can I do... we must have had dozens of cameras hidden around throughout the holiday... or something like that.  Well here is another collection of pictures from pre Christmas.  I think I am almost to Christmas day. 

Red Christmas

The thing that jumped out at me about most of the pictures was the sheer amount of Red that was in them... Good thing there were no bulls around, we would all be running for our lives.  Ok, not really, specially since bulls are color blind, and they really just react to the motion of the cloth.  But I digress... Click HERE or on the picture to check out even more of the pre Christmas pictures.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

There will be singing...

I have memories ... of when I was young (not too long ago).  When my brothers and sisters and I would participate in the Church Christmas singing/plays.  Oh man, I remember how we stunk..  ok, well at least I think that I remember that I stunk at singing.  And looking back (so many years ago), I wonder if it was in my head, or if I really was that bad... but the parents and church seem to love it.  They would smile and cheer.... I guess Love is blind.  Well, isn't it a shame that we don't have any recorded proof of said events?  

Well, as you can tell, I am all torn up about that.  So in order to not let my kids miss out on this when they grow up, I did take a few vids, and a bunch of pictures.

Templo Kids 1

They loved going to the little rehearsals, and practicing their songs.  These pics are from the actual performance date, and they are all decked out in their costumes.

Templo Kids 2

It was all the kids below the Youth Group age, and they all played a part... of sorts.  Some were more hams than others, but isn't that always the case.

Templo Kids 3

And of course, at the center of any Christmas time play, there is baby Jesus.  This year, the role of baby Jesus was played by Raggedy Anne.  (I had to google to find out what her name was). 

Templo Kids 4

It was a great little play/singing production, and the kids did great.  No one crashed and fell... no one ran off screaming... no one was hurt.  A win in my book!!  And now I have it all documented, and video recorded for posterity.  I am sure the kids will appreciate it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Pre Christmas Pics

So many pictures still to go through... from before Christmas, all the way to New years.  Here is a picture of a lot of my family before Christmas.

Pre Christmas Gang Pic

A rare picture indeed.  Its so hard to get us all in one spot.  Click on this picture or HERE to see more pictures from this pre Christmas gathering.  If you look closely in this pic, you will notice that I dragged my sleeping Sophia in to the pic... no smile from sleeping beauty this night.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

School Xmas Party

Before the holidays, the kids had their little Christmas parties at their school.  Paola got a chance to go and participate... (and make sweets...and take pictures).  They all seem to have a lot of fun.  Almost as much fun as I did.... sitting in my cold office.... almost all alone... clicking away at endless work tasks on the computer.... oh yeah... they are missing out.  

 Girls at Xmas School

...oh well, although I am sure they did not have as much fun as me... (at work..) ... I guess I can still enjoy the pics of their little Xmas parties at their schools.     Click on the Pic or HERE to go see the rest of the pictures.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Christmas Past

While we were looking at pictures, Paola came across some pictures from last year (2006) in Ecuador.  We had a wedding to go to, and look at us...

Christmas 2006

All fancy like... Paola looks STUNNING!!  ...as usual.   Truly a beautiful woman... She becomes more beautiful each year.... inside and out.  What did I ask for Christmas?  .... I asked God to bless me with another wonderful year, with my wonderful family.  

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas Pic

Oh yes... I almost forgot this one.  We did a bunch of pics that we thought might be good for sending out as Christmas Card pic... but in the end we did not use any of the ones we thought we would... but I did like this one...

Christmas Kid Pic

We did end up sending out one like this that was a little more serious.... but I tend to like the sillier ones.   Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Nativity Me!

I finally got the time machine built... and we were able to travel back from when Christ was born.  We had a really nice trip, and  I took a lot of pictures.... but on a sad note.... I had no film in the camera.  So all we have are some pictures or a re-dramatization.

Ok, so maybe no time machine.  But we did have a nice time at our girls School/Church.  They had a nice Christmas day event, with tons of arts and crafts for the kids.

Make a Mess

As you can tell, this is the "Make the gooiest, stickiest, Christmas craft that you can" contest... and I am pretty sure that Sophia came in first... and Megan in second...  (I'm still cleaning up their Christmas goo...)


Here is the kids, sneaking in to be part of history.  The Nativity had it all.... real baby... real animals... real animal smell...    We had a great time... and got a chance to share with the kids, the real reason for the season!    Click on the pics or HERE to see more pics from that day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Gatherings

The pics are rolling in, and I am doing my usual job of procrastinating until there are too many pictures to choose from and then can focus on procrastinating a little more...    Oh well, here goes an attempt to go through some of the pictures at least.  We did get a nice surprise with Christmas this year, as all my sisters and brother came in to town (my parents house) for some Pre-Christmas gathering festivities!  We did not get to see Uncle (Tio) Damian or Aunt (Tia) Karen last Christmas since we were in Ecuador.

Tio Damian

Here we have my baby brother (Tio Damian) corrupting my little angels.  Trying to teach them all the things they can do to torture me during the holidays.

Tia Karen

And here we have Tia Karen trying to correct the chaos that my brother causes.  We all had a great time, and ate too much.  It was nice seeing everyone again.... we don't do it enough, so we have to capture these moments.  And thats where the pics come in.  Click on the pictures, or HERE to go to the first of the Christmas Galleries...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Three Little Pigs

The season is upon us, the Christmas food is hitting hard.  And nothing says Christmas time like a little poem.... about the three little pigs.   Well, this was a few weeks ago (the poem), and of course here is Princess Megan during one of the family Christmas events...  Megan started singing and rhyming, and Paola heard her and wrote it down... very cute... but then she, of course, she got board with this game... and Paola had to 'help' her finish the last part...

Megan the Poet

Three little piggies and one strong wolf
One picked straw and one picked wood
The older piggy got lots of bricks
And made his house not too quick
The strong wolf said he is going to blow
Let me in or I will blow blow blow
The straw house fell, the wood house fell
The piggies got scared and run away
The wolf was hungry and chased them around
But the brick house never fell down
He got mad and got in the house
Just to find his tail was burned
He ran away, and never came back
The three little piggies were happy and clapped
No bad wolf would be chasing them
He was gone and they could play...

Yesterday, I was playing a little game with Megan and Matthew, and we were about to start. Here is the conversation that took place:

Megan:     "Girls go first!"
Matthew:  "Thats not fair!"
Dad:         "Matthew, be nice and let your sister go first..."
Megan:     "Thats right Matthew, girls should always go first...."
Matthew:  "Oh man!..."
Megan:     "...and when there is no girl... you should pretend that there is one, and let her go first."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Approaches

The tree has been up for some time, we had a good old time of putting it off as long as we could, but we finally got it completed last week.  The kids all helped, and for some reason, like to see how many ornaments a single branch can hold.

Christmas Tree

I think it turned out well, once we did a little re-organizing.  Also here is a picture from the company Christmas party a few weekends ago.

Christmas Party

Its an OK picture.  Paola does not really like it... but I think it may be the only proof we have that we went... that the bill I guess...  

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Magic

Its a Christmas Miracle.... ok, maybe not a miracle... but close enough.  In search for the illusive family picture.  There always seems to be one kid making funny faces (or parent)... or one kid looking the wrong way (or parent) ... or one kid with eyes closed (or parent).

Christmas Magic

Well with a little computer help, I put these two half pictures together.  Ok, well you can tell by the color tones on the coach its two... and not all the kids are looking... and oh well, I guess I do have my eyes closed.  (Like I normally do).  I guess this isn't the Christmas magic that I was looking for... But we do look happy don't we?  At least give me that.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cooking with Sophia

All the worlds greatest chefs probably started out with the love of cooking while young... and impressionable.  Maybe they enjoyed seeing their parents cook... or maybe they just loved the food that they made... who knows, but in Sophia's case... Cooking (baking) is a delicious path that leads to sweet eating.

Add eggs...

Here we have Chef Sophia putting a few eggs in to the mix.  She loves to help... and prefers to help with you out of the room.... just in case you had any intentions of messing with the master piece. 

Add sugar...

Here we have Sophia adding in some sugar.  ...and some more... and some more... 

Add banananananas...

 And now we add the bananas.  Break them up ... smush them down... mix them in.  I guess by now you have some idea of what she is helping to bake.

Blend away...

 And now time to mix mix mix.  The blender is so big to her, I have images of it spinning her over the edge, and making a giant mess ... but luckily that was avoided.  The price of the sweet baked goodness will not be deprived.  I guess the hardest part for her after this is the waiting.... waiting while the banana bread cooks... (and the constant looking in through the little oven window to see if its done.

Megan Gum Hair

On a totally non related note... Megan was a bit distracted... distracted about a lot of things going on, but more importantly about the gum that used to be in her mouth... and later ended up in her hair.  So like a good father, I knew just what I had to do.  CUT CUT CUT.  I wonder if my wife would have suggested a different course of action? ... I guess its a bit late for that... 

Monday, December 03, 2007

Megan's Bday

Ok, so I finally got thought the pictures.  Megan's birthday was Nov 24th (weekend long).  We drove out to visit my sister and her family in TN (Ivana, Tommy, and Nicky).  We stayed for a few days... destroyed everything....ate all their food, and had a great time.  

 Tea Party Gifts

Well, here we have Princess Megan after the deluxe Tea party.  Click on the pic to see much more... Ivana set up a great Tea Party Spread...and even made us all wear little Tiaras.... and I mean EVERYONE!!  Well, in this pic you can see Princess Megan playing with her new makeup set. ...Paola and I have known we would be in trouble since Megan was 2 years old and started asking when she could get some make up... The clock is ticking!


Here we have the two Princess sisters hugging.  Megan is excited because of another party (Jump Zone) with more presents... and Sophia is excited about all the large amounts of sugar that she will be allowed to consume unsupervised!  (We paid for that later...)

Megan BDay Party

We had a great time, both in TN with family and at the Jump Zone party.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.... but when we got home... and the kids were all passed out... Megan opened up half an eye and said to me : "Daddy...how long until my next birthday party?"     Click HERE for more pics....

Friday, November 30, 2007


This past weekend, was really all about princess Megan.  She is now the big FOUR!!  And the day after her birthday was asking when her next birthday would be.  Well of course there were a ton of pictures, but I have not had time yet to go through them.  I did stumble on a few pics from some months back that have absolutely nothing to do with Megan's birthday, so I figured it would post it to buy me some time...  :-) 

Playing Chess

Here we have Matthew and a little friend playing a game of Chess.  Its all business... a true life and death struggle to the end.  Even if a few of the "rules" were adjusted to make the game more interesting...but they did take it seriously.  Maybe too seriously.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Simple Life

Growing up I remember always dreading the hair cut.... why, I am not sure, but I think it has something to do with the fear that it would turn out all crazy and pointy... possibly clown like.  I know that the odds seem unlikely, ...but the fear is there none the less.  I am sure there are adults that still have that fear... (and some that do come out with crazy freaky hair)... but social etiquette dictates that we give the cautious : "... It looks... good on you" 

Matthew Haircut

Matthew seems not to have a care in the world... never did.  I think we took him his first time before he was even one... so maybe he is just used to it.  Or maybe he would not mind if it turned out crazy.

Girl Power

Here we have a high quality picture from my cheap little camera phone... but that is not important.  What is, is that I was able to capture a bonding moment from a "Girl Power" meeting.  This is Calla with Megan and Sophia.  Calla is Casey (Squirrel)'s daughter....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pirates of the Playground

Well, some time back I was able to grab the kids and head to a near by park... (before it got chilly).  The goal was to give Paola a break since she had some stuff to work on.  So we headed over to the pirate play set park thingy (official trademark name).

Pirate Matthew

Here we have pirate Matthew steering the boat.  He is the commander of the pirate ship "Candy Hawk".  A ship that strikes fear in to all who encounter it.

Treasure and Map

Here we have Captain Peg Leg Matthew and his crew with some treasure chest (that they still cant open) and also a coveted 'Treasure' map that will lead them to some more treasure that should set them up for life...

Walk the plank

But all is not fun in games on this ship.  Those that appose the iron rule of Pirate Matthew are forced to walk the plank!!!  ....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hallow Feast

I did find some more pics from our Halloween/Festival day ... its an odd thing really.  Paola and I growing up never really got into halloween.... we don't picket its existence... or avoid it.... we just never really got into it.

Festival Games

So we were trying to let the kids figure out what they liked and did not like.  Since all the kids they know at school were dressing up, they did want to do that...

Festival Slide

...and who doesn't want to eat tons and tons of junk food.  I even helped them with that part of it.

Festival Jump

Now when it came down to it, the kids did do a little 'door to door' trick or treating.  But only a few doors into it, they were ready to go home.  The big hit this year was the festival we went to (downtown Conyers).  There they got the best of all worlds.  Tons of kids to play with.... lines to games and slides... tons of candy...  Perhaps as they get a little older they will want more of the challenge of door to door treats.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Marcus Bowl

While cousin Marcus was in town, we got a chance to do some bowling.  Of course it was a cut throat game.

Megan Marcus and Briam

Tempers were on the raise as the competition picked up... but it was obvious who was going to win.

Marcus Sophia

Behind that little innocent face lays the heart of a killer.... killer bowler.  no mercy was had that day. .... the only thing that was missing was the cheer-leading section....

Megan Cheerleader

I have no idea where Megan got this cheerleader outfit... its not like she is in training.   Although Matthew was playing with us... I did not see any pictures of him.  Oh here he is... attacking the camera with a giant pencil!!

Matthew and Pencil

Monday, November 05, 2007

Southern Belle Farm

It took us a while to get organized, but we finally got a chance to visit a farm this past weekend.  Not only that but we were able to con convince a friend of our ours (Casey) and his daughter Cala to come with us!!

Southern Belle Farm

We have seen a couple of other farms over the year, and this was one of the coolest we had been to.  They had tons of stuff to do... and we all had a great time.  The kids even to to ride on the Cow Train...

Cow Train

They had a bunch of different farm animals to look at (and pet... and smell).  They even had pig races!!  Matthew and Megan did participate in a couple of the races (as managers... not in the race).  But it does not seem like the pig racing force runs strong in this family.  They did have one neat area where you could fire a pumpkin or corn gun.  This thing was a monster with some kick, and that corn FLEW!!!

Corn Gun

We even had a nice little picnic that Paola had made for us.... it was a very nice day.  One of the last things we got a chance to do was to enter THE CORN MAZE!!  There were three levels of difficulty... and we only hit the 'Beginner' one ..... for the kids of course.   We roamed around for hours... (ok maybe it was only a few minutes).  Check out this pic, the kids seem to know where we should be going....

Lost In Corn

Good thing we hit level one... because I have a feeling level two or three would have eaten us up alive.  ....The kids loved it... and once we escaped the clutches of the corn, there was freedom (and much rejoicing)

Freedom From Corn Maze

We all did have a great time.  The kids love it, and no one was lost, killed, or maimed.  

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Even More?

My sister Ivana came into town this weekend, for Astrid (my older sisters) birthday party.  With her she brought a few pictures from the cruise that I did not have a copy off.  So, I added them to the last Gallery of cruise pics...  Click on the pic or HERE to go to that Gallery.

Family Cruise Pic

Saturday, November 03, 2007

School Pics

A few days ago, we got the school picture proofs from the girls school.  Take a look...

Megan Proofs

Sophia Proofs

Well the moment Paola and I were looking at them... we both looked at different ones and said... "that one is better"   I wont try to sway your vote to my side, since Paola and I tend to like different pics... but I guess in the long wrong it will all be ok as long as I remember to agree that she is always right...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Princess and the Poodle

Its that time of year again.  Halloween is just around the corner.  The kids start changing their minds every day as to what they want to dress up as... But we got lucky this year... or at least Paola did, and was able to pin the choices down for the dress up day at the girls school.

Girls Fall Festival

Here we have Sophia as a doggie and princess Megan.  Pink is all the rage I hear.... Ok.  Maybe not the rage, but it was definitely hitting hard this day.  Now if we can just get Matthew's costume before he has to dress up...

Monday, October 22, 2007

More Cruise Pics

I finally got a chance to scan the pics that were bought on the cruise.  Some of them are a little wack, but some were pretty neat.

Cruise Woot!

Click on the Pic or click HERE to see some more pictures.  I was able to put these on the Picture CD I made for everyone.  (All except for the one Ivana is hiding from us).  Good times... Good times...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

When Seafood Attacks

A few weeks ago, my younger sister Ivana was in town visiting.  My dad was out of town on a missionary trip, so we kidnapped my Mom and went to have have a little seafood.  You know the old joke... Seafood... Seefood? 

See Food?

I know ... I know, thats horrible.  The broccoli on Matthew's plate had mysteriously disappeared, and i had my doubts that he had eaten it.... "Matthew, what did you do with your broccoli?"  Well I guess he showed me.

Seafood Lunch

We had a great time... The kids got jacked up on black sugar water.  My mom seemed constantly amazed at the crazy things my kids would do.  As if there was some sort of divine justice for all the torturous things my siblings and I did in our childhood.


While my son worked off some of the sugar high by flying around the room, my little princess Megan tried to con Aunt Ivana out of some candy money.

Candy Money

Once the realization that this little girl was working the con, I think my sister was able to defend herself a little better.  Its hard to think that a sweet little innocent three year old would have such devious and deceptive intentions...

Sweet Smile

Amusing as the lunch was.... with good conversation with family that I love.  Sharing time with those we care about.  Amusing as all that was, the look of the smiles and my family... the shared laughter... who am I to deserve all these blessings?  My cup runneth over...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mac Daddy Marcus

Paola's cousin Marcus swung to town for a couple of weeks, and we got a chance to sick our kids on him.  They were gentle, and Marcus did survive the ordeal.

Paola and Cousin Marcus

 We took him around to see some of the sights.... we did spend a lot of time doing geeky stuff.  Movies... games... and a lot of eating.

Hibachi Dinner

One night we did get a chance to go get some Hibachi.  Marcus had never seen the show or tried Hibachi so he was in for a treat...   He was a bit spooked when the cook set the room on fire.... he also seemed a bit reluctant to believe that it was on purpose... so we asked the chef to do it again.

Hibachi Volcano

From there it was unto the volcano.  The onion volcano on the mushroom veggie island....  An island that I like to see, but I don't think I would ever live there...

Marcus, Paola and Briam at Hibachi

We took Marcus to the airport this past saturday....  Heading home.  We had a great time with Marcus, and we hope to see him soon, and wish him the best in all his future decisions! 

Bump in the Head

So during the last bible study at the church, while the kids were all tucked away in the nursery area reeking havic.... there was a little incident.  The kids formed a couple of teams (gangs) and started a friendly (not so friendly) game of dodge ball (death-ball).

Matthew Bump

If you look above Matthew's left eye, you will see a bit of a bump/bruise.  Apparently while doing some Matrix style lunge in the air, there was a collision of heads... and like most head attacks... there are no winners.  Matthew seems to take it well, and he has really made a fast recovery.  We knew he was hard headed... and now we have proof.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Greek Fest

Ah ... back to work.  The weekend almost killed me.  I think we were doing too much.  Paola's cousin (Marcus) is in town visiting, so we have been trying to keep him entertained.  He is a bit geeky like me... so it has not been too hard.


It was a beautiful day on Saturday.... So, we grabbed Marcus and the kids, and went to the Greek Festival.  It was huge!! And tons of fun.   There was music, dancing, some performances, shops/stores, games, food, more food, and a little more food.

Greek Fest

We met some of our friends out there (Aaron and Jacqui and gang).  It was a very good time.  Click on pic or HERE to see more pictures!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friends Birthday

Before our little get away cruise, we got a chance to go to our friends son's birthday (Gabriel).  I think he was turning either two or twenty... I cant remember.  Probably due to my advanced years.

Cake Time

Well, a few of the kids wanted to play with the cars on the cake, but once they were put back ... and we rounded up the kids... we were able to properly celebrate and sing Happy birthday to Gabriel....  then they destroyed the cake.

Gabriel's Birthday

Of course, this was a huge party, and there were tons of kids.  Getting them all together was pretty easy once they realized there was candy and cake... and a pinata... I think that on the next party there should be some kid tranquilizers or sleeping gas ... or perhaps some riot gear, in case they get out of control again. 

Girls at birthday party

Of course the real master minds behind the chaos distraction was the girls... I am sure it was just part of their plans to get their hands on more candy than the boys...  We gotta keep an eye out for them.... their tricky!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cruise Pics

Ok, so I put all the pics together.... and there was over 700!!  Yikes.... well that was from four cameras... Well, some of them were dark.... wacked.... cut heads...  (and some of them were bad just because I had taken them)

On Cruise

So a few days later here they are.  I finally put them in a gallery.  Check them out.

Family Cruise

With so much family (and so many kids)... I think I need another vacation just to recover.... 

Soon to marry?

A couple of weeks ago, we were at a friends house for a barbecue.  It was several of our friends and their kids... well one of these little angels was Elena (Johnny and Amy's little girl).

Matthew and Elena

Well, Elena chased Matthew around a bunch and declared to the world that they Matthew and her were getting married.  The first few times she said this I thought she was playing around... but after looking into those eyes... I think there is definitely some determination there...

Sunday, September 30, 2007


We have survived the Family Vacation.  We are back in town...  this was a pretty big family trip.... Grandparents...  aunts and uncles... and all the little ones.  Most of us took a nice little drive to Miami from Atlanta.... (From there the cruise would start).  We tend to like our road trips nice and late.... it allows Matthew, Megan, and Sophia to sleepy time... and we can get some good miles under the tires.

Drive Woot!

Of course, such trips don't come easy... it takes a lot of experimenting with sugar coated munchies.  Combined with an assortment of power/energy drinks before I was able to find the right balance between sugar coma and uncontrollable spasms.  Meanwhile, the kids did sleep like babies... (they cried all night and wet themselves... no just kidding)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Weekend Woot!

So I have not posted in a week... work has been kind of busy... (getting ready to go out of town)... and studying for an exam.  Well.... work week is over... and also I passed my exam!!  Woot!

Ice Cream

So, I guess its now time to relax... and take some pictures... have some fun... and do some blogging...    The picture above is from months ago.... cant remember the occasion (as if we needed one)...  Next stop:  Family Vacation!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Two Birds One Stone

...there is no escape (there is only Zuhl!).  I guess Matthew and Megan thought they were free.  Oh, how could they be so wrong.  No one escapes the unstoppable forces of the Dental Team!

Megan in the chair.

We all have to pay the price.... sooner or later.

Matthe win the chair.

Well, I guess it was not as scary as it used to be in the old days.  The kids had fun... and loved the stickers they were given.  Also they loved the new cool toothbrushes that they got.  They were pretty excited about it actually ... which was a bit alarming.  What ever happened to the age old fear of the EVIL DENTIST ... whose sole purpose in life was to inflict dental pain upon its innocent sugar mouthed victims?  I figure at some point I am gong to start sounding like some old geezer who talks about the good old days when we walked 100 miles in the snow barefooted just to get to school....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sophia Dentist

Do you remember the first time you went to the dentist?  I really don't.  I have no idea when that was... but I am pretty sure it was not when I was two years old.

 Sophia Visits Dentist

Not only that, but look at that comfy chair.... its warm and inviting.  And look at those cool spittle protection shades she gets to wear!!  Where was this stuff when I was a kid?  

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Park Trip

Its labor day weekend!!!  And I guess this is the day we take a moment of silence for all that Labor lost...    We got a chance on Saturday to visit this huge park near my work.  It had a skate park in there.... and over 6 play sets with foam floor... this is a good thing so that I don't cry as much every time I fall off these crazy contraptions....  The play sets were big and spaced out.... and for various age groups.... But that did not stop us!!  We visited each and everyone.

Brook Run Park

Check out the pics!!  The name of the park was Brook Run Park (Sandy Springs).  We had a picnic and rode bikes... and some friends stood us up.... but thats ok!   ...but I am sure they will make it up to us.  We managed to have a good time, and no one was killed or hurt!!  (Especially me!!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Liliana's Birthday

A few months ago, while we were in California, we got a chance to celebrate Liliana's 2nd birthday.  Click on this pic or HERE to jump to the rest of the pictures.

Liliana's Birthday Party

Of Children Past

My wife had sent me some pics that she liked from our trip to Ecuador (2006/2007).  How did I miss these?  These pics where when we were hanging with the Cousins. 

Game Time

We were there for Maria-Daniella's birthday party..... which of course the kids love any excuse to eat large amounts of sugar coated goodness.

Birthday Party

 Part of the time there we went to "Las Penas".  The whole little area is a climb up the side of this giant mountain (ok maybe it wasn't a mountain).  There are tons of stairs up ward and upward. 


Along the way all the buildings and shops have been painted various colors.  A very colonial type of theme flavored with Pirate/War memorabilia.  Paola told me if I did not behave myself that she would shot me with this Canon... I think that she was kidding...  

The boys

 This was still close to the time they had the "Viejo's"  Here is one from the movie Ice Age.  The kids of course looked at this long climb up the stairs as an adventure... and challenge.... (I saw it as a chance to see how out of shape I was...)


At least during the long hike up there, near the middle, there was a fountain and some vendors selling some cold frosty drinks. 

Shop Shop

I enjoyed the cool drink... while my wife enjoyed the shopping.... The kids on the other hand just enjoyed running circles around us on the way up to the top.

Climb Climb Climb

Although in this picture it looks like the girls are trying to fight for freedom!!  But before you knew it we hit hit the Pirate Museum!

Pirates of Ecuador

 Near the top is where they had the big guns.... literrally...

Big Canon

Looking back at these pics brings back the memories... but its odd how long ago this seems... and it was less than 9 months ago!!  Is that part of getting old?  Or perhaps I need another vacation....  

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rolling Thunder

I was going over some of the pictures that I still had in the "To Do" list.  Lo and behold I ran across some pictures with the family doing a little bowling in California.  I had not seen my brother in a long time.  It was good to see him, and hang out.  ...enjoying a cool beer.  Of course he is my baby brother... and I guess he always will be no matter how much gray hair he grows.

The Brothers 

My parents, Brother, Karen, baby Liliana, and my Clan all had a great time throwing some balls around.  Our kids of course thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Sure maybe the ball didn't always go down the right lane... and sure we may have left a kid or two behind... but at least we had some fun.

 Bowling Gang

Click on either of these pictures or HERE to see a bunch of other pictures from the bowling tournament.  I learned a few important things while we were bowling.... 1.  You should never bowl with the heaviest ball in the place... it will mess up your fingers.  2.  Do not bet your money on any bowlers under the age of 6... you will surely lose.  and most importantly 3.  If you are going to beat your wife,...make sure its only by a small amount!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Closer Reaper

They say that every day that passes, is a day closer to death.  Ok, so I am not sure who said that, but I say it from time to time.  I mention this today because today is my birthday.  I had a lot of calls and emails and attention... (I'm not big on getting attention...but what can you do).  My wife and kids surprised me by going to my office to drop off a little birthday Flan!!  But I surprised them by not being there...  I ran an errand and then had lunch with a couple of friends... so when I got back to my office, Paola and the kids had already headed home...

35th Birthday

But thats ok.... It was the thought that counted... right?    I am so blessed.  Too blessed if you ask me.  (But no one really ever does).  It was a nice packed day at the office... (time flies when you are super busy).  I talked to my boss and he did not mind me heading out early.  I went home and spent time with my family.... played some games.... tickled some kids... I was so tired... what I really wanted to do was take a nap, by my kids knew that it would be better for everyone if I just played with them.  We did a little birthday pizza (my fav) and the Paola busted out a little mini birthday Flan!! 

No Rest

I did try to take a nap here and there, but the kids quickly noticed that I was missing, and came to help me join society again.  I think my girls told me Happy Birthday over 30 times... probably also in case I forgot how old I was getting.   How old am I?  The big 35 today!!  

A very cool birthday over all.  I just hope that I get a little rest this evening... perhaps even some sleep. 

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thinking of Friends

A couple of days ago I got an email from an old friend of ours (Diego).  It brought back some fond memories... so I dug around for some photos.

Dinner Date

While we were out these visiting them, we got a sitter to watch the 50 (or so) kids, and went out on a double date.  They took us to a great little place (that I cant remember the name of).  All I can say is the food and wine(s) were very good.

The Guy

The service was also very good.  This is a picture of "The Guy"....  I remember us all talking and laughting... enjoying the great food... and enjoying each others company. 

Diego and Maria Jose

I remember them especially now that they are all off in Ecuador.  We hope they have a great time... we wish we were there with them!!

Paola and Mr Sunburn

Looking at this picture reminds me of the nice sunburn that I picked up along the way.... Still that did not put a damper on our dinner date.  White or Red.... can't I just get a tan??

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Napa Redux

My wife noticed that some of the pics we took were not in there... and as usual she was correct.  There were more pictures of this part of the trip tucked away in another folder. 

Napa Park Gang

There were some really cool pics that I added to the same Napa gallery.  We got a chance to check out this huge park.... and share a little ice cream!!

Ronnie and Ruthy

And here is nice picture of our friends (and tour guides) Ronnie and Ruthy!!  Thanks for everything guys.  We had a great time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Napa Valley 2007

It seems like we will never catch up to the amount of pictures we have taken...   There are just way way way too many.  But that does not mean we wont keep trying. 

Napa Valley

While out in California, we got a chance to visit some really good friends of ours in Napa Valley.  Ronnie and Ruthy.  They gave a great tour of the area which included the vineyards!!!  Wine Wine everywhere!


We got a chance to try some of the wines... We say Ruthy and her sister (and family).  We even got a chance to have a little sleep over at their house.  Check out the pics by clicking on the pics above or HERE.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

San Fran Escape

So, some time ago, we had our little escape in California.... well part of that escape was an escape from the escape...????  Well, we were able to leave our kids with some friends and head to the famous "Pier 39"

Pier 39

We rode in with Diego, and then jumped some trains.  Before you knew it... we were walking around in San Francisco!  We had a lot of fun... walked around and saw some sites.  It was all fun and games until I was attacked by a giant finger!!  NO really check out this picture (my evidence)

Giant Finger

I was nearly crushed.... but luckily I escaped into a safety toilet pod like thing.  Yes, thats right.  A Toilet room... (for public use).

Public Bathroom

Those were very interesting indeed.... They even come with a map on the side (that came in handy).  Well we reached the Pier and tried some great food.  And you cant go to San Fran without trying out the great sourdough soup bowls!!

Sourdough Bowl

Paola said it was marvelous... I stuck to the more traditional sourdough sandwiches.... for I fear food change.  We even got to see the world famous Boudin Sourdough bakery.  We had time to do a boat tour... check out the sea lions... see Alcatraz..... the foggy San Fran bridge...

Pier 39

Over all a very great little escape.  Click on any of these pictures.... or HERE to see more of the pictures we took.  There are a lot of cools ones...


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Day Of Class

So yesterday was a big day for Matthew.  His first day of school.  Kindergarten to be more clear.  I know I know... In July?  Well Rockdale starts a little early ... but they pad in more days off etc...  Matthew was so excited!!  And now his day starts off very early : 6 AM Get Up!!

Time to wake up early...

It was a strange mixture of excitement and nervousnes.... a queasy feeling ... like you were going to be sick... or maybe just hungry.  And Matthew was nervous too... 

Ready to go!

They grow up so quick... but maybe not as quick as these back packs.  Look at the size of that thing.  Almost as big as Matthew.... oh well.  Breakfast eaten.... teeth's brushed.  Backpack on.  Time to catch the bus.

Waiting for the Bus

It is still a bit dark out.... but Matthew sits, and patiently waits for the bus....  I don't remember ever going to school when it was this early.  Maybe I just blocked it out of my mind...

On the bus!

The bus arrives, and on he goes.  Ready for his first day of school.  I of course was not there for this... I was at work.  But I did call my wife to see how everything went.  She said he was very excited...

Off to school...

They grow up so fast.  Yeah.... now I can say, "my kid is in school... hes studying to be a doctor..."  ...ok ... maybe not yet.  No call from the school.... no news on the TV about some crazy kid starting a fire at the elementary school.... all seems quiet...... too quiet.

Back Home

And quicker than the wait to go.... The first school day is over.  Matthew runs home...


Tired... He had fun... All went well.... only got time out once (for hitting some kid that him him first).  Not bad for the first day of school.... we did not have to go to the hospital even once.  I think he will be just fine...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Of baths and candy

We actually got a chance to get some rest this past weekend.  (We even rested from taking any pictures... buts thats ok... you didn't miss much).   My mom and sister Astrid (and one of her son's Andree) came over to spend the night.  The kids played until they passed out, and the adults watched movies until after 2 or 3 am.

 The kids seems to focus on mostly playing, but periodically they would stop to graze... that reminded me of the (long gone) Candy eggs of yester year....

Candy Eggs

Little tiny candy eggs.  That came in a little tiny egg case.... ???  I am not sure what that was about.... or why the emergency need to transplant them to the larger egg carrier.  But one thing is for sure... You should never put all your eggs in one basket... If you look closely you will see a little hand helping herself to some candy eggs, while older sister is being distracted for the picture.

Bath Time

Yeah thats right.  Tricky little Sophia.  More and more Sophia is using that silly smile, and innocent "...I didn't do it..."   Almost like she is preparing for bigger and more sophisticated violations.  ... we are really going to have to keep an eye on her.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A simple thing

How often do we not do the right thing?  Sure its easy not to kill people... or rob banks...  Things most of us would never do.  Its easy.  We just dont have to do anything.  Sometimes I think we take the easy road just because its less work, not because of right or wrong.  Are we just basically lazy?

Our Wedding

(A picture from our wedding)

Last week I was thinking of some nice things about my wife, and how blessed I am, and a thought passed my mind.  Why don't I tell her.... a simple sharing of good though can make a persons day.   So why don't we do it more often?  I need to ... I have too many people that I love in my life not to share my good thoughts with them...  This is what I wrote about my wife:

Eight short years of marriage and I still look at my wife like we are on our honneymoon...

...Its hard that a day goes by where I dont wake up and look over at my beautiful wife... she makes me feel giddy like a little school boy.  I see her in her peaceful sleep...and I can actually feel my heart skip a beat...often I wonder what in life I did to even come close to deserving this life... shortly there after I thank God for my blessings..

...I know that true love does exist.... I live it...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cali Fair

While we were in California...we got a chance to go to a Wine fair.  But to tell you the truth, we did not really make it to any wine.  With all our kids and our friends kids, we pretty much were planted at the rides and ponies.  Which was fine.  The big boys were mostly on the bouncy things... and the girls were mostly interested in seeing the animals and ponies.

Megan on a Horsey

Click on the pics to see some more pictures from this day.  The kids (as always) had a great time.  They ran around until all the parents were tired... and never once asked us to buy them any broccoli or asparagus..... just candy and popcorn.

Sophia and Horsey

The best part about the whole thing is that there was no pain on my back (like when I am the horsey).... only down side is the pain that I felt on the old wallet ... thanks to the nice ponies...  Click HERE to see more pics from the festival.

Giddy Up Horsey

Ah the pains of being a father.... they go deep.  Very deep.  Sometimes down to the lower vertebrae.


Either these kids are getting heavier...or I am getting older.  Most likely both....  Pray for me.

Red Handed

So we just got back from Florida (yes... again).  And as normal there are tons of pics... so I will get to them as soon as I can (yes... again).  Well one of the 'events' was my nephew Gabriel who turned the big UNO.  Very cool cook out party on the beach...

Cup Cake Proof

So Matthew comes to me... and says "Daddy, can I have a cup cake..."  I of course ask him if he has already had one.... Look at the pic... the chocolate around his mouth.... So I say "Matthew, are you sure you did not have one?"  At that point he knew the game was up.  I did what any respectable father would do..... I told him to ask his mother... 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Swimmy Swim 2007

Kids are at it again... Swim Swim Swim (Click on the picture to see more Swim Pictures)

Swim Gang

Matthew took one of the classes, but the teacher said he was bored with the class.  So we had to get him some semi-private classes teach him something new.  They told us he is ready for swim class... Sometimes he says he would like that... and sometimes he says he would rather be playing video games.

Snack Time

Here they are taking a little snack break after some hard working swim classes... Megan is doing really well.  She loves to play in the pool, as long as someone is there to cheer her on.  Sophia on the other hand is more of a free spirit, and has no fear...  both love their noodles and are doing very well....   Dont forget to click HERE for more pics (or the pics above)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wings of a Chicken

We got a chance to escape tonight for some relaxing wings at the nearby Wild Wing. Matthew right of the start was begging for wings... In his entire life, I have only seen him eat wings once. He usually just wants chicken fingers (or the like).


Now look into his eyes. This is no mere child who wishes to try something new. There is a cold steely danger in those eyes. Eyes that know what they want… and that won’t be denied. A look of hunger that goes beyond mere food cravings…
Everyone notices…. Megan and Sophia look at their brother, almost as if he were a stranger. Almost with fear…


The kids eat well…  Megan has her chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. Sophia as well, but she tends to like those things that grow from the ground for some reason… maybe we can get her some help or some medicine or something to help fight this issue. Matthew eats like a mad man, and keeps asking for more. We have to cut him off eventually … before it is too late! Perhaps next time little man… perhaps next time.

Weekend Past

Elmo, like a guest that won’t go away,... returns. I do have to hand it to Paola... very nice handy work. She does have a talent... And for the little boy who would enjoy his 2nd birthday, she has created a masterpiece!
Elmo Returns
Meanwhile, back in the bat cave: The kids quest for new forms of entertainment. Something new and exciting.  Sure they could probably play with the playground in the backyard, but that almost seems too easy. 
 Yay!      Yay
So why not take one of the beds apart and make your own slide?
Yay!     Yay! 
Of course its all in good fun until someone losses an eye…. [but not this time]. Well at least these little adventures help to wear out the rug rats. Making them more agreeable to night time and naps.
 Nap Time
Well although this is a common scene... it is not always the case.  Sophia has already started down the road to fame.  She tends to lean toward the rock and roll side of music.

Rock On!!

All in all, this is turning out to be a very busy summer.  The kids are running around crazy with no school..... for now.... and this summer is hot.  At least they do get a few days a week in swim class....

To the pool!

Who knows... maybe I will even be able to get a little sun tan on my pale white skin...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Anniversary : Eight

Eight wonderful glorious years of blissful marriage.  And here are the pics that don't really prove it... but we like to share.

We Chillin

Its good to reflect on ones life... as often as possible... why?  why not....  I will tell you why (even if you didn't ask)....


When we reflect, we can appreciate (or learn to) the good things God has given us... and on the bad things, we can work on improving or fixing what we can...  and because we are human... and we tend to forget...


We were trying to get away for a few days... but it did not work out that way, so we did the next best thing... we lined up babysitters for the major part of three days... and just went around doing stuff together....

Fish Market

We had a really good time.  But it was not what I would have called relaxing.  We did so much stuff...we caught some movies... we ate at a couple of cool places...  we went to the park.... we went dancing.... yatta yatta


One of the nights we ate at Nava with some friends... Tons of fun.  We also got a chance to go dancing at Havana club... before they tear down the Buckhead area.  Here is what I always wonder.... why do people always want to take a picture of the table with food?  That always just seems like an odd picture to want...


This picture.... I just wanted to posts Onofre (friend on left).  If you know Onofre... you know that he is a clown... and this is the most serious picture of him I have ever seen!

We We

So a great anniversary weekend!  But you know what... even if we had not been able to get away.... or get baby sitters.... I would still have been happy and grateful, because I am truly a blessed man.  More than I could ever deserve.

Play or Pay

Here is little Sophia... "I will not beat up the other kids..."  100X

I will not

I really have no idea what was going on when this picture was taking... I am sure that she was just playing and drawing.  But it always reminds me of the Simpsons.. the intro where Bart is punished and has to write on the chalk board.

Bart Board

In case you are curious... I generated this HERE.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Friends Like Family

One of the biggest reasons for heading to California was to visit our very close friends.

After Church Picture

Diego (Dad) of course took one for the team.... or more accurately, is not in the picture because he is taking it.

Say Cheese

Here is Sophia and me with Maria Jose.  We have known them for years, and they have become like family.  Our kids call them Tio Diego and Tia Maria Jose (Aunt and Uncle).

Say Cheese!

When we all get together the time flies by... (not just for the adults, the kids play til the pass out).


Here is Mikaela and Megan dressing up like princesses... waiting for the prince to come along.... oh wait...

Future SpouseSophia Cube

So there is always some joking around that Diego and Megan may one day marry..    Its all in good fun... but as they get older... I think the joke is becoming more serious...  Also here is Sophia... not interested in boys yet (thank God!!) ... but very fascinated in the little Rubik's cube she has...

Horse Ride

I guess I should not worry about what may come.. and just enjoy the blessings I have at hand.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Baseball Game

While we were in California a couple of weeks ago... we had a boys night out.  Of course it first required written approval from the bosses (Paola and Maria Jose)... signed in tripplicate... deposit in cash.... significant calateral.... etc.

On The Train

This was Matthews first baseball game (not sure if it was little Diego's first).  We drove to the nearest BART (Transit) station and took the train to the station.

Ready to go

The kids were ready for the game.  They seem to enjoy the journey as much (if not more than) the destination.... [That is good enough to put in a fortune cookie]

Fast TrainHanging

We passed the train time playing around... and the kids loved it.  It was hard for them to keep still... jumping around... hanging around...  and we had not even started spoiling them with sugary junk food at the ball park yet...

Train Ride

At this point I am supposed to show a bunch of the pictures from the game.. but we did not take that many when we got there.... and they were all a bit too dark...  I think it might be time for a new camera... this one is all beat up.

After the Game

It did get a bit chilly at night... and Diego (dad) and me were soo smart, that we did not even bring warm clothing...  We had a great time.  We ate tons of junk food [Cotton candy, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream....]  A couple of die hard fans next to us gave our kids some baseball cards....  Well the kids did start getting tired... and it was getting really cold.... so we ended up heading out before the end of the game... which really only seem to partially be part of the experience... but the most important part of the whole adventure?  As we were leaving my son turns to me and says "Dad, that was the greatest game ever!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Big boy.... First Tie ever... Mr. Cool himself.  Ready for church...

GQ Ready for my pic

Looking like GQ.  More and more he is telling us how he is old enough to do it himself... and for the most part he is..

Old Habit

Now if only we could get him to completely drop the old thumb habit.  He is almost there... this is a rare thing these days...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Flying to California

So a few weeks ago we took some time to fly out to California.  We had a great time visiting really good friends, and also some family.  (Yay Lili turned 2!  more pics later)

Megan on a Plane

At first we were worried about the flight out there... and due to a large miracle, things went great.  The kids had a blast... they loved it.  Here is a nice pic of half of my head.  I thought it would be best since I can't seem to keep my eyes open for any of the pictures anyways...

Sophia on a Plane

I think it was like a big game to the kids... waiting for the plane to pick up speed and take off... using the fold out tables ad their personal desks.... and of course the ever popular musical chairs.  At first I thought this would drive people around us crazy... but they all seem to smile at the kids... which means either they have kids and understand or they had a lot of little drinks from the flight attendants and they did not care so much anymore...

Matthew on a Plane

Speaking of little drinks...if you look closely.. .you will see that Matthew has not finished the bloody Mary on his table...

Very good trip... and very good flight with the kids (going and coming)...  I guess we really don't have much of an excuse to fly with out them anymore...  I guess they are getting older....  I guess it is getting easier.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Abuelos McDonalds

The Abuelos (Grandparents) from Ecuador was treating us and the kids to a little McDonalds Celebration.

Happy Smelly

I think we were celebrating the kids finishing school or something.. I dont recall.  This was before our little escape to California...  Well here is my beautiful wife, and me... non showered and early morning... 

Kids Heavy

I was a bit smelly but I was dressed to play... so into the McMaze we went... chasing each other around.  It was a hard reminder that I am not as small as I used to be...


...or maybe they are just making these things smaller these days...

Sitter 1

Paola and I had gone on a date last night... so our Sitter Cynthia was still over.  She is super cool.. and the kids love her to death.

Sitter 2

 Its very nice having her around... it gives Paola and I the little breaks we need to go catch our sanity... while we still have it.  The kids know that mommy and daddy need their alone time... (and boy do we!)

Say Cheese

Besides... nothing puts a smile on these kids faces like the 'healthy' food we get at McDonalds.... (yeah right)

Choco Milk

Well ok ... maybe the milk is not too bad for you...

Tube Run

The kids got to have fun.... we got a little break... The kids even called the grandparents to tell them thank you......   Gracias Abuelos!!! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oh Blogger where art thou?

So we have been away for a bit... more than none and less than ever.  I had hoped to get a little down time and rest to catch up on the blogging...  (The journal [blackmail] for my kids)...

Blogger SFO

...as usual I was wrong... no rest.  But my wife did help out by taking over 600 pictures...   

I am still trying to catch up to some work stuff, but I think things should stabilize soon... (i hope)... We had a blast... the kids where great on our little trip to California... we got to see a bunch of really good friends... and also see my brother. 

More to follow.... as soon as I can go through some of these pics...  

Friday, June 01, 2007

They Ride Again

...we are on a short little trip... but I did get a chance to catch up on some pics that I have been putting off...

The streets are getting dangerous around our neighborhood.  Its not safe to walk around alone anymore..... gangs of roving motorcycles own the streets!


Like most dangerous gangs of bikers, what they really are looking for is not power or control... not to cause fear.... what they really want is a hug.

I need a hug

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Music Critic

Every generation has its little differences.... Ok... maybe they have a lot of differences... but I guess from time to time they find some common ground...

Change that song

Here is Sophia and Cousin Ricky checking out his tunz collection.  Chillin in the mini cuz his peeps aint got wheels baby!


Look at Sophia... she is very serious about her music... no games here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Matthew Graduates

This past Sunday we went to Matthew's Graduation!  Check him out in his cap and gown..... Cap and Gown???  ....when did they start doing this before you went to Kindergarten???

Cap and Gown

Sorry for the dark pic, ... I have some more, but this one was in hand and from a scan of a real picture the school gave us.  Look at him!!  They grow up so fast!

Monday, May 14, 2007

PJ Party

Nothing like a lazy Saturday morning to catch up on some much needed rest.... (That is my usual unrealized wish).... 

PJ Party

...but before I sink too deeply into my "Lazy Saturday" dream.... My kids help me to wake up from these dangerous dreams... with a little horse play.  Sure, who does like to play fun games like .... "Knock Daddy Down..." .... or "...Giddy-up horsy"... or everyone's favorite... "kick um where it hurts!"  

Friday, May 04, 2007

Anatomy of a Heart (Cake)

So I am a little late posting the valentine day's pictures.... Paola and the kids made these little heart cakes for the school valentine day event.  And .... for those of you that where watching your weight.... but still want to get your hands on one of these cakes.... Follow this simple recipe and just tell your self that it was fat free, sugar free, guilt free....

Cake Time

 Step 1:  Get colorful box of love and three willing chefs to make the magic.  If they do not choose to participate, threaten them with no TV for a week.  Also you may wish to mention that they can lick the left over cake mix.

Open Bag

Step 2:  Open box and gather ingredients.  Make sure that you use care when using scissors.  Try to discourage running around with scissors even after the mix bag has been opened.

Mixing Bowl

Step 3:  Add mix to bowl, and make sure that your siblings don't try to eat the ingredients.  If they try, make sure you run screaming to parents to put a stop to this undesired behavior.


Step 4:  Add in the eggs.  At this point you may be wondering if it is the right time to tell your children that eggs are really little unfertilized baby chickens... that will never be born.  This of course might put a damper on the cooking festivities... so you may want to mention this at a later date.

Mix it in.

Step 5:  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  It is also a smart choice to carefully watch your kids so that they don't throw in any other unwanted items, such as small toys, or remote control.


Step 6:  Time to mix the ingredients together.  Make sure that they are blended together evenly.

Mix More

Step 7:  OK, so the mixing is really done, but at this point if you don't let the second oldest also mix, you may cause a fight that may end with cake mix all over the floor.

Even More Mixing...

Step 8:  There is no doubt now that the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, but to not let the youngest also participate in the mixing would lead to some crying and whining that would add even more delay in to the process.


Step 9:  Now that the mix is done, Mom steps in to assist.  The kids help clean the bowl for good measure.

Cake Pans

Step 10:  The mix goes into these cute heart cake pans and are ready for the oven.  Add time and love... and you are almost done.  Almost... because from here they go to the school for an extra addition of the artistic touch.


I am speechless...  As a parent I am supposed to say how beautiful it looks... but those eyes keep staring at me... and I just don't know what to say. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A day in the life

I often wonder what my family is up to while I am hard at work... (or hardly working)...  I know its not all roses and caviar....(or is it).  Well, luckily my wife takes at least 1,203,239,192 pictures a day so I get to get a little glimpse of those moments I miss.  ...digging back a couple of weeks I found a good bunch.

Story Time

Start the day with some light reading.  Something useful that may one day save your life....

TV Time

...A cousin visits, and one must have some TV Time to share the favorite show... notice how Matthew is the first to grab the remote... he drives that thing like nobody's business...

Play Time

A couple of toy tests to determine what political party you may be a part of later on in life...

Playdough Time

Then its Play-dough time.... A test of hand eye coordination?  .... a test of artistic representation skills....?  ...some kids just pound on the play-dough to get out their daily frustrations...

More Playdough

...I have no idea why Matthew and Megan are screaming on this one.... but I am going to go ahead and blame it on global warming.

Can you hear me now?

...and Here is Sophia... several times I have caught her talking on a cell phone. I think she is secretly planning something.... something big.


Ornaments.... cheap ... pretty .... imported.... I think Matthew took this picture.  Not bad.

King Kong

Another Matthew original picture.  There is something demanding about King Kong's presense... something that demands respect.  Well at least it would be if he wasn't just slightly larger than my hand...

Magic Spoon

I am pretty sure I took these white hat pictures.  I think I had said "Say Cheese"... not "... love the spoon!"

....the only thing I am missing is a white hat pic with little Sophia... 

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cold Milk War

Once again, we had a few issues on the "Carpeted" areas of the house...  enough to warrant a cease fire.  Well, what does that really mean?  It means the kids have to sit in the kitchen area while watching TV in the living room if they want to drink their chocolate milks...

No Drinks in the Living Room

Its not really the first time we have tried to enforce this rule due to messy circumstances... and I am sure it will not be the last.  But the most important thing is not to get pulled into the "who's fault is is that we are not allowed to drink in the living room..."

Milky Time

 It does seem to be a sour spot with them.  These little battles for power that they deal with on a regular basis.... for example... when something breaks or spills.... whats the first thing that happens?

She Did It

At first glance you would thing that the culprit is obvius... but that is not always the case.  Sometimes interrogation is needed to determine to true person responsible... 

She Really Did It

...I wonder where they learn that from?  ...well, the good thing is that these little angels may be quick to point... but with a little time, they all come clean... they also like to sit down and talk about their differences to help resolve issues.


Sometimes little is said during these negotiations.... but sometimes that is for the best...


The end result is usually peace... and perhaps a little bit of lessons learned... then its back to 'normal'...and the next big project...

Back To Normal

...what ever that is.... 

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another Yellow River

One place that always seems to be a lot of fun for the kids is the Yellow River Ranch of I78.  We had some family in town (Tia Karen and Cousin Liliana) and of course it was a beautiful day so Paola and gang, and my mom, and my sister, and everyone else who wanted to have a good time went to the Ranch.

Matthew Meets Deer

Megan is so cute....trying to feed the deer from a distance... while I think Matthew is planning on capturing this one to use as a pack mule.

Cousin Liliana

Here is cousin Liliana, cough red handed trying to help some rabbits escape.

Bag of Peanuts

Here is Sophia and her bag of peanuts.  I wonder how many of those she ate on her own...


....right about here I think the kids are thinking.... Turkey Sandwiches!!  If only they could unite and carry out their plans together...

Paola Scared

Part of the entertainment is not just seeing how the kids react to the animals... but watching how Paola reacts to the animals... 


Run Rabbit Run!!  Don't fall for that Innocent face... she is just trying to lure you into her trap!!

Happy Gang

And of course ... here are the people who had fun.... You may be asking yourself where is Briam...?  ....perhaps he took the picture..... nope...


Here I am ... and my beautiful smile.....  yeah yeah.... Where was I?  Well.... I had some problems at work... and had to work all night.... so I was just going to sleep when everyone was going out to have some fun..... maybe next time I can make it.  Well at least I got to see the pictures they took....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Too Heavy

I would say its at age Five that I realized my little boy was not so little any more.  They grow up so fast... and start to weight more every day...

So you may be asking your self what this is.  Some might might say it is a measures of a mans worth.... or more accurately, a measure of a mans weight.  This my friends is one end of the towel holder/rack that used to hold up the towels.  I guess he is getting bigger, because one moment he is jumping up and down, the next he is trying to pull himself up the wall holding the towel holder/rack.

Father Breakfast At School

....just a few days ago we had Daddy Breakfast at the kids school.   I got a chance to hang out with my kids... we played a bit.... I got a tour of the classes, and we had some yummy breakfast.

Full of Food

It was Megan who taught me that day, that its not how good the food is.... its how much you can stuff in your mouth before someone takes the plate away.  And then, you sneak food from your neighbors plate until they catch you.  Wise one that little Megan.


 And then there is Sophia.... in this picture you see two extremes, a little boy with a pacifier, a teddy, and a blanky.....  This is the farthest that he stood away from the teacher, and that was only because she walked away quickly.  The other extreme?  most likely Sophia... Does not really need anything/anyone around.... can pretty much play independently...  Even on Daddy's breakfast day... she seemed more content to play play play....  I guess that was my gift from her. 

Monday, April 09, 2007

Clip Clip

...a couple of weeks ago.  One Sunday... tucked away in a back corner of our church...in a little thing called Kids nursery  (a.k.a. Kid's Prison).... there is Chaos.... there is anarchy.... there is a lot of screaming.

Kid Prison

A tribe of sugar fueled little people rally.  They work themselves into a hunting frenzy.... screaming louder and louder.  There seems like very little can calm these savages.

Kid Chaos

I think the best bet is to divide and conquer... but you cant let them smell the fear... or they will eat you alive.  I separate three of the rougher looking ones with promises of candy...  But the ultimate plan here is to make them look a little more respectable.... and that starts with a nice haircut.

Monkey Bars

Luckily the hair cut place had some monkey bars to keep the kids entertained.

Clip time

The wait is long.... almost too long.  We almost lose control of the situation... but there are enough breakable items laying around to keep them entertained until it is time for the chair.

Mission Completed

Maybe it was the stern threats of discipline or possibly the tranquilizer injections we gave the kids... but we were able to get them all at least a little trim.... next time DUCT TAPE!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Escape to FL

Before the end of last month, we got a chance to head down to Florida to visit some family... and to see how many miles we could add to the mini-wagon master!  There was family in town from Ecuador that we had not seen in a long long long time... (a few months).

The Gang

Of course we asked these kids if they just wanted to sit around for a few days and rest... but of course they did not like that idea.  So we headed to a place that lets the kids work at doing real type of jobs... doctors, cooks, fireman..


The kids had a blast.... they did some jobs.  Then got some bling bling.... they ate some pizza.... They did have a cool little play area for kids that were too small to do the jobs (like Sophia), but it seems like all the kids wanted to play there....

Play Park

We where in Florida for a couple of days, we got to see family and also got to go to an outdoor park as well.  There are tons of other pictures from that day. 

As a special treat there are also some pictures of Gabriel, Paola's brothers new baby boy.


Click on any of the pictures to go to the gallery or click HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Burn Viejo Burn!

So I had mention some time ago about the stuffed dolls that they make in Ecuador near years end.  These things are made from wood and paper... and then stuffed lovingly with tons of fireworks for good measure.


They make these dolls to represent all kind of things.  Cartoon characters, heroes, villains, poloticians...


These pictures where taken down one of the streets that gets filled with tons of Viejos.  Blocks and blocks of all of these elaborate creations.  Click HERE to see a bunch more pictures.  So as they count down to the years end, each neighborhood collects all of their 'viejos' into giant piles.... and they burn them.... fireworks and all...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Past Posts

Some months ago I had posted a few pics from a trip that we had take to Fernbank last year... I was finishing up on some emails and I noticed some of the pics that my wife had sent out.

Non furry animals

....this is a picture of some of the wild 'people' that come to check out the Fernbank museum.  They may look nice and friendly ... just don't get too close.  Specially during feeding time...

Furry Animals

Sophia tends to love the animals the most... As if they are magical stuffed animals that she is supposed to grab and drag around...

Matthew vs Gator

Matthew tends to like the more dangerous items that may be fun to play with or strike fear into those around him... He also seems to think these would look cool if we had them at our house.


I did not get a good one of Megan, but we did have a bit of a scare as we ran around looking for Sophia who decided it was time to play hide and go seek without letting us know...

Off to see the wizard

In the end, it was a lot of fun hanging out with the family.  No one got hurt, or lost too bad.  I am not sure why, but this picture reminds me of one of the scenes from The wizard of oz when they are all walking down the yellow brick road....

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cruise Pics

So it took me forever (slightly less) to go through all the pictures from the the Bahamas trip that Paola and I took last month... but there are finally here.  Just lick on the pic or HERE to jump to the gallery.

Cruise Friends

Some of the pictures turned out a bit too dark, and I did what I could... but I think its time to get a new camera...


Looking back at the vacation... It was soooooo relaxing... If only we could do that once a month...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Park and Piggy run

There are few places that you can take to a truck load of kids to... specially this rowdy bunch.  A couple of weeks months ago, it was all we could do to keep these crazy monkeys in line.

Truck Load of Kids

We did take these kids to the park (in Riobamba).... of course they had a blast.  Want to see some more pictures?  CLICK HERE ...of course it was not all fun and games.  There was also food!  We went to a local pig roastery (is that a real word?)

Roast Piggy

On all sides, there are pigs cooked and roasted.  Each stand with a different pig is making a different offer... People walk in and walk around hearing the deals, and then they choose... sit in the center seating areas, and the food is brought to them.  The whole room smells of delicious roasted piggy goodness.

Mad Times

But what is this sad face we see on Matthew.... sometimes we want things in our own special way... and sometimes when we don't get it... we show our bad side.  Luckily he did not stay like this for too long.  He apologized for his behavior, and we were able to move on with our lives.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Taffy

In a little town, tucked away in the mountains of Ecuador there was this little village.  Not just any village mind you (why do people say 'mind you'?)...  Home spun taffy, made from hand picked sugar canes...

Sugar Cane

A couple of months back (when we were there), we got to see the process up close and personal.  The canes are cut... chopped... then put through a grinder thinga ma jiggy (This of course is the official name for this device).

Taffy Pull

When the 'stuff' is ready its time for the pulling.  They pull and hook the taffy over and over and over.  We counted, and its about one million times... roughly.

Cut and Wrap

Then comes the cutting and wrapping into perfect portions.  And finally the part everyone was waiting for...

Taste Test

...if candy can taste fresh... I guess this would be it.  The only thing I forgot to do was to ask if it was diet...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Child Games

Here is an interesting conversation Matthew and Paola had the other day...

Matthew: "I need a Nintendo"
Paola: "If you get a Nintendo, all you will do is play video games ALL THE TIME..."
Matthew: "...no I won't.... sometimes the battery will need to recharge..."

Matthew takes a ride...

A true gamer in the making... Just like his dad.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Where are the posts?

Ok Ok ... Enough with the mean emails telling me to get off my lazy butt...

  Due to technical dificulties... I have not been able to post as much...

Blog Delay

...why?  I have been really over worked... and over booked on the weekends...  So sorry for the delay in postings... I will try to catch up now that some of the madness has died down.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bahamas 2007

So... I am taking a break from telling the holiday story vacation... and that means time for another vacation!!  We got some really good deals on a Bahamas cruise... and how could we say no.  Besides, we know that our parents were just dying to watch our kids for a few days.

Cruise Dinner

(Well before the cruise pic above...) It was a nice relaxing drive to Port Canaveral.  We got there sooner than we thought, and got a chance to check out the port cove.  A nice little Sunday brunch place (on Thursday morning).

Captain My Captain

We were one of the first couples on the boat... and got a chance to chill, find our place in the world, and check out this boat.  Very nice... very relaxing... very quiet with out the kids... :-)

 Next day we hit Freeport Bahamas!


...and of course a lot of shopping...


The beaches were UNBELIEVEABLE!!  Clear green/blue water... soft white sand.


The first day there was just shopping around... eating overlooking the ocean.  A little beach and sun... some great food.


Day two we hit some more neat places.  It seemed like we were getting rest, but the days where packed fill of activities.


A short little boat ride to the platform...


...and Paola was off Parasailing... I stayed behind to guard her purse...  :-P


She had a blast...a bit pricy but well worth it.

Sunny Days

Then we went off to find some typical food... take a left at the giant sand castle (this thing was bigger than our minivan)


The sun was in full effect, but I think that I am doing pretty good at protecting my fair skin...

Sandy Smile

Typical Local foods on the menu... Crack Conch was a local special, and it was delicious.

Crack Conch

Several times the guys that worked at this place kept saying that Conch Salad was the bomb... and that "it will help give you more kids!!"

Conch Monster

So we did not try the Conch Salad.... at all.  Well we are leafing Freeport and heading to Nassau...Paola is at the gymn and I have decided to spend some time on my laziness...  I have been neglecting it lately.  More to follow!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Sky Bucket

Near the town of Banos, on the way past the volcano in Tungurahua, we ran along some winding roads.  To one side there was usually some nerve recking drop... and along one of these valleys ran a river that feeds into the Amazon river.

River Valley Near Volcano

The scenery was gorgeous.  So, the road eventually stopped near some little road side stands, and there was a Sky bucket that would take you across the river, high high up over the valley.  The sky bucket was a little scary... and you could see that with the winds it swayed a bit... I am sure it would be safe for 5 to 8 people...

Sky Bucket

At the other side, the bucket would take you to some jungle area.  There was some places to walk around at, and also you could see the famous monkey Martin... He seemed harmless enough.  There was also a creek/stream that feed into the valley, turning into a nice water fall to the river at the bottom of the valley ravine.

Packed Bucket

We went with Paola's uncle and a bunch of the cousins and their kids...  Click on any of the pictures or HERE to see more pictures (and the monkey).  You will also be glad to know that we made it back safe and sound.... at one point the guy controlling the bucket stopped it right over the middle of the ravine... so we could take some pictures...  This abrupt stop was a bit startling to some of the adults, but the kids did not seem to mind it at all.... I wonder if they had insurance...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Tungurahua

From Riobamba we were just a jump skip and a small car ride to Tungurahua.  Last year, this was the Volcano that erupted last year.  Here is a picture of what it looked like last year.

Tungurahua 2006

The area had started recovering, and the people were back to their lives.  This is what it looked like in December 2006.

Tungurahua Dec 2006

They say it is not the destination, but the journey.  I find myself saying that a lot...  We had a great time driving through the beautiful country side, through the little towns.  It is not until you get right up unto the volcano that you start seeing the ash buildup (near the river bed) and where the lava poured down the mountain.  I put together some of the pics from the journey in a little gallery.  Click on the pictures or HERE to go there.

Trip to Tungurahua

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Riobamba

Sorry for the delay.... crazy week at work.   (well... I still have a lot of pics to catch up on...so here goes)

So we survived the bus ride... a very memorable bus ride.  And we were there:  Riobamba.  We stayed at Paola's Uncle's house with some family... and one of the first things we all noticed were all the Christmas decorations all over the house.

Riobamba : Nativity Scene

My son stood in awe at all the lights, and ornaments... he stood there looking over everything as if we had wondered into a Christmas store.  I noticed that he also lingered too long staring at the natvitiy scene.... and I thought we would have another accidental nativity death on our hands.  I would have to keep my eye on him very carefully on this trip...

Christmas Decorations

More Santas than you could shake a stick at... but that also meant more things my kids could break.  I was glad that there was actually very little destruction, but I think that was due to the fact that there were so many other kids for them to play with.... if there had not been, I think we would have spent more time there looking for replacement parts...

Riobamba Kids

I guess it does not matter what part of the world you go to... kids will be kids... You would think they had a special code... or something.  They all went straight to playing as if they had known each other for years...  Maybe they know something we dont...

Sophia Snooze

The best part about visiting places that have other kids.... is that they play so much they wear our kids out.  Running playing.... whatever... in the end, it means that Paola and I get a little more rest time...

Riobamba Christmas

Riobamba is in the mountains... Its a bit cooler... and a stones throw from several spots we were going to visit (which I will have to post about later)..... valcano.... parks.... mountains... Pig Roasting Market... 

...if you look closely enough at the last picture... you will notice my red face.... this is not embarasment... this is me recovering from my beach "lobster" burn....

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Bus

No time for rest.  Just because we finished one family gathering, doesn't mean we get a break!  So we packed our stuff, convinced Paola's parents, and headed for the Bus Station.

Sophia on the Bus

Where to?  Riobamba, of course!  Paola had some family up there, and they were waiting.  At the last minute, Paola thought that it would be great for her parents to take a couple of days off and join us.  (I think they would have had more rest at home without the three little angles running around, but that logic flew out the window)...

Matthew on the Bus

To some of the adults, this was a long bus ride full of twist and turns in the mountains.  My father in law gets a little motion sickness.  And by a 'little', I mean a lot.... a very much lot.  But to the kids, this was an adventure.  The scenery and sites where beautiful.  So much lush countryside.  And the mountains were beautiful.

Megan on the bus

But the ride itself was a whole other adventure.  Like the runaway train at Disney world.  Except that there was no track for this bus to keep you safe.... and add to that as it got darker, there was a low mist that made visibility harder and harder.

Sophia Smiles

The driver seemed like he knew this route blind folded... and with so much low visibility when the sun set, and with the rough roads... and with the mist... I believe it!!   But the kids did have a blast, and I found it amusing how they enjoyed the ride..... but every now and then, I would wonder if our wills were up to date... or where we left it... just in case

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Day After Christmas

Day after Christmas.  It had been a late night... we got very little sleep.  You would think that the kids would let us get a couple extra hours of sleep.  Right?  Wrong!

Matthew Playing Leapster

The early kid gets the games? ...well, I guess they feared that if they slept (or let us rest too long) that the games and presents from Christmas would magically disappear.

Megan Aligator Track

Day after Christmas is also a time when you get to play with your siblings toys.  Almost like a limited time barter system.  So, why would you think that the kids would even want to wake us up?  Well take a look at this race car track!

Race Car Track

Well, these race car tracks don't build themselves.  ...and that is why kids need their parents... at least on this day.

Sophia Smiles

Well, one thing was for sure.  These kids all had big smiles on their faces.... always a good sign.  Sure there is the occasional fight over who gets to play with what... but I guess that is just part of the Christmas game.  We just hope they remember the more important parts and meanings of Christmas...

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Christmas

So I finally got around to doing some more pictures.  I am caught up to Christmas!  Coming home has been hard.  Changing from vacation mode, back to work mode is not easy... but what can you do.

Christmas Ecuador 2006

Ok, so first thing... yes, in this picture I am a little read still from the first trip to the beach.  At this point in my recovery, I am no longer able to hear my teeth crying.

The second thing you may be wondering is where Sophia might be.  Being as it was a late night, Sophia did not make it.  She slept .... well... like a baby.

Christmas Food

The traditional food for the season is Turkey.  There was tons of food for everyone, but my favorite was the stuffing that my mother in law makes.  It is a sweet stuffing and went great with the turkey and gravy!!

Christmas Presents

After a few hours of eating... and eating... there was a pause.  Then came the presents!  So many relatives and kids, it was a flurry of wrapping paper and ribbons.  I think in this picture, Matthew is actually trying to open presents with his teeth. 

Christmas Relatives

The phones kept ringing... all different kinds of cell phone tones... Everyone calling everyone to wish them a happy Christmas.  The kids seemed oblivious to everything but their loot.  The parents seems to enjoy more the expressions on the kids faces when they opened up the presents more than anything else.... It almost seemed like the presents would never stop coming.

Christmas Pyro

But like all things... they must.  The kids did also get a chance to play with some fireworks and sparklers.  The laws governing fireworks seem much more liberal there.  You will get a better idea of what I mean when I post the new years pictures.  This picture was taken shortly before Matthew burned his fingers.... yeah.  He just had to test for himself...  He is stubborn, but I must admit I was surprised how little he fused about the burn, and just ran back to play with the cousins.

Click on any of the pictures or HERE to go the gallery for Christmas... again... too many pictures.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The McLawsuit


There have a been a few of these portable Mc Lunch places that have started to open up in different area's of Ecuador.  Portable Lunch places that serve various things... but the food is not what really caught my eye.


No where in your wildest dream could you franchise something with a name remotely similar to this in the states... I wonder how their burgers taste?  I hear their grilled... 

Well we are back in the states.... safe and sound.  The trip back took a few days longer than expected.  A couple of re bookings by Delta.... a couple of nights at the Hilton due to their mistake.... I am sure if I ever catch up on the pics (and am not abducted by aliens) I can post more about it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Beach II: Feel the burn!

After day one of fun in the sun .... I was red... it usually takes a couple of hours for the red to show it self.  I guess this is where I am supposed to have a picture of my redness.. 

But oh well, since I was taking most of the pictures, there is not a good one of my redness.  But don't worry, on the second beach trip (the second burning), there is a good one with Lobster Briam!

Xavier and Family

(This is what it looks like when you take a picture of a picture)

Well, we survived the first day out there.  None of the kids were killed... or lost... or imprisoned.  They all played enough to wear themselves out and give the parents a small break.  The second day we spent a lot more time out and about.  The morning was all beach time.

Beach Coco

we got there early so we could have one of the shade huts... and all the home town services where everywhere.  We took a couple hundred pictures... (Matthew took a few of my feet which made it to the editing room floor).  Out of all of those, there were a good 75ish, so I created another Gallery. (Click HERE or on any of he pics in this post)

Xavier and Sophia

One thing that surprised us was the number of vendors that comb the beaches.  We bought some coco-nut services... jewelry... shirts... shorts... baskets... beers... all from the comfort of our shade refuge.

Megan and Maria Daniella

I think the ice cream visit was the same day (or the day prior), but those pics are also in the gallery.  The company that rules all ice cream in this land with an iron fist is called Pinguino! (Penguin).  It never ceases to amaze me.  The universal power of ice cream to resolve all problems and bring all kids (irregardless of origin) together.

Paola and her Ceviche

Since this is a coastal country (mainly), there is plenty of seafoods (and specialty sea foods) everywhere.  One of the dishes I prefer is Ceviche de Camaron.  This is like a Shrimp soup/cocktail.  Very delicious.  My wife has had a long list of home style Ecuadorian favorites that she has been crossing off since before I got here.  If you notice the pictures where she is eating/drinking... you will see the shear delight she takes in enjoying her favorite foods.  If you know Paola, you know that people enjoy watching Paola eat... just to see the passion in a simple meal.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Beach I: Clear Water

Ah, ... still not even close to catching up on the posts.  (Today is Paola's birthday ... and I will have to post about that later... much fun... and her birthday party is tonight!)

Paola's Friend

This trip has been one of the longest vacations that I have ever taken in my entire life.... (next to those years where I really did not work at all...and pretended to go to school).  Paola (and family in tow) has gotten a chance to see tons of friends and family that she has not seen in years.  Every day there are errands... visits.... lunches... dinners.... all involving friends and family.  In the few short weeks here I have been introduced to so many people that it makes my life seem quiet (and peaceful) in comparison.  I now suspect that Paola knows every person's name in this country.


Well any-who.... We were off to the beach.  Paola's brother (and wife and kids) invited us to their beach house.  We were just going for a couple of days, but day one of course was just getting there ... and making the plan of attack.  The kids of course wanted to go to the pool while the 'adults' planned.  Above is Maria Daniella and Megan showing of the latest swim apparel.

Briam Pool
Paola Pool

Here we have all the kids enjoying their pool side transports.  There are a bunch of pics, so I just picked a few and added it to another gallery.  Click HERE or on the pool pictures to go to the gallery.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Birthday

Ah yes... here we are in 2007 and I am no where near caught up on the pics from this vacation (that we are still on).  Before Christmas we did get a chance to go to one of our cousins kids first birthday party.

Grumpy Matthew

Here is grumpy Matthew... we were early (which is a very rare characteristic not found in most Spanish genetic build up).

First Birthday

First birthdays are a big deal in these circles.... clowns ... games... face painting... food.... more food.... cake candy!!  That is exactly what we need for the kids.  Sugar with some sugar on top!!

Sugar Bomb!

But what goes up must come down... down hard like a plane crash!  This kids spazed out for an hour or two after all the food and sweets.... games and running around.  Matthew was a little sweat ball from all the activity.  Sophia crashed hard on the way out..... like a sack of potatoes we had to carry her out of there.  Megan ate so much she had to go purge a little... sometimes its good to know your limits... and I guess this is how they start learning them.

Click HERE or on the pictures to go to the Gallery for more pictures.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Cousins

A couple of days ago (before Christmas) we got a chance to go check out Paola’s younger brothers new house.  They had just moved into that house in the last couple of days, and we went to kick it old school!


Xavier and Sophia


Xavier is Paola’s younger brother.  Lucy is Xavier’s wife.  They have two lovely daughters, Maria Daniela and Maria Paola. 


Kids and Cousins


We are lucky because the kids all get along really well... like roaming packs of wild gangs from the Bronx.  They play for hours and barely destroy any furniture... well at least not the easily replaced ones...  Luckily, Xavier and Lucy are still moving in with all their stuff, so there are less things for the kids to destroy.


Megan and Maria Daniela


Xavier (and Gang) have come to the states a couple of times to visit, so we have gotten to see them from time to time and also to see their kids grow.  Xavier and Lucy are going to have their hands full when these girls hit their teens! 


Paola and Xavier


Can you see the family resemblance? …and if you look closely you will see Sophia sucking her fingers   …that has got to stop!!  Wonder where she gets that from?


Paola and Kids


These pictures are before we headed to the beach (Salinas) with them… and I had yet to taste the wrath of our merciless sun on my fair skin!! 


Rock Stars!


But these kids are ready…. (this is at Abuelo Humberto and Abuela Isabel’s house)  Ready for the sun and the fun…


Rock Star!


How the kids are growing.  They are mastering the mixture of Spanish and English with a good division of what to use with who.  We keep at it.  Asking them to say things in Spanish and English…. And in complete sentences…. And please… and thank you…and put the knife down...


Matthew and Sophia Chillin


…they say that the constant reminders pays off…most likely only like 2% or 3%   I am sure that it will … (hopefully sooner than later…)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Nativity

The kids had  a couple of days of school and did a nativity scene.  Matthew was a Shepperd, and Megan was a star.


This one did have too many pictures to post... and even out of the ones that we liked it was still too many ... so click on the pic to go to the gallyer... or click HERE.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Banana

Of Bananas and kids… Very much like people… bananas come in all shapes and sizes.  Well, ok … maybe not to such a level of differences, but there is one here that you don’t see very often.


Megan Banana


Well, in case you did not know, a couple of Ecuador’s biggest exports are bananas and flowers…a flower is a thing of beauty…. So I guess I should focus on the bananas: King of Comedy slapstick


Matthew Small Banana


These small bananas are called “Oritos”…a very small and very sweet mini banana... but as the kids like to call them, “baby bananas”.  Of which of course no adult is supposed to eat.. ever! ...so I was told by my all knowing wise three year old daughter.  I know I have seen some of these before… but for the life of me I can’t help think they are part of some dastardly evil plan involving a mad scientist and the testing of a shrink ray…


Happy Megan


…or perhaps I am just paranoid…and its all part of natural selection, in where the smaller sized bananas were able to survive their hungry monkey like predators by being to small to see???


Coke Light


Ok… maybe that’s just crazy talk.  Check out this two liter bottle of Coke Light.  The subtle fact that just the shape and name is slightly different is enough to amuse me hours on end.


Megan Eats


Irregardless (I love that word) of the food, size, names, etc… one thing is for sure… our kids love to eat.  Does that come from Paola’s side of the family or mine? … most likely both...


Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Pizza

Time for a treat.  All this running around is making us hungry, and Megan (since before I got here) was asking me for Pizza.  One of the kids favorite foods.  So we gathered the troops and headed to a strange placed called “a mall”.  This ‘mall’ was called Mall del Sol (Mall of the Sun).  A strange a magical place, where no matter what part of the world you are in, you are transported to a standardized sterile environment of comfort.  The air conditioning flows strong, and the food court rang the familiar names which put the smiles one the kid’s faces…


Family Waiting 


“Pizza Hut” was the mantra for the evening…. And the kids chanted “Pizza! Pizza!..”  …and a promise is a promise, so we waited.  The kids have been trying a lot of different foods, or foods that are a little different here, but some favorites never change.


Megan Waiting Sophia Waiting


The order was placed… the kids waited for the personal serving pleasures.  They talked about how they were going to eat the whole thing all at one time… and I joked about how I had ordered each of them their favorite.  Elephant Pizza!!!   “…NO Papi!!  Yuck!!”   ...someday I am going to have to try Elephant...


Matthew Pizza


Pizza Pizza Pizza  Sometimes its more the emotion or the memory of a thing than the actual thing itself.  Like when you go back to a place you had not been to in many years, and it looks smaller… different.  Or you had your most favorite food from that favorite place…. You come back years later and you think that they must have changed their secret recipe.


Megan Pizza


Well, my old elementary school did not shrink…I got bigger… (or my memory[image] was getting bigger)  It wasn’t Paola’s favorite pizza place in New York that changed their time honored secret recipe (the same guy was still there making the pizzas)…It was Paola who had changed…


Megan Flight


Enough philosophy.  Now time for some games.  What mall would be a mall without some distractions for the kids…(and adults)


Sophia Rides


If you have ever watched kids play in ‘game/arcade’ places you quickly pick up on the fact that it could be a flying bucket for all they care… and the kids would still have a blast.  Maybe it’s the lights and sounds… or just the motion…. Or the thought that someone may drop some coins in the machine and their may be an opportunity to carry out the attack plans on a neighboring sibling.


Megan Plane


…or maybe the kids just dream of getting on a plane…and taking a trip to a magical land where their parents let them eat all the junk food and candy they can stand.


Sophia Plane


…maybe it was all the ice cream they ate before we played… or maybe it was just the novelty of visiting this fun filled place…with my sugar jacked up kids…but a wave of nostalgia hit me… and thought back (..way back)... I remember also trying to gun down my brothers and sisters in an arcade…  …ah good times…. Good times.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Journey

They say it is not the destination but the journey …. And this journey is a long one.  A large portion of our time is spent getting around from place to place.  Mostly doing some errands that Paola has tucked away in her vacation schedule.  Too many things to really do in the time allotted… but one can dream.  But one must never speak out against the Dream … or SMACK!  Moving around is mainly by cabs and the family taxi/friend (“Mr. Ochoa”).  Better to help a friend/family than some random stranger (Paola always says).


Paola SMACK!



Well one of our stops on this day, was Paola’s replacement Ecuadorian ID.  Oddly enough this was stolen three or four years ago in the US and mainly gone unmentioned until now, where it has become a subject of utmost urgency.  But before you could apply you had to have either the old one (to renew) or a reported ‘theft of’ from the local government office.  Well the local  “Governacion” office is where we had to go.  Well first off, the first thing you start to notice is that there are no wood and Sheetrock buildings ANYWHERE.  And these office buildings where no different.  All of the buildings are stone, marble and concrete.  This collection of buildings was no exception.


Gov Statue



We were greeted by this statue in front of the government buildings.  Soldiers and police are everywhere.  That is another big difference here.  Labor cost are much lower, and it shows at any place where there are people or things of value.  These buildings are near the newly remodeled area of Malecon.  We will be going back there when there is a little more touring time.  It’s an area right on the river with shops, restaurants and parks.  Well any-who, We go into the office and it is the incarnated essence of ‘red tape’ and paper work.  No two government workers tell you the same thing.  Directions to the rooms you need to visit are cryptic and half way incorrect.


Gov Woker



After visiting half a dozen wrong rooms a couple of maybe right rooms…and getting the wrong forms…. wrong forms again… bad copy forms…. Out dated forms…. Then correct form, we were then informed that we would have to take this ‘Holy Grail’ form and go somewhere with it and make a copy of it????  No Lie!!  So we went to the first friendly copier guy…. But he had the copying machine that made blurry and faded tilted copies that were not accepted… (but he kept working there anyways)…. Then we found a guy in another building who got us what we needed.  Now it was time to get it filled out… The old guy in the picture is a single finger slow motion typer that fills out the forms.  I felt like we were in some silly government sitcom.  No way this was a real situation…


Sponge Bob



We did get to see one of the new year “Viejos”.  This is a giant tradition here in Ecuador where they make a giant ‘doll’ of famous people, characters….etc.  Then they are displayed … everyone shows of their great work on making these dolls.  These dolls represent the old year (Viejo)… and when it is new years, they are all set ablaze.  Well in this government office we got to see this Viejo… waiting for his turn at the flames to kick of the new year!


Lizard   Lizard


The city has gone through a lot of renovations since last I was here.  There are a lot of new areas, and a bunch of the historical places have been revamped.  There are a bunch of new parks and a lot of new decorative statue/display thingies.  This is a giant iguana that is built near one of the parkways.  There is also a giant bird that I need to capture on digital film soon….


Nap Time



Well the kids let out of school…. Some more running around and we came home to join them.  Sophia looked sleepy, so I tried to talk her into a nap.  The kids were all still very clingy since they had not seem me in so long... so they all followed me to Nap time… but oddly enough, none of them would stay still long enough to nap…. And I had hoped that I might get a nap in since I had not gotten much time to sleep, and my little angels had woken me up early.




Before I knew it, Paola was grabbing my arm and telling me we had some more running around to do.  Of course we did…  We had to buy Megan’s star wand and Matthew’s shepherd outfit.  Along the way she noticed a old sweet shop that she used to love…. So of course, how could we not stop.





A lot of the home made and typical foods here were very affordable, but a lot of the imported items cost the same as in the states…. Or more.  Funny how you start noticing a lot of the little differences…. Or not, but you know something is different about it.  For instance, the Diet Coke… I had not thought about it … but realized that here ‘Diet’ has no meaning… so its Coke Light.  …in the stores you see 3 liter cokes as a norm?  2 litter bottles look like the single serving bottles…


Coke Light

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Arrival



The plane trip really did seem uneventful.  I finally did start reading that book that I was not able to start at the airport.  I guess once I was locked into a moving plane with no escape… not much else I could do.  It’s a really great book by Stephen King … a book he started back in the 70s … and just finished in 2003+  “The Gunslinger” Series  Have I mentioned that I have not read a book for leisure in over 10 years?  Well, before I could even finish my book, we were there… another country, on the other side of the planet.  Ecuador!  It’s a very different world and culture that never ceases to amaze me.  I have been to Ecuador several times, years ago, but this was the first time that I had come since the new airport opened up.  It’s all new and modern, very nice.  The older airport, you had to climb down from the plane on the portable stairs, and walk to the terminal on the runway (which was kind of neat).


Briam Beard


My wife and her brother picked me up, and it was like I had not seen my wife and kids in months.  The kids had stayed at home sleeping, since it was a late night arrival.  I had the urge to wake them up, but of course that was crazy since it was almost one in the morning.  Since my wife and kids had left (a couple of weeks ago) I had started to grow a fuzzy beard.  Not the cut one that I normally wear, but she did not really notice.  She kept saying that I looked different, but could not put her finger on it.

Matthew and Sophia getting ready.


Of course we were all beat when we got to the house, we chatted for a little while, but we had to get some sleep.  The little angels would be up bright and early to make sure that I was not accidentally getting any rest.  We can’t have any of that on vacation…


Matthew and Megan


The kids were all very excited that I was finally there… most likely they suspected that I had secretly been getting rest and quiet…. (and they were right).  But that was all over now.  It was time to have fun (and tired times) with the family.  

The kids were all so excited about the little school they were attending this week.  They were having so much fun with their new little friends, and also with the Christmas play that they were going to put on in a few days.


Megan getting ready.


The school was putting on a Nativity scene.  Megan was going to be a little star and Matthew was going to be one of the shepherds.  Sophia, of course was going to help supervise while eating as much candy and junk food as her little stomach could handle.


Sophia getting ready.


It is so good to see Paola and the kids again.  I did not think I was going to make it.  I don’t think I ever want go without them for that long again… (or at least until they drive me nuts)…

I could have used a little more rest before the kids woke me up…maybe tomorrow will bring a little more rest, but ‘All signs point to no”


Matthew is a star!


So much to post… and time is flying.  Paola already has the days filled with activities that are a MUST… Family…. Friends… food…. Parties…. Plays…. Food…. Beach…. Food…. Sunburn….food… mountains… food…. Volcano…. Food… giant tralantulas... food.... burning 'the old man'... You get the idea.




Friday, December 22, 2006

The Flight

The time had finally come… it had seemed like months that I had not seen my family…. My beautiful wife… my wonderful little angels (fallen)… The closer the day came… the more I thought about them.  My life seemed a lot different these past few days… Everything I planned was happening on time… where before, we could not be on time to save our lives.  Everything that I cleaned around the house stayed clean, where before, there was no way to catch up to the mess left by our three mini tornadoes.   …and the quiet!  Oh the blissful silence that filled the house.  I kicked on some tunes every now and then…. It was nice…   I put on some Christmas music…. It was nice… for awhile.  After some time (who knows how long) it became a haunting curse.  This giant house was now just a huge clean quiet museum.  It was maddening…. How I started to miss the noise of my family…

Who is this? 


So the journey begins!  I did get a chance to see my parents for lunch before I left.  My Dad took me to the airport.  The last couple of days it had started to dawn on me that this would be the first Christmas/New Years that we had ever spent outside of the US in countless years (I can’t count very high).  Who is this lady in the picture?  I think she is some famous actress that my generation does not remember…


Well any who…. After a quick check in…. and a quick tran to my terminal, there I was…. In my seat in front of this picture on the wall.  On the international terminal…. Waiting.  Just a few hours till boarding….


Giant Carrot


Time seemed to slow down…. Almost stop.  And of course I knew the cause.  That cursed carrot was mocking me… delighting in my torture.  Delighting in prolonging my waiting and suffering.  I knew I had to fight back… but how?



Nutrition….. Time to eat!  Nothing says health and prosperity like an airport hot dog.  No skimping here… I even had two packets of ketchup to splurge on it.  A nice cold diet Pepsi to wash it down… I guess my real goal was the expectation that I would finish my meal, and magically the time to my flight would disappear.  I had tried reading a book… but every other paragraph lead me back to the clock on the wall… I felt like I was in the movie “Ground Hog Day” except for it was “Airport Day” …. And it wasn’t the day repeating… it was these last few hours.


Sing Song


I had started to lose hope… as if the plane would never arrive… but then I heard the sweet soothing sounds of Christmas carolers…. In the Airport?  At that point I knew that my hot dog must be tainted.  Spiked!!  Who knew what elicit drugs where causing my delusions.  The paintings on the walls were talking to me… the carrot was mocking me… the food was yummy (for airport food)…. And now Carolers going terminal gate to terminal gate singing Christmas songs????  Surely I was on the brink of madness!


Flying Corn


Well… maybe the madness has always been with me.  But my time was up.  All aboard!  I got on my flying corn plane and headed out to Ecuador.  I asked them if there was going to be a meal and a movie… and sure enough … “Children of the Corn”, corn bread, corn flakes, and pop corn.  :-P

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fuzzy Feet

Not too long ago, I was thinking to myself .... "I can't get any work done with all these kids distracting me..."

Fuzzy Feet

...but now I find myself alone with my fuzzy shoes... and no one to distract me.  Now that I think about it.... that seems more like a distraction than having the kids always playing around me... but not to fear...  I will soon be with them!! 

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A mile in my shoes.

Well.... the madness is setting in.   I dropped my wife and kids at the airport last week.  This is the longest we have ever been apart.  I miss them something terribly.  They are in Ecuador at my in-laws.  The kids are having a blast and playing a lot with their cousins and uncles and grandparents ... oh my.  Paola is also having a blast (its a bit hard with three kids... but she has some help now).  She is getting to see old friends and family that she has not seen in years.

I don't get to go out there to visit for a couple more days... but it is starting to seem like a lifetime.  There is an old saying ... "...distance makes the heart grow fonder..."  At first I kept super busy with all the stuff I had to finish for church and work... and around the house... and saying 'goodbye' to friends....  but now that I am almost all ready, I have time to focus on the silence in my home, and all I keep doing is replaying memories of my family.  You start to forget all those little things that drove you nuts.... the mess the kids make... all those things we take for granted.

Mile in my shoes

Technology today helps to make the world seem smaller.  I do get to talk to my wife and kids almost every day.  Her parents have a Internet phone thingy that lets us call them for free....  and on top of that.... theirs email....every day....   Its almost like they are just at a friends house or something...


I thank God everyday for my wife.... my kids.... my family.... my friends ...and all the blessings He gives us that we don't deserve.  Its times like this that remind me,... its not about 'stuff'.  It does not matter so much what we have.... but who we spend our lives with.  I miss them so much, that if I think about it too much I get chocked up.... (guys are not supposed to hint that they might possibly ever think about maybe crying.... maybe)

Family Time

Well, the thing that has helped me out is knowing that its only a few more days away till I am back with my family...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thanks Giving 2006

Last month there was a thanksgiving family/parent thingy at the kid's school.  Full of Indians and pilgrims.  Paola and I both got a chance to go, and through the wonders of modern digital photography, this glimpse back in time to the first Thanks Giving was captured.

Pilgrims versus Indians

Not only that, but they all lined up for us... All the kids participated, and there was  nice little play/song/dance(?) they put together for us.  I am sure this will be the next big hit on Broadway.

Indian Arts and Crafts

Well the Indians did not keep their 'gear' on too long, and soon they were released to sit at the assigned seats.  They brought with them their arts and crafts.  I thought that I would buy some stuff with beads and nick knacks, but this little Indian wanted real $$ for this hand crafted genuine piece of American History.... and of course I could not say no.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where are the posts?

Ok Ok.   I am sorry that I have not been posting much lately.... birthday... vacation... Ecuador.... Lonely Briam...  :-P   ....I guess I better start catching up.

Lets start back a couple of weeks.  Megan turned 3 on 11/24/2006!!  Thats right.  She is already asking Paola if she can wear make up....  seriously....

Well, any-who.  We had a party at one of those inflatable able bouncy wear your children out places.   Click on this picture to see more!!!

Happy Third Birthday Megan!!

or HERE ....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Not Mickey

Its hard to remember the first time I faced death.  I mean when I was just a child.... was it a bug... a pet.... a plant/flower.  I know that if I touch a plant now.... instant death.  I kind of have a black thumb.

Well anyways, our cat was nice enough to bring us a little mouse friend.  Unfortunately this one was not very talkative.... he also did not eat much...  or move...

...ok ... well, he was dead.

Dead Mouse

The kids did have a few questions.... and I can only imagine what was going on in their heads.


 I guess we all go through the phases of "Death" differently..... from knowing..... to understanding.... to accepting.  And I guess this little guy is part of that process.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baby Cooler

Sometimes you need a small cooler to carry around some cold refreshing things...   specially on nice hot days like (not) today....

Baby Cooler

The real hard part is just getting everything in there... its like it all just doesn't want to fit.  Maybe we just need to call in some help from the three amigos.

Happy Halloween

Ok,... maybe not the three amigos.  But our three kids.  This is a picture from the dress up party that they had at their school.  This is a rough group if ever I saw one.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Vs Princess Megan

So thanksgiving is upon us.  The local part of the clan came over today to gorge away for hours.... more food than should be normally allowed for that many people.

Thanks Giving

We have so much to give thanks for.... at the end of all that eating... I was glad that we survived so much eating.  And just when I thought that I would burst from too much food, then came the desserts.

Well, one of our little princesses has some other celebration on its way.  Tomorrow Little Megan turns the big 3. 

Megan's B-day

She is already asking when she will be allowed to wear makeup....  I guess Paola and I will have to take turns putting her off..... until she is 40.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ride like the wind!

A couple of days ago, the kids to a chance to go to one of their friends birthday parties.  It was full of fun and cake... and a lot of rides.

Megan Rides!

Here is princess Megan on her zebra.  That sure is not something you see everyday.

Matthew Rides

Here is Matthew on his new pet dragon.  We told him he could keep the dragon as a pet, but only if he potty trains it.....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Late Night Post

...So I laid down to take a little nap when I got home... and fell flat out asleep!  So now I need to go back to sleep... but thought I would post a little late night Pic.


I thought the porch days where over... but I guess there is still a couple of days left...  I guess at some point I will have to get a grill.... and learn how to cook out.  Buenas Noches everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Three Little Bears

Everyone knows the story of The three little bears... well bears don't just go on trees you know.  Before they can have their little home invasion story, someone has to make and prepare those bears for the long story ahead.

Sophia Bear

First we have little worker Sophia.... she paints the innocent face on the little bear.  He will be the one that is most impacted when the little blond girl breaks into his home and eats his food, breaks his little chair, and sleeps in his bed.  Poor little guy.

Megan Bear

Next we have worker Megan making the mama bear.  Her face will need to be caring and loving.  She will need to be the voice of calm after the break in so that the father bear does not fly off the handle.

Matthew Bear

Last, but not least, we have Papa bear.  He will need the stern face.  After the home break in, life will change for this bear family.  Maybe change the locks.  Maybe file a police report.  Maybe file a lawsuit....

Three Bears

Here they are hard at work.  It takes a lot of work and effort to make these fairy tales come true.... but in the end, it is well worth it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Into The Woods...

Last month we had a chance to take a little get away into the woods for a few days.  But before I take you to the woods... I have to share this cute picture.

Queen Tut

This is Queen Tut... she came to visit at one of our little family get togethers...  But now, into the woods.  That weekend, we also did have a birthday party there for Christian, full of burgers, dogs, and pirates!


You can click on the picture to go to the photo goodness... or CLICKHERE!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Roll Over ... I'm crowded

You know that old song... about the bears sleeping in the bed.  One feels crowded.... "I'm crowded...roll over... so they all roll over..."

Roll Over

 Well at the beginning of the story in this bed, I was all the way to the left..... and one by one, my little bears wanted me to roll over.... they were crowded.  So I called out to my wife for help.... since I surely soon would be doomed to fall off the edge of the world.  So what does she do? ...she runs to get the camera.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Taking a break...

No not me... I don't get to take a break.... 

I was talking about my little helpers.  A few weeks ago, Paola sent out this picture of the deck that we had finished.  It is a bit chilly now for the deck, but it was fun while it lasted...

Taking a break

Here are our little angels resting...... after a hard day of helping me put together patio furniture.... (hard for me that is...) 

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Girls

The girls are growing.  Its amazing how one day they are just sucking their thumbs and then the next day they are asking to drive the car.

The Girls

These girls are hard to keep up now... I can only imagine what it will be like when they are teenagers.... heaven help us.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The weather is starting to get a bit chilly.  Not much to say tonight..... oh so tired.  We have been over booked lately.


Just chillin with some cold beverages on the deck.... while the warm weather lasts.


...good times.  Good times...

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Some of the greatest structures in life are built right in the comfort of our own home.  First we have the Baby Lego tower, built by the three resident architects.


Next comes the big kid Lego House.  Not sure who put it all together, but you can guess who took it apart.

Lego House

This last one is just the stairs.... This one is more of Daddy's play structure since it is connected to the desk.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Bob II

So we have not seen much of Bob lately... but we did get a chance to meet Bob II.

Bob II

Bob II is not as spunky as Bob (1), but he is still polite enough.  He does not say much, and he did not stick around long... but at least he did have that cool leaf camouflage thing going.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

How Sweet It Is.

That oh so familiar sound.  The simple chime mounted on a van.  That simple tone that you can't confuse for any other....  The song of the ice cream truck.

Ice Cream on wheels

Matthew had been saving his coins for some time..... he thought it was an eternity.  Several times he had come to me with coins in his spider-man wallet asking "...dad, is this enough to buy an ice cream?"  Megan and Sophia take the easy road, they just smile and give me that sweet innocent smile they know that I can no resist....

We are now in October... and the weather is getting colder.... I think that the ice cream truck visits will be far and few between.  But not all sweets come with a theme song...

Yummy Chocolate Goodness

The sweet taste of chocolate pudding.... can put a smile on anyone's face.  Either that or Megan is putting on a fake mustache to fool the paparazzi.  You never see broccoli putting a smile like this on anyone's face.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Head of Raphael

Its good to have heroes.  People we look up to and admire.  Specially if they taste good on a stick....

Raphael Ninja Turtle

I guess there are some reasons we try to reach our heroes.... in some ways, we need to surpass them or be them to reach our goals....  Matthew is holding Raphael, one of the Teenage mutant ninja turtles...... so cold ... so tasty.... I guess Matthew will have to find another hero.

Bob comes to visit

...when someone knocks on the door, you normally expect a friend... a neighbor.... or even a vendor/sales person.


 The last person you expect to come visit is the 'Bob'.  Thats right.  Bob the conquerer.  Bob the future ruler of the world.  He is really quite daunting at first glance.... and don't mention his beady eyes.... but for a praying mantis he is pretty well mannered, as long as he is not angered.  ....It was nice meeting Bob, but I think the kids were a little relieved when he finally left.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shocking Lesson

There are some lessons in life that are harder to learn than others.   This lesson was learned a couple of weeks ago by Matthew.

Can Top

This is the top of a can.  So... I had a drink... and what does Matthew usually do? ...he likes to snap the flip top piece from the cans.  Their shinney... their neat.  Why not?  Well, here is one good reason for "why not?"

Item Not For Plug

So this is a picture of the flip top after Matthew decided to experiment with it.  If you look closely you will notice that it has snaped... and has some black charred sections.... what could a little four year old boy do to destroy this piece of metal?

Matthews plug

...and here is Matthew's tool of choice.  I know I have told him on several occasions that he should not play with outlets.  And that he should never stick anything in an outlet.... but I guess he did not really learn it when I told him.  He had to learn this lesson the hard way.  He was in pain... and kept shaking his hand saying it stings.... but he did not cry.  I think he was more shocked than anything else when he was thrown back from the outlet...  Thank God he is ok... and hopefully it will be awhile before he does something crazy like this again.... maybe a week or two? 

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ring Leader

Some crimes have no rhyme or reason.  Some crimes have no purpose.  ....but you do the crime... you do the time.

Ring Leader

But thats just the start.  The real question is, who planed this horrible crime against man kind (...or the living room)....  but these evil doers are now paying the price (time out chairs)  Those kids can't fool me... specially Sophia... playing like she is all innocent.  I think she is behind this plan.  Luckily, local law enforcement(Paola) was at hand to stop them.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The plants that grow.

There are special people in our lives.... the kind that we share special moments with.  Special moments like growing a plant... or fighting over the crayons.

Matthew and Madison

Here we have a special moment captured in time.... a rare time where friends aren't fighting or throwing things at each other....  rare moments indeed.  Lets just hope the plants make it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Queen and half my Princesses

Sometimes I feel so truly blessed it hurts.  Its not about the bling bling or the shiny toys and gadgets.  Although I do like my tech toys.  Sorry, back to the point.  If you stop and think about it... what do we work so hard for every day?  It should be our family.

Queen and half my Princesses

Here is a picture of my Queen Paola and half of my princesses (Megan).  Well anyways, I come home soooooo tired sometimes.  And sometimes in a grouchy mood.  But as soon as I walk through that door, my kids cheer me up.  They all come running and hug me, yelling "Daddy's Home!".  Even Sophia comes running yelling "daddy!"

So I work so hard to give them what they need/want, but in the end what they want/need is my time.  I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that every day.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mastering the Puzzle

To become one of the worlds greatest puzzle masters takes a lot of things.  Skill ... a Keen eye....and an iron will!

Puzzle Time

...and I guess it does not hurt if the puzzle only has three pieces.  Well I guess its a start.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New Doll for Megan

So a couple of weeks ago the kids were all about playing with their toys and such, when a brilliant idea overpowered Megan.  Why was she wasting all these times playing with these lifeless dolls, when she had a real live walking talking baby sister doll?

Princess Sophia

Megan tried a few of her princess outfits on her to see how she would look.  And then she showed her of to her family.  The odd part is that Sophia did not mind her older sister dressing her up at all...

Happy Princess

I know that I would probably have some issues if Megan asked me to put on the princess outfits......again.... 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh Where Has Thy Been

I am sorry that I have not been posting as much as normal.  Let me tell you why.... Two weeks ago I started getting up earlier than normal.... so that I could go to work earlier.  Sure I am walking around like a zombie... but hopefully I will get used to it before too long.

Flowers that would not die

The end goal is so that I can spend more time at home.  Sounds very good in theory... but the problem is that the kids wear me out even more.... and I have to try to go to sleep early.... and the cycle starts all over.

Above is a picture of some flowers I got for Paola.... she deserves them... and so much more for all the hard work she puts into raising our kids..... but these are no ordinary flowers.


They seem to not want to die..... more than that... they were a bit creepy.... Maybe they have been genetically enhanced, or chemically injected with something.  But it was getting a bit scary how long these were lasting....   It seemed unnatural.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

BDay Bash

A couple of weeks ago, we got a chance to see some friends and enjoy a birthday party.  It was a lot of fun seeing all the kids run around like crazed candy powered destruction bots... afterwords some of us got a chance to go out to dinner (where there was also a kids playground)....

Lyla's B-Day Party

Click on the picture to check out of some of the birthday pics!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Most battles at home are not over territorial despuits.... or trade agreements.  Most of the battles at home are over who gets to watch their favorite show...


...I guess all is fair in love and war.  But if you don't get your way with the remote... you might as well go get the phone and call the grand parents.   Sophia knows that if she can reach the grandparents, they may be able to help.

Phone Home

 ....With help on the way... what are the kids to do..... here is one idea.


I had been wondering why the toilet paper roles are always so squished.... well if you look closely, it turns out that Matthew has been using the packs of toilet paper rolls as a sled to go down the stairs....at some point I think I am going to have to have a talk with him on proper in house sled use....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bear and Snake

 If you could not tell, one of Megan's favorite colors is pink.  She says that pink is the color for a princess.  Here she is ready for school.  This would be a very special day filled with animals. 

Megan going to school

 ...and by animals, I mean that Megan made a bear at school.  Yes a bit frightening, but we must all face our fears.

Megan and the bear

 Meanwhile, Sophia was being attacked by a giant snake monster.... a vary rare but colorful species of toothless snake!

Sophia and the Snake

 Look at the fear in her eyes.... no one wants to be eaten by that crazy snake.... so its time to call in the hero.  Well ok, maybe the hero in training.  Matthew to the rescue!

Mathew saves the day

 The battle was fierce and lasted a long time.  Almost five whole minutes.  But in the end the kids escaped and all was good.

Crazy Matthew

The only thing that scares me now is that crazed look on Matthews face.... like I am next! 

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dinosaurs, Sleeping, and Beauty

Tonight's story is a story as old as time... About a hero,... a beauty in distress, and the never ending quest for sleep!!

To reach the sleeping beauty we must first cross the perilous land of dinosaurs.  Not just one or two.... but all of them I think!  They roam the land like uncontrollable beast of destruction.  Thankfully they all lined up for the group photo.

Dino Land 

 Also in the picture is Matthew "Dino Trainer" Fachisthers.  He makes it look so easy.  Unfortunately after the photo the dinosaurs were spooked and he was trampled.  He should recover in a few weeks.  But his sacrifice was not in vain.  He was able to buy you enough time to reach the land of Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping and Beauty

And here we are.  Beauty and the Sleeping...... I play the role of sleeping... or at least trying.  And Beauty is played by Sophia.  Her job is to not let me rest and to try to wake me up if I try to sleep.  Don't let that cute innocent little face fool you.  She is good at her job, and very few of my days are filled with the recommended allowance of sleep.

Unfortunately that is where this story ends.  And it does not end happily.  Well at least not until Sleeping gets some rest when the kids go off to college...

Thursday, August 24, 2006


So its official.  Sophia no longer fits in the breadbox.  She is getting so big.  She used to be tiny (about the size of the breadbox that she is leaning on)

Bigger than a breadbox

Now Sophia is saying more words than ever... she pushes the chairs to the counter and climbs up to get whatever she wants.  Maybe if we ask her to stop growing so fast she will slow it down for us. 

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Briam B-Day BBQ

A few days ago we had a little birthday party for Me and My mom.  It was a little get together and some good old fashion BBQ.


Click on this picture to check out some more pictures or go to the Gallery (Right Side Menu).  If you look closely at the pictures.... you will see some pictures of my nephews and nieces who really hate having their pictures taken.... that makes them even more special...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Florida on my mind

Last week we got a chance to visit some family in Florida.  Alejandro and Soraya just had their baby boy Gabriel and we wanted to go visit.... well I guess we were not the only ones.... Click on this picture to see the gallery.

Family in Florida

Our kids got a chance to meet and play with a bunch of their cousins.  We also got a chance to hit the beach.... ah sun.... sand.... surf.... sunburn.... peeling...  good stuff.  If you stayed still too long you would most likely get ambushed... or fall into a sand trap...


In the end we all made it back alive.  Don't forget to click on the pictures or HERE for more pics from Florida!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Letter to Santa

"Dear Santa, I know I am a bit early, but I wanted to send you this email to beat the rush.  I know that you get busy so I wanted to send you my Christmas request early..."

Letter to Santa

"...I want to ask for a few things for myself, but also a few things for my brother and sister..."

Read the Letter

"Look Megan!  I told you if we stopped beating her up it would pay off!"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Photo Story

So I was playing around with a new free little tool from Microsoft called:  Photo Story 3  It was a pretty easy even for someone like me with very limited artistic ability...

Show Time

So click on the little windows Media Player button..... I am sure that with this level of skill and sheer genious I will win an oscar or emmy.. or something....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

School is in Session

....so school is back in session!  And what a relief.  Well at least it does give my wife a little break in the day so she can recover from their craziness.  We all react different to things that excite us. 

Matthew celebrates with some jumping around and screaming for joy....


Megan wants to get all prettied up for the occasion...


Sophia is just in shock over everyone making a big deal...

Just waiting...

I just hope that they behave themselves and don't hit on any kids.  They do play a bit rough at times and some kids are not used to that....

Ready For School 2006

New backpacks for the older two... and also lunch boxes.  Sophia has to suffer with the lady bug that Megan used last year.  A new year... some new friends... some new learning.  (...and some rest for the mom)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Ultimate Race

There are lots of races.  All the time.  Some are for fame.  Some are for money.  But few hold the honor and prestige of The Ultimate Race.  Years and years of tradition to even qualify for this race.... well ok.... all you have to do is show up.... and this was the first time.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  First there is the excruciating training and preparation.  Part of this preparation, of course, is a healthy nutritious POWER SHAKE!!

Power Shake

 Ah THE POWER SHAKE.  Only a super secrete blend of things and stuff that Paola has to hand select.... and mix... but it may just be what these kids need to win an edge over each other.  Because soon it is race time!

The Ultimate Race

There is no wimpy starting line.... or checkered flag.  (because we don't have one).... there is only grit and determination in this race.  Its every kid for themselves...  But in the end, there can only be one victor... or is everyone a victor?

Third Place

Here is our latest contestant.  She was only able to come in third... but she seems happy enough just being allowed to race with the others.


And after the dust settles.... its time to wind down with a celebration ice cream!  It just so happened that the ice cream truck came by.  If you look closely, you can see the imitation sponge bob ice creams.  I always asked myself if they like him so much, why do they want to bite his head off? 


....who knows what will happen at the next annual Ultimate Race... only time will tell.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Songs of Angels

 So this past Sunday the kids finally had their day on stage.  They have been practicing for weeks some of their cute dance songs for the church.  We were very proud of them.


Megan was a little shy at first, but soon she was dancing and jumping as if she had ants in her pants.  Matthew was a little more serious about the whole thing, but he put on quite a show.


The pictures are a little blurry.... (I was not the one taking the pictures) and I have to assume it was for one of the following reasons:

  1. The kids were moving
  2. The camera person was moving
  3. The camera person was nervous from being so close to the Rock Stars!!!!

... But these kids did love their fans.  They all receive a giant applause from everyone.  And you could see the huge smiles on their faces.... its good to be loved by your audience!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Winds of Change

A couple of days ago, Alejandro and Soraya's baby was born.  Gabriel is his name.  And he is a bit early, but doctors say he is doing great.  Just a few more days to fatten him up a bit.

Sleepy Time

We will get a chance to see him this weekend... and I am sure after he has a few Ecuadorian meals he will be feeling a lot better.

As for the kids... they are doing fine.  Sophia keeps wanting to join Matthew and Megan in swim class.... but swim class is almost over.  Just one day left... but if it keeps raining, that may not happen.

Swim Class Ending

Megan is getting bolder... but will need more practice before she swims without her noodle.  Matthew is doing great.... and learning different swimming styles.  He has already swam the length of the pool several times and the instructor has said he can join the kids swim team next year.

As for Paola and me.... we are being attacked by a mountain of cloths since we are cleaning up our closet....   ... keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Musical Beds

 Some days seem much longer than others... and normally its because of what fills it.  The day had a lot of promise right from the beginning.  The rain was stopping for a few days.  The kids were sleeping a little longer because they are worn out from the swimming classes.  Sophia was feeling a little better.  She has been suffering from a slight ear infection, but it was passing.

Hats for everyone

 So, I was trying to get up for work... but it was hard to, because the bed kept calling me.  Oh sweet blissful sleep.  The only thing I was missing was the quiet part.  Thats when the wake up crew arrived.  Sophia and Megan were the first to arrived.  They did not hesitated to make all kinds of noises to try to get me out of bed... but I just pretended I was asleep.... hoping they would give up.... but they didn't.

Wake up call

 ...shortly after this peaceful picture, it was all jumping and hitting until I got up.  And off to work I went.  I wanted to get as much done as I could at the office so that I could rush home.... why? ...because I love my family.... and the Matthew's new bedroom furniture had arrived.  Matthew is now big enough to get a bigger bed.  And get his own room.  So Sophia is now moving in with Megan, and Matthew is moving to Sophia's old room.  I rush home and work feverishly to put together all of Matthew's new furniture.

Matthew new bed

 And of course we had to get Matthew a cool new Superman theme for his bedding.  Along with that we had to get Megan the princess theme bedding so we would not start another civil war....  We are still trying to recover from the last one...

Sophias new bed

So what to do with Sophia.  She has already jumped out of her crib a few times, so she too was ready for a toddler bed.  She seems all excited and playful when everyone is awake and she is on the bed... but when it is time to sleep.... she doesn't think play time is over!!  I guess it could be worse, but the one that is really suffering is the roommate Megan.  The other downside is that now when Sophia wakes up... she is not in a cage... and free to come complain!!


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Old enough to drive?

So sure, Sophia is ready to go.... but OH NO!!! ... She is too young to drive...Well at least thats what the law says... So what do you do then? .... you have to go to your big sister!

Can I see your drivers license?

Besides... what are big sisters for.  When you need that helping hand for the things you are not old enough to do on your own yet.  ...well maybe she should be wearing shoes before she drives... but at least she has her seat belt on.  I think she will need it.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ready for the road

No time to stop.  Purse in hand and stroller ready to roll, nothing can slow down this toddler on the run.  Sophia has to many errands to stop for a quick interview with me... but I am sure that once she has some time for me... she will give me a ring from her celly.

Ready to go.

I really don't know where she thinks she is going... she is not yet old enough to drive...   But maybe if I take her, she will give me a nice tip. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vacation Bible School

Check this out.... Matthew is now 4 and going to Vacation Bible School.  Click on his picture and he will tell you all about it.

Tell me about VBS

Monday, July 17, 2006

Fashion Sense

Ah to be young and crazy.  To be old enough and mature enough to make ones own choices.  To choose ones own life style... and mostly.... to choose ones own cloths!

Crazy Hat

I don't remember having that much fashion sense when I was two... or having such cool clothing options.  But with my fashion sense... that is probably a good thing.  I think they get their tastes from Paola.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Let the swings fly!

So some time ago, the kids had convinced us that it was time for a new play set.  The little plastic one was no longer holding its amusement for them.  So a little over a month ago we bought one of those "build it yourself" play sets from the store (Sam's club).  I have had a ton of odd hour work lately... so it took me awhile to put together.

Play Set

Actually it took about a month.  Board by board... piece by piece.... stain it... attach it... but finally it was done.  The kids seem to like it.... which makes me happy.  Now if only we can grow some grass around it.  That will take a little more time.  On the 4th of July we had a little barbecue here, and we had a bunch of kids put the play set to the test.  I am glad that they did not destroy it or set it on fire.... 

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Smarty Pants

The kids are still on break..... except for swimming classes, but Paola still finds the time to work with them when she can.  Here is Matthew practicing his spelling....

Smarty Pants

Paola emailed me this picture and said:  "This was the day he spelled 50 words correctly from 53 And knew all the vocabulary in Spanish except for 6.  Isn't that amazing???"

Now that he is spelling ... I will have to watch my back, its only a matter of time before he starts correcting my writing.... (I am a horrible speller)...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sure is hot...

The weather is getting kind of weird.... hot ... rain ... hot ... rain.  Makes me wish I had some ice cream!!

Ice Cream Cold

This was also from Hilton Head... nice little ice cream parlor they have near the beach.... oh that would hit the spot right about now...

Friday, June 30, 2006

Hilton Head 2006

We finally got a chance to take a little break and drive out to Hilton Head for a few days of rest and relaxation.... Here we are at the beach right behind the hotel.  The weather was great.... maybe a little too hot for me (and my white skin).... but I lived.

Hilton Head 2006

 There was plenty of rest time, and sun time.  To be honest... I did come home looking like a lobster from all the sun... but I am all better now.

Getting Some Sun

 The hotel we stayed at did have kid activities that helped distract them from time to time.  They had arts and crafts.... and some fun games and activities that the kids loved.  One of these such events was the world renown 2006 Turtle National speed master race.

Turtle Race

 This was a very grueling and challenging competition.  Selecting the champions was just the first step.  Then there was some intense training sessions... but in the end there could only be one champion.


 If you look into these turtles eyes... you see nothing but desire for victory.  The races where on...  and in one of the elimination rounds Matthew and Megan's turtles ran head to head.

Ride The Turtle

 In the end, Megan's turtle blew Matthew's turtle away..... it was sad really.  Matthew's turtle did not even move while Megan's ran for its life.  Above is Matthew on one of the stone animals around the pool.  Below we have a picture of some sand castles that we found on the beach.... as the tide came in... these fortresses fell.  Matthew did enjoy jumping on a couple of them.

Sand Castles

One of the other activities that they had at the hotel was Battleship!!  But not the game that I remember and love.  These cool inflatable wave runners were batter powered..... they were driveable...(not very fast).... but they did come with a water gun in the front center.  And the wars began..... no one was safe.... even innocent passerbys where easy target for these sea pirates.

War Ships

 Here is a picture of my girls... Fun in the sun and a little work on the tans...

The Girls

We had a great time, but sometimes you need a vacation from your vacations..... Or maybe thats just the sun burn talking. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The other side of the rainbow

After weeks of swim class... sometimes you just want to go home and get away from the pool.  Well at least the big pool.  Maybe start a hunt.... a scavenger hunt for rainbows?  They say there is gold at the end of the rainbow....


But some rainbows do have gold.... but not just any gold.  Golden pineapples from the sky.

Golden Pineapple

So perfect and sweet....  So the moral of the day.... "seek and you will find"....  But we don't always know what we are seeking.... and we never know what we will find.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


.....where to begin?  So a couple of days ago some friends gave Matthew a turtle.  Well sure before he got the turtle, there was some begging and promises about how well he would take care of the new family pet....

Not our turtle

So, this is what our turtle looked like... except his eyes where green.  This picture is stolen from the Internet since we did not get a chance to take our own picture or our now former turtle.  So what happened to this turtle?  HE TRICKED ME!!

He looked at me with those sad turtle eyes.... all he wanted was a little fresh air... some dirt under his feet... was that so bad?  ....besides... he is a turtle... its not like he could out run me...

I put him outside in a boxed in area.... under the new playground I am building while I did a little work.  No way that turtle could have climb it..... so I thought.  I came back a few minutes later... and poof... gone.... I searched around and around the area, but to no avail.... that turtle had escaped!!

Oh if only that was the end of the story.  My son was so mad at me.  "Dad, you were supposed to keep an eye on him..."  "Dad, I can not believe how irresponsible you were..."  It almost broke my heart to see my son crying because I had let the turtle get away...

I guess I will have to be more careful with the next pet...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Opera Singer or Master Chef?

Sometimes I just have no idea whats going on in some of the pictures that get taken while I am at work slaving away for my loved ones...

Anyways.... check this picture out.

Singing Cook

What started out as a nice gesture of assistance in the kitchen could blossom into a thriving career!  There has to be a big demand for singing chefs..... I think...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I think I go it...

No more need for hand holding... and baby spoons.  Sophia has been hitting the big league for awhile.


So sure, there may be a little bit here and there that did not make it to the right place, but I think we can call it a victory when the bowl does not end up on the floor.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Story Time

At some point.... Story time will not be fun.  It will be filled with homework and assignments... it will lose its appeal and become a chore.

Story Time

But for now... it is still enjoyable.  Even I enjoy it.... thats right.  Story time before bed is one of my favorites.... well, at least when they are paying attention.... or don't ask for the same book for the 100th time.... Other than that, it is one of my cherished time with the kids.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hit List

So the other day I saw this picture that Paola took of one of Matthew's drawings.

Hit List

At first glance, this appears to be a sweet picture of Matthew, family and friends.... but if you look closer....you will notice that the smiles on the faces are really an elaborate system of determining if they are in good favor with Matthew.  One has to ask, why would you need to keep track of how good/bad people are to you?  ...perhaps if things get rough and the smiles become frowns, then this happy little portrait becomes a hit list...   I knew he was up to something.... now I just have to figure out how to stay on his good side.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Swim Time Again

Its that time of year, and swimming is in the air..... ok, maybe not in the air, but you know what I mean.  I hope.

Swim Time

This year Matthew is not alone.  Megan is also taking swim classes.  We were very lucky that the class was not full, so the teacher for Matthews higher class said she could also make time for Megan (who should be in the beginner class).  I think it helps her out since she is more confident with her older brother around.  Matthew is back in rare form, and doing well in his class.

Matthew Swims the Pool

By the end of this swim session (two weeks) he will be able to swim across the whole pool.  He loves the water.  I wish I could go with them to swim class.  Last year the classes we took were later in the day, so on days that I got out of work earlier I was able to go swimming with them too....

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Art Day

Well ... there is no more classes for the kids right now... but that doesn't mean that there are no more classes for the kids right now.... at home. 

This past Saturday Matthew says to me "Dad... I want a girl friend" ... I was a bit shocked.  Specially since a week prior he had said how he never wanted to get married.  Or grow older... because adults have to do boring work... and that was no fun.

A couple of days ago, Paola set up painting day for the kids.

Don't bother me now... I am making art!

These works of art are (like the previous) are on display at the High museum refrigerator of our Home.  For a limited engagment...   

Now Sophia on the other hand (ha ha no pun intended)... was isolated to the table.  Something about the paint disaster of 2005...

Masters hands...

I had asked my son at one point if he wanted me to paint with him... but he had assured me that it would not look as good as his work so I should just sit and watch him.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Taking out the Trash.

...chores chores.  We all have to pitch in... or total caos...

Taking out the trash.

But it is nice to see a smile while the kids do their part.  Here is Sophia taking out the trash with a big smile on her face.  Maybe she is just to young to realize that some work is not really fun at all.... 

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Tiskit A Tasket

... a blue and pink basket?  What exactly is a tisket.... or a tasket?  All I know is that my little girl tells me that you need two of them...



The smile says "happy happy ....." while the fact that she wont share the baskets says ""...mine mine...I am the princess..."  So lets say you are lucky enough (or sneaky) to get your hands on one of these coveted baskets.... what do you do with it?  I asked Sophia, but she did not seem to want to share the answer.  I guess my only option now is to find my own basket.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lollipop Lollipop

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? The world may never know… One thing I do know is that these kids are lollipop junkies. The biggest problem with this is when they forget that everything they touch with the sugar sticks becomes a sticky trap…

Lollipop Lollipop

Enough of these sticky traps, and we start to train to kids to carry wipes with them... just in case.  Have you ever seen a lollipop stuck in someone's hair?  Not a pretty sight.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Crazy Cabby

I have been to many parts of the world.  Seen a lot of things... one thing stands out.... there are crazy cab drivers everywhere.  I remember the last time I was in Argentina, and how common it was for the cab drivers to take short cuts through the sidewalks... and people would just jump out of the way... then go back to their regular lives... maybe an insult or two.

Crazy Cab Driver

I guess you don't have to travel to the other side of the globe to see a crazy cab driver... in fact I think we have one right here.  They must be in an awful hurry..... I am just glad that I did not get run over....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Time for a new Play-set

I was thinking the other day, how lucky we were that someone had given us a play-set for the kids to play with.... one less thing to have to buy or worry about... because kids can get bored.  They need some time outside to play and climb and have fun.  They do seem to have fun with it...

We need a bigger PlaySet

But then I started thinking about how they climb all over the top of it... and Matthew jumps off of it.  ...Who am I kidding.... they have out grown this thing...    ....its only a matter of time before they start climbing our house.  Maybe I should look at getting something a little bigger.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Good Morning Daddy

So I started to notice that our kids are starting to copy some of our daily activities.... they watch... they mimic.  They wait for the perfect time to pull out the old "...but I saw you do it..." card.  Which, by the way is an excellent card.  It is usually trumped by the "...well when you are 5, then you can do that..."

....I think I will have to change that strategy soon ... now that Matthew is four! 

Well, lets get to it.... what was I talking about?  Oh yes, they copy us... Here we have morning Sophia going to check her emails just in case there is some important gossip that she needs to be made aware of.

Where are my peeps on the big old Inet!

She throws up that innocent smile, but I know she turned off the monitor so I would not catch her surfing inappropriate sites again.....

Well, after catching up on the old email, its time for a well balanced nutritious breakfast.

Yum Yum

Makes you wonder why they don't just make a big food bucket so you don't have to use those tricky spoons..... After a nice breakfast... its jump on Daddy.... while smiling for the camera.

Get Him!!

I guess the plan here is to weight me down so much that I have back issues and must stay home and play all day....  Not this time girls... Daddy loves you guys!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Daddy Donut Day

This past Wednesday it was Daddy Donut Day at the kids school.  A chance to enter the crazy world in which my kids walk every day.... while enjoying the occasional donut.

Part of this tour of duty revolved around the kids creating a work of art that they would give to daddy dearest.  Sophia's artwork was hard to capture since it mostly revolved around drooling and asking me to pick her up....

Matthew on the other hand was a little less than shy.  While we enjoyed our tasty snacks, Matthew was hard at work creating the next  'Rock Your World' master piece. 

Work of Art!

When he was done, he sat back and let me soak in his genious!.... the use of colors... and shapes..... the deep placement of symbolism.... he had capture the essence of life in one single master piece... and he knew it. 

Is it art?

Megan seemed less than enthusiastic about the completed work.  She did not say anything mean... but nice girls never do.  She just kind of nodded but did not seem to truly be impressed. 

Megan's art work was a self portrait.  A self portrait of her hands..... very cute, and on the same page it says "I love to sing songs with my dad."  As nice is that is, I recall Megan mostly asking me to stop singing when she is, so that I can focus on just listening to her...

The works of art are currently under exhibit in the Kitchen Museum of Art.... for a limited time.  A must see for all true art connoisseur.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cruise Pictures

Sorry it took me so long to get these pictures out there.... I have been playing catch up since we got back.

Click on the picture to see the whole set... or go to Gallery section (on the right) to see those and others.

Fascination Cruise 2006

We had so much fun on this trip.  First of all, a special thanks to my parents and the Limey's for watching the kids...

We had a chance to take a historical tour of the main Island (Nassua)... we did some shopping... some snorkling... dinning... dancing... lounging... beach.... pool.... and drinky drinky....

I really do need a day or two to get back into 'work' mode...  

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cruising along...

Oh were to start.... we are not even home yet.  Just using a little free wifi at the airport until our plane gets in.  Tons of fun... and there are also a bunch of pictures we want to share.  But that will take me some time to put it together.

But for now... here is the little tug boat we escaped on...

 Chug Chug Chug

no wait.... this is the one.

 Carnival Fascination Cruise ship

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sombrero Day

Happy Cinco De Mayo!


Paola and I set on the cusp of freedom..... today we drop the kids off ... and prepare for a short little vacation.... KID FREE!!!  .... why is this important?  the time apart from our kids will help us to appreciate the time that we have with them....  Its like the old saying goes:  "...time makes the heart grow fonder..." ...or something like that.  Well ok, that just part of it... the other is we just want a break.  Paola finally has her green card... so we are not able to travel outside the U.S.  ... so we are going to go on a Cruise to the Bahamas.... 

I am sure this break will be good for us and the kids....

Sunday, April 30, 2006

What rules?

Most of us remember growing up with rules.

  • You have to brush your teeth. 
  • No playing at the table. 
  • You have to eat your food before you can have dessert.
  • You are not allowed to eat in that room because you will make a mess.

Anyone else remember any rules like this?  Year after year... these types of rules guided our lives... as we slowly grew up ... and learned to embrace them.

I now show you exhibit A:

The kids are with my parents for just a few hours... and all the rules fly out the window.  This picture shows you an obviously happy child, indulging in dessert.... Did she finish her meal? ... I don't think so.  What room is she in?  That does not look like the kitchen or dining room...

.... I guess I should have read the fine print:  "...once you become a grandparent, all rules are null and void...."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Much taller than yesterday

The secret growth hormones that we have been feeding Sophia are starting to work.  She is getting taller.  Taller every day.  Normally we would not have resorted to such drastic measures....

...but its for her own good.  How else will she be able to defend herself against her older brother and sister?  Next step... Ninja fighting techniques!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Ah a cowgirl's work is never done.  Special today ... it was 'farm' day at the kids school.  They all got a chance to see the farm animals and learn a little bit about farm life. 


 Right away Sophia was put in charge of the animals because of her skills.  Well ok, it was because she had the cute hat. 

Once Sophia was in charge, it was all down hill for Matthew.  All those times Matthew had not let Sophia play with a toy were about to be paid back in full.  Matthew was put to work brushing the animals.

Matthew vs Buro

 Megan was a little luckier.  When ever Sohpia was not watching, Megan would slack.  Just stand there and look pretty... and enjoy the beautiful day. 

Megan Farm

In the end it was not the kids that learned the most.... it was Paola, since she had to go to see these animals three times.... One for each of our kids class. 

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman

Another master piece from Paola.  The second cake for the party was Matthew's cake.  It was a spiderman... very nice.  She made a bunch of cup cakes, and turned them into the brick wall.

Spidey Cake

Click, Click, Click on the cake to see more pictures from the party

Oh man that was a long day... Too long... and tiring.  Almost a week has passed and I am still tired. 

An interesting thing happens when kids get presents.... all form and reason goes out the window.  The day of the party was too fun packed to have any time to open presents... so the next morning (very early) the kids started their attack!

Yeah Baby!!!

Have you ever noticed how different boys and girls are.... not just what they want, but the way they react.  ...And I guess it also changes the older they get.  Matthew was a wild man... a storm of shredding paper and tissue!  His dreams are filled with Spiderman, Superman, Power Rangers...etc...  While the parents appreciate the presents that were clothing related... Matthew seems less than enthusiastic about those.

My Cellys blowing up!

On the other hand take Sophia's reaction.  She was a little more cool headed about it.  She examined her gifts... and played with her toys.  She even checked out her new outfits with a smile.  But then.... it was all about calling her girlfriend to chit chat about her big plans now that she was the big UNO!  Her celly was all blowing up! Ring Ring...

I am now starting to see that for ever year that my kids gain.... I gain four or five years.  At first it was subtle with only one kid.  But now with three kids, it is very apparent that at this rate, I will be dead before they hit their teens.  At  least it has been a good life...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Row Row Row your Boat

....or basket.... Gently down the stream? ...theres sharks in them there waters... row for your lives!!  Can you see the fear in their eyes?  I hope that boat makes it to shore... supplies are running low...

Row Row Row your boat...

Its not all shark chases and canabalism.... ok maybe not canabalism...  Well anyways, there comes a time when you have to stop ... and look cool for the camera.

Yeah Baby!

Here we have making sporting her Nike ware.....
and her cool new Dora The Explorer shades....

Cool man Cool ...

Here we have Matthew sporting his Incredibles glasses
and his "Birthday Boy" hat made in class.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Double Birthday Weekend

So this weekend is Matthew and Sophias birthday.  Matthew turns four and Sophia turns one.... and where there is a birthday ... there is cake.  But not just any cake... A couple of Paola's hand crafter master pieces...

Sophia's Cake

This was one of the two cakes... there are a bunch of cool pictures... but we are still a bit wiped out.... maybe tomorrow will be a little more restful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Watermelon Girl

"Run Run ... As fast as you can... You can't catch me... I'm the Watermelon Girl!"

Watermelon Girl

They are always happiest right before they fall.  And sometimes I think when they fall and cry... the parents hurt more than the kids.  Well I guess it really depends on who it is... 

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Wedding Crashing

Ah,... the season is upon us.  Wedding season that is.  Paola and I got invited to Brian and Jen's wedding.  It was all beautiful... and a lot of fun.

Brian and Jen's Wedding

Click on the picture to check out the rest of the pictures.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Art of a Classic Mess

 Once upon a time there was a great contest.... one with the ultimate prize!  The challenge was to build the perfect mess.  A mess that would have lasting effects for days to come...  The winner would wear the title "Mess Master"

And then came the challengers.  First was Matthew.  For over a year Matthew reined supreme in the world of messes that went unchallenged.  Such great messes like the toy room bombing of 2004 and the paint wars of 2005...

I almost have it...

 Matthew starts of strong with with his tools and the sculpting.... Still, it is to early to tell who the judges will choose.

Next we have Megan the Destroyer.  Famous for breaking up Matthew's Lego creations... and ripping pages out of books.  Megan is a strong contender for the title.  Here she is making the perfect blends of mess and potions.  Obviously trying to to find the perfect explosive balance of ingredients.

Just a few more drops...

 And last but not least we have Sophia.  She is new to the game and does not yet have a title.  Although she seems a bit inexperienced with the materials, she is a natural at making a mess.  Unfortunately she does not seem to be enjoying the taste of the mess...

Oh this does not taste good...

So who will be named "Mess Master"?  ...still too early to tell....  and so many messes left to make.  I just hope we survive the tests! 

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Well Mommy is back!  Paola had to go to New York on Saturday to get her passport renewed so she would have it for the immigration appointment on next Monday.  Any other Ecuadorian embassy would have FedExed it there ... so why not fly?

While Paola was out... I had some 'Quality' time with the kids....   ...It really is amazing how Paola does it.  She makes it look so simple.  I did have to work hard to keep my sanity.  The three kids are a handful.  On a couple of occasions, the kids were acting bad... and one or two of the got a spanking... and it was all ".... I wish Mommy was home!!" ... All I could think was "...me too"

Well Paola was able to get her renewal done without issue and was back on Monday night.  The weather is turning nice again, so that means more outside play time.


.....ah yes.... the old outdoor games.  Wait a minute... I never learned to play hopscotch when I was a kid... and I am pretty sure Sophia does not know how either??!?!?!  Oh well, if I did that I would get yelled at... but all Sophia has to do is smile.... I will have to ask the kids to teach me how to play sometime. 

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How Sweet It Is...

Ah The Craft..... The Art.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Have you ever wondered who 'they' are?  Well, more important than words is .. taste?  And by the looks of this one, I bet it would taste great.  I don't think that my wife will let me try it... She says it is for a special occasion..... hmmm  What is more special than hunger?

Maybe if I am good she will make me a cake someday....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The other day, the kids started to unite.  One a regular school day when we were running late as usual.... they decided to revolt!!  It normally starts out with a parent saying "...if you don't get ready ... you will have to stay home all by yourself!"

Viva La Revolucion!!!

What happens that day that the kid decides that staying home would not be a bad idea?   ...and worse, what happens if that young little boy convinces the two sisters that revolution is the only answer?


What in the world?

What in the world is going on here? ...this was one of the pictures from the other day, and I can honestly say, "I have no idea what they are doing?"

Maybe some kind of competition?  Paola says she did not put them up to this... but I have my doubts...

Monday, March 27, 2006

....they are gaining on us.

We got a chance to see some old friends this past Wednesday.  ....my old friend from college (GA Tech).  Crazy old mike... we are both married now.... we both have kids now (his second is on the way).   [Click on the picture to see more photos]

Bring it!

...my wife asked me... "why did you pic that picture?"  .... she did not like it at all.  I on the other hand like the chaos.  Everyone is moving around.... Megan is about to slide...  Audry has finished her run.  Parents are arguing about who's kid is craziest... Matthew is fighting the dark forces that have come to destroy the playground!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Say Cheese...

I had a nice long chat with Sophia today.  She was pushing her new agenda today.  Something about needing more snack times and keeping her brother away during her meditation hour.

At first I thought I had won the negotiations, and was not really giving into any of her demands.  I mean really.... she wanted a Hershey's kiss every hour on the hour.  But then she pulled out a wild card.  Apparently she had some compromising photos of me in a chicken suit.  And she threaten to start her own blog and post those pictures.... so I had to give into her demands....

She may have won this round.... but she has not won the war.  I will prevail in the long run!!


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Ah ... finally home from Vegas.... and getting a chance to catch up on some pictures.  At last count (Today) Paola's picture collection has climbed to 17,869!!

Ok... Who did it?

"OK ... which one of you made this mess?"


"...if I can clear this... I can do anything!"

Help Me!!

"Hello... Police, can you arrest my Brother?  He is picking on me..."

LEGO Bridge...

"...I bet I can sell this on eBay for a sweet mint..."


"...quick Sophia ... pretend like we are good little girls..."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

This blog was hacked.

Hey everyone... I know there are a few blog post missing.  My websited was hacked. 

I was able to put back a copy I had from last week, but wont be able to put the missing ones in until I get home on monday.... (I am out of town in Vegas)

....there sure are some mean people in this world with too much free time on their hands...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Grow baby Grow

They say its as much fun as watching grass grow.  I have tried that... and it was not very fun at all.  "Is it growing yet?  Is it growing?  I think it needs more water...."

New and entertainment things.... a new project, growing  a little plant.  But I think for than the plant, I think this might teach them to work on their patience.  And maybe after they learn that lesson ... maybe they can teach it to me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Princess II

In the war to control the 'Dad' ...there is only one loser ... and that loser is me.  When the girls smile they pretty much get their way.  I try to be strong, but sometimes I just can not discipline this cute bundles of destruction.

Look at that smile.... there is no hope for me.  Sophia is now walking all the time... with the occasional fall ... bump head.... cry.  But I guess that is just part of life.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Anger and the Fork

Oh relaxing days.  Nothing like kicking back and enjoying a nice video games without your little sisters around. 

Obviously Matthews game did not go as he had hoped.  I am sure this has happened to all of us.  But then a bad thing happend.... he took his anger out on his sister Megan.  And like any good little girl, Megan ran off....

ran off to hide?  I don't think so.... more like ran off to get a weapon.  Only the adult supervision from a level headed parent could stop this from escelating.... and as you can guess, thats not me.

...but not to worry.  When I got home this day.... all the kids were still alive and unharmed (mostly)

I was able to put back a copy I had from last week, but wont be able to put the missing ones in until I get home on monday.... (I am out of town in Vegas)

....there sure are some mean people in this world with too much free time on their hands...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dr. Sophia

There has been a lot of flu and colds floating around lately.... we had some sickness visit our house.... and we all had a rough time with all the coughing and sneezing.  So, after a few days, we had to call in the big guns!

Dr Sophia

Full of wisdom from years of practice.... Dr. Sophia comes to our rescue with the proper prescription.  She gave us a couple of shots and told us we just needed to get some rest and eat some candy....  Time heals all wounds..... mostly.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My kingdom is bigger

In the Lego wars... there can be only one victor.  Only one that rules supreme... The battles are fierce and long... and the rules are dirty.

My Kingdom Rules

If you wonder by during one of the raging battles... be careful not to get too close.  A stray Lego may take you out!  But like all great wars... in the end, there are no winners.

On a sweeter note... in the battle in the kitchen, there are no more battles.  There is only one victor... one supreme ruler.  That's right....


....and that winner is not me.  This picture would not look so sweet if it had come from my hands.... Paola's skill keeps getting better... and her sweets keep getting more tempting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What a mess!

At first when I saw this picture.... I was thinking that Matthew and Megan were trying to help Paola make something... but I just can't figure out what.

What a mess...

I did not see any cake with icing appear after this.... or any moldings.... So I am still a little confused.... I am scared to ask in case it went horribly wrong... 

Some things are best left alone....

Friday, February 24, 2006

My shoes are made for walking...

So I have been sick for a few days.... so have most of us (and our visiting family)...

I was not able to work today .... or most of this week for that matter... so I thought about sending in my backup.

My Shoes

Time and time again, Briam II puts on my shoes and proves a successful replacement.  More proficient than myself in many of my daily tasks, Briam II is the perfect substitute for when I am feeling under the weather.  I did sleep for 18 hours so I am feeling much better....


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Christmas Girls

Just ran into this picture from a new years part we had in Florida at the beginning of the year.

Christmas Girls

They all so cute... ready to party in the new year.

Monday, February 20, 2006


We just got back from Florida earlier today... and no sleep.... so so tired.  We did manage to pick up some company for the return trip..


We got a chance to see Paola's brother Xavier and Lucy while we were down there for a few days.  We were able to kidnapped all of them but Xavier... something about having to get back to business.


It is apparent by this picutre who runs the show at home....Good night... time for some sleepy time.  But don't let that serious look fool you....she is ticklish just like all the others...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Liliana Found the Cheerios

I just got a picture from my mom (Liliana).  It is a picture of my niece (Liliana).  Its a cute picture of baby Liliana eating some cereal.... that it looks like she was not supposed to get in to.  Due to some legal restrictions I am not really allowed to use the name of the brand of cereal without proper permissions...but I will give you a hint...


I must also state that this brand is a registered trademark of General Mills, Inc.   With that said, here is the incriminating copyright infringing photo.  Of course it has been edited so as not to show the product logo.

Found them!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Good night Kiss...

I thought that I was the clever one when I was a kid.... I always had a good excuse for why it was not time to sleep yet.... "...im too hot..."  "...im thirsty..."  "... i need to go to the bathroom..."   "....the room is on fire...and I need to watch tv..."

Good Night Kiss

...here's one I did not have in my bag of tricks... "...how can I possibly go to sleep without another good night kiss.... "  

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sandy Friend

Sandy places call for sandy playgrounds....


...and Sandy friends.... We met another little girl who's name was also Megan only a little older (4 years old). 

After a few hours of sandy play... it was time to wash that sand down with some ice cream.


...when it was all gone, Matthew tried to convince me that that his ice cream was not really that good, and that he needed another one that would be better.  ...he almost convinced me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Good Times...

"Briam.... are you dead.... you aren't updating your blog..."

Gee... thanks.  Yes I am alive... just working a bit much lately... and going out too much also.  But that is our rock-star lives... haha.

So, Still catching up... this up coming week, we are going back down to Miami, like we did for new years.  Some of our family is in town an we are going to go kidnap them and bring them back.

Drinky Drinky

Here was a dinner we had when we were down there...  Enrique and Viviana let us stay with them ... (Thanks!!) ... and with the kids!! (Double Thanks!!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Proof of life

Like that rare photo of the abominable snowman, so have we been able to capture a rare photo of the jolly guy himself.  No not the jolly green giant.  Santa Clause.... yes ... on Christmas eve, we were able to capture a quick picture of Santa with the Santa Cam....

There be Santa

He had snuck in through the glass plated chimney.... sneaky little guy.  He completely circumvented the bear trap and electric snare that we had put there to capture him..... oh well... maybe next year.  We will meet again chubby boy!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Christmas past...

I know I still have not caught up on all the Christmas goodness.  And tonight is no different.  Just some tidbits to tide you guys over until I have more time....

For example, did you know that little kids like receiving a severed head in a box? 

Head in a box

So Megan had some great plans for painting the face... combing the hear...etc.  Matthew on the other hand had some crazy ideas involving sharp knives and prisoner demands.

This last Christmas we did try to focus on the real reason for Christmas... but all the kids heard was... only one present to each person!!  We are still talking with their lawyers to dismiss the child abuse accusations.

One Each

...some did break the "One Present" rule this Christmas, and we are looking at next Christmas, breaking into their homes and putting stuff back.

I, on the other hand, received blackmail as a gift.  I know have a monthly payment to an unnamed gift giver.... in order to keep my sorted secrets properly tucked away in the closet.


....thats all I got for tonight.  Soak it in... and reflect.  And keep your "secrets" closet locked up tight!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

How do you work this thing?

....when you get a little lost in the technology....

Learn it...

I don't blame Tommy for asking these guys for a little help... I do the same thing from time to time...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Closer to catch up.

You think I would be caught up by now.... or you know me... and you knew I would not be caught up by now...

Not to be outdone... Matthew jumps into the ring.  Ready to go toe to toe to win the title....



Don't worry ... Sophia did not mind getting rid of the hat.  But if you look carefully, you will notice that Megan has some protesting remarks to share....

These pics are a little closer to Christmas... which means that my brother (wife and daughter) were in town.  Maybe it was the stubborn streak in the family... but harsh words soon broke out into some crazy kung fu action!!  ...hopefully time will heal these wounds.

Kung Fu

....and then it happened.  As rare as a solar system alignment of all the planets!!!....  East meets West..... (they live in California....)  Ha Ha .. I kill myself.


Liliana and Sophia.... as different as night and day....  They both seemed very serious to see each other.  More of a curiosity really.  they share half the blood line... and look so different.  But both very cute.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Maybe a new Christmas tradition in the works.  You pick the youngest member of the family.  Then you find a funny hat and make them wear it while you take a picture.


Well, I don't know.  Sometimes I see these pictures and I kind of have an idea what happened before I got home from work.  But sometimes.... I just have no idea....  I keep thinking one day it will be a picture of me asleep.... with some silly hat on.

Monday, January 09, 2006

One last one...

Here was a cute picture form the kids Christmas party before the holidays...


Its hard to get these kids to stay putt in one place... but here it is.

Catching up III...

Paola and I can not have any more kids.  It is true.  Some think it is a matter of money.... or space in the house.  Some even point to the fact that I got a vasectomy.   But the real reason that I can't have any more kids is even simpler....

No more rooms

...its just a matter of logistics.  I don't have any more arms.  I can't carry any more kids.  So its settled.  This is the right amount of children.

Catching up II...

The holidays brings out the good in most people.  But in some ... it also brings out some bad..... bad hidden secrets that can't stay hidden for too long.  Like poor innocent Sophia... so full of life and hope... and possibilities.... Just to find out that she has a drinking problem...

Need a soda fix!!

....the shame.  Hopefully we have caught it in time, and will be able to get her some counseling.

Catching up...

Before there was Christmas... there was happiness in the expectations of Christmas!!

...oh thats how it went.

...these kids always seem to be full of questions.... even with out Christmas... So we got our learn on... and actually read a Christmas book with out the jolly red suited guy.

Friday, January 06, 2006

...were back.

We just got back today from Florida... and I know I have not put anything up here since before Christmas... but there was no time.  I will get a chance to catch up now that we are back.

..what are you eating?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The little snow men....

They look so cute and innocent.... no not the kids... the snow men.  Paola loves them... and I think they are up to no good.  I have seen them whispering things to the kids... asking them to break things... and eat candy.... I am sure the kids would not be doing these things if someone was not putting them up to it....

Snow Men

Sophia is still safe from their influence... today she was saying "Mama... and Mami..." .... she no longer seems to have any interest in saying "Papa".  I must remember that... and deduct it from her allowance when she is older.


She is still not walking ... but that that is ok...that gives us more time.  So we can catch our breath.  My brother and Sister (should be) are in town!!  My dad and brother came by for a quick visit.  We hope to see them some more during these holidays.  Yeay!!

The bad side of Christmas...

There are a lot of happy good stories during Christmas..... but no one speaks about the dark side.... about the evil Snowman Monster that terrorizes the countryside.


Like capturing a rare photo of the Lockness monster... or the abominable snowman (if you will).... so is this photo ultra rare....  I have a few calls into a couple of newspapers to see who will pay the most for this rare rare photo.... Sadly enough the other person in the photo was completely destroyed by this monster.... and I was powerless to help... but do you blame me.  Look how intimidating this monster is!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Twas very close to the night before Christmas...

... and unlike the storey.... you could hear all the creatures (kids) stirring...  and with stirring comes of course, Christmas pictures....


You will notice that the tree has no presents under it..... thats for the safety of the boxes... they would surely be destroyed instantly... [Sooooo tired... more to come]

Thursday, December 15, 2005

....why is it the kids favorite game?

One game that all kids seem to love... and never get tired of... is "knock down daddy and beat him up...."

Get him!!!

It does not seem to matter how old.... or young.  They seem to love this game..... basically they push on me... and I fall over... then they jump on me until I cry....  Matthew still loves this game.... and so do the girls..... 

I just hope they are not still playing this game when they turn 18!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A day in the life of Sophia

Its not all parties and travel being a super rock star baby.  Deep down past all the glimmer and stars.... there is a normal baby.

Here is Sophia's assistant (Megan) helping during the morning wake up routine.

Time to wake up

Short of bringing in the morning paper, Megan helps by yelling "WAKE UP SOPHIA"... and still our rock star baby is able to keep a smile for the camera crew.

Here we have Sophia brushing the four teeth that she currently has... I think a few more are starting to poke their way out.

Brush Brush Brush

...I guess that is just about it.  After that its all parties and travel.  We will have to work on her party habits... she is starting to show bags under her eyes from little sleep.... no wait... the bags are mine. 

Cake III: The icing strikes back!

Skill.... Thy name be PAOLA!  Getting better every time.  Its amazing how wonderful these cakes are becoming.... almost life like.

Cake III :  Getting much better...

....I have seen some of the stuff that Paola aspires to create... and she is getting closer.  The best part about it is the smile that she gets when it is completed..... she almost does not want us to devour it... since it is destroying her work of art. 

Monday, December 12, 2005

New street gang in town!!

Beware!!  There is a new street gang in town.... well ... not so much a "street" gang ....more like a kitchen gang.....

Get back...

.....you better not be carrying change ... or candy.  They will take you down!!  You have been warned!

Tip for Tap

In our house there is a law of physics that can not be broken.  For every Girl in Pj's there is an equal and opposite Boy in Pj's...

Sleepy Time

Behold ... Matthew in his sleepiness...!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sleepy Time...

....too late.  Time to get some sleep.  Too tired for words?  We just got home from a long long weekend.  But tons of fun!

PJ and Bed time...

....this was last week... "I can't sleep... I need some chocolate milk..." Isn't that always the case?

...Go to bed...

...and this is another picture of the kids in pajamas... and not wanting to go to bed....  I guess they feel that they might miss something.  Now sleepy time calls...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Of Clowns, Cake, Monkeys, and Daddy's Girl

...What truly makes the world go round?  ....passion for our work... or loving someone.... or being loved.  Oh so close!  I think I have found the perfect formula.... unfortunately the formula is only good for one day.... and as it happens, it was Megan's day..... Not really on the day of her birthday ... but the day the family could get together and celebrate.... this was over a week ago... but I have been busy/lazy.

INGREDIENT ONE:  For the perfect day: CLOWNS!!  I know that some people fear clowns... and it freaks them out.... (Emi?)

Nice Clowns....

Paola got a chance to show of some of her new found skill and put together these darling little (no fear causing) clowns.  The irony here is that they are supposed to make you laugh or smile, but they you are expected to pop their heads of and eat their bodies?  I don't think I will ever understand that part of it.

INGREDIENT TWO:  For the perfect day: A Monkey!!  Well, since we could not get a permit to keep a monkey in the house, we had to do the next best thing.

Monkey Girl

Some kids, when you ask them "What sound does a monkey make?" all they do is make the sound.  But not my little girl.  That question alone triggers a transformation that turns this sweet little girl into a crazed wild monkey!  But no one has gotten hurt, so we have not felt the need to lock her away.

 INGREDIENT THREE:  For the perfect day: Cake!!  Not just any store bought cake.  It must be lovingly hand crafted by the "Mom".  No other substetute allowed.  It would make the formula not work properly.

Yummy Cake

...down to the smallest piece of icing and flowers... made with love. 

....and what is the result of this?  THE PERFECT DAY!!!

Daddy's Girl

A loving family.... and blessing we don't deserve... Thank God that the day did not pass without us appreciating it..... like many we do.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Get in that Kitchen...

I have this cute picture of Megan .... playing with Play-dough... as if she were going to cook something.

Learning to cook...

Maybe she will grow up like Paola and love to cook... or maybe she just likes to squash things....  At least she has not asked me to try anything she has made.... but I am sure that will come in time.  As for Sophia... I think she is currently working on being an animal trainer.

Back beast....

Although that can be a dangerous profession, especially with Lions, I am sure that once you command their respect, it is not too bad.  Be careful Sophia!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I did promise...

I did promise a couple of times that I would get the pictures out there... and it took me awhile... but I finally did it!

Birthday Girl

It was a fun party, but the part I enjoyed (I don't know why....) was putting the number 2 candle on Paola's cake...   ...she did not seem to want to destroy the mater piece.

The pictures are all here in the Gallery.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Starting to feel a lot like Christmas!!

The temperature is dropping.... and the mittens and hats are coming on.  It is getting cold... and might actually start feeling like winter soon.  Good thing too... because we are in December.

Getting Cold

I am hoping that this picture will distract you from the fact that I don't yet have Megan's birthday photos out there already....   ...soon ... I promise.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Megan's B Cake

Last weekend we had a blow out party for Megan's birthday party.  I have not yet gotten a chance to put all the pictures together... but I promise.  Soon.  But here is a picture of the Dora cake that Paola made.  She made the cake and decorated it... and all the little cup cakes... very delicious!!

Two Years Old

Paola and I are the perfect match.  She has the skill for making these beautiful works of food... and I have the skill of eating these beautiful works of food...   I will get more pictures of the party together soon... I promise.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Recovering Turkey

I am the recovering turkey.  Man, I am tired.  Well turkey day went nicely.  Too much food... too much eating....then there was some gorging.. and then we eat some desert.  But lets not forget we also sang a little happy birthday to Megan who turned the big 2! 

Happy Birthday Two Megan

Here is mom and daughter sharing a nice moment.  Paola made the cake... design and all.  Very nice.  And if you ask Megan how old she is, like all women, she will lie about her age and tell you that she is only one.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The little engine that could...

I think I can ... I think I can.... I think I can.  Ever ask yourself "think I can what?"  Where is this train going?

Cho Cho

Well just look at this train.... It has disaster written all over it.  For starters, look at the conductor at the front.  The conductor does not look like she is old enough to drive a car... let alone a high powered locomotive!

But that is not my biggest concern.  It looks like there might be a passenger that did not purchase a legitimate ticket.... if you look closely at the passenger in the last car... you will see the shifty big eyes of innocence... but don't be fooled.  I would not be surprised if this passenger was carrying explosives in her backpack.... no good can come from this.

One little, two little, three little Indians.

So a long long time ago, the pilgrims came to this country.  They had a rough time, but like most of us, when we have a hard time, it helps to take everything away from those that try to help us.  So the pilgrims took everything from the Indians, and that is why we now have Thanksgiving day.

Well.... so maybe that's not the whole story, but the important thing here is that I went to my kids Thanksgiving lunch last week.  And they were the Indians.  (some of the other kids got to be pilgrims)

Serious Indian

You would think this picture was of an Indian making that noise (that they always make in the movies) but it is her covering her mouth because she just burped.

I did take some pictures... but they are hidden away in the Gallery section.  But if you are nice to me I will give you a quick link to them.  Well, here is a link anyways:  Thanksgiving

 And lets not forget that Megan also turns 2 TODAY!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Who's watching who...?

You think that you spend most of your time watching the kids.  Making sure that they don't hurt themselves.... or each other.  But every now and then.... when you are looking at them, they stop everything they are doing and look right back at you.

What are you doing?

Its really a bit disturbing.... since normally you think of the kids as the ones that are being observed.  But don't forget for one moment that they see and hear everything you do.  Only time wil tell what their master plan is.... I am sure it has everything to do with world domination...


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hairy Foot

OK, so today was Megan's birthday party.  And we have a ton of pictures of the fun and cool stuff that went on today.  Oh the fun we had.

...but I don't have those pictures ready yet... so you will have to suffer through the Hairy Feet!!!

That's right you heard me.  The other day, my son had asked me why my feet are so hairy.... and I had not really given it much thought.  I had to buy some winter slippers, as my last had been destroyed by a bizarre mustard GI Joe accident... (I'll tell you later...)

So, what did I buy, but some giant black hairy bear feet.

Hairy Business

....I thought I would use them as a form of punishment.  "Don't be bad or the bear feet will get you..."  But like all good plans that I execute... it failed.  What has it turned in to now?  A game.  "Dad, can we please play Attack of the Bear feet?"

I will have to come up with something more intimidating... maybe a belt or something... let me know if you have any good ideas.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Almost Two

...tomorrow is Megan's birthday party.... will the world be ready for what is ahead?  Most likely not.

 Almost 2

Look at this face.  Only a matter of time before she rules the world.

Monday, November 14, 2005


The came form all sides... like rain falling from the sky.  They jumped and croaked all over the place.....

...ok ...maybe not from all sides...... and not like rain.....

...ok ...maybe not jumping .... and not much croaking either....


...well fine.  It was one frog.... and he was just trying to get away from us.  Matthew was very excited to see this little jumper.  It was almost the size of my hand.... I have not seen a frog that large in a long time.

...meanwhile... Megan slept.  Not a normal restful, glad I am sleeping nap... but more like a "if you wake me up I will kill you" nap.  Sound familiar.... she is so grouchy when she gets up...

Grumpy Grumpy

....normally the only thing that cheers her up is candy..... or time... maybe she will grow out of it?  (I wish....)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sophia standing...

Yes, I am ok... no need to worry about me losing my toe... or my foot.... or leg.  Sure sure... lets get to the more interesting part.

Sophia Stands

Sophia is now standing herself up on things.  She has been pulling herself up on stuff for the last couple of days.  And so starts the count down clock.  Soon she will be walking... then running.... and from there it is a short jump away from destroying the place.  I think that is the only thing that Matthew and Megan are waiting for..... because then there will be three of them... and they will out number the adults.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

WARNING: Ugly foot

I apologize for this horrible disgusting picture... but the truth must come out.  I think I broke my toe.... or just very badly bruised it up... top and bottom.... I did swell up a bit... and hurts if you look at it funny...

Bad Toe

So here is what happened:   Matthews troops had already beached my Lego defenses.  He was heading straight for my power grid.  I had sent my to monsters to stop him... but to no avail.  So I did the only thing that I could do.  I grabbed the power core and jumped over the wall (the couch).... unfortunately for me... my cat like prowess were not at its sharpest.  My pinky toe caught the couch top corner on my way down the back side... and my toe did this 90 degree salute thing.... a bit disturbing.

I of course was laughing from the pain and unable to speak coherently.... right about then ... Matthew comes around the corner and pellets me with a barrage of missiles... and then jumps on top of me... thinking we were still playing.  When in reality we were not playing... I was merely laughing to keep back the tears of pain.

[A couple of days have passed .... and the toe is doing better... I still have a slight limp]

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sophia's First Drink...

...We took the kids to go see "Disney on Ice" today... it was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed it a lot.  It wears you out traveling around with three kids.... I don't see how my wife does it all the time... well I guess today she went around with four kids... (me).  Well after a long day of seeing the Incredibles (on ice) save Mikey and Minnie (on ice) .. we build up a big appetite (not on ice)...

Drinky Drinky...

We went out for some food to a wings place, and Sophia got a chance to sit in a kids chair (for the first time).... she even ordered up a nice little Daiquiri...and spicy buffalo wings.  Party on!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sophia crawling to China...

Sophia is on the move.  No more dragging her body around like a corpse from the "Land of the Dead".  She is now starting to crawl like an old pro.

Crawl Crawl Crawl

....she is really developing her leg strength quickly.... she likes to stand up while holding on to stuff.  I don't know if she will be walking as fast as Matthew did (7 months) ... but she sure is giving it a try...

Luis Miguel Concert

Last night Paola and I got a chance to go see Luis Miguel in concert.  It was a lot of fun... more than I thought... specially since I am not that up on my Spanish music collection.

Luis Miguel Tickets

We were able to find a friend to watch our kids.... ALL OF THEM!!  ...and that was our chance to escape to the concert!  Luis puts on a great show.... a very good stage presence.  I might have to listen to my wife more on outing... 

Monday, October 31, 2005

Matthew Prays...

Our church collects coins from the kids and their families.  Its a program that used to be called pennies for Peru.  But since then the program has grown and helps a lot of children in a lot of different countries.  They take turns.  The church feeds hundreds of kids breakfast every Sunday.

Matthew a bit nervous

Well today, Matthew was asked to give the prayer after the coins were collected.  He was a bit nervous, but he did great.  Actually he is a bit of a ham... and he loved the attention.

Matthew says a prayer.

....after the prayer... he was so please that everyone liked it, that he wanted to do it again.... So, I am not sure if he realized the whole purpose of it... but at least I know it motivates the program.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Day Matthew was abducted by aliens...

Yes, there are no pictures of Matthew today.... why?  Because this was the day that the aliens abducted him for some follow up research.  That is the only reason I can think of why Matthew was not in any of these pictures.

So, Megan got an invite from her little friend, Mikaela, to go the "Little Gym"  I hear it was a lot of fun.... It's a chance for the little girls to prepare to beat their future husbands into submission.


A carefully design program aimed at teaching young girls how to quickly immobilize any male opponent.


... I did not get a chance to go... due to that pesky thing called "work" ... but when I got home I did get a chance to feel the wrath of the training from our little angel Megan.

I can walk!

Little Sophia is not ready to start her male bashing training, so she was happy to be at home and play with daddy.  She is crawling a lot more... and loves to stand up.  I guess its only a matter of time before she runs faster than me... (like a week or two).


....Oh these sweet kids.  They look so innocent and peaceful.... but don't let that fool you.... you turn your back on them, and its "Get Him!!" and they will pounce on you like and old squeeze toy.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


...sometimes.... all you want to do ... is eat a donut.

Eat the Donut

...that being said... I am going to get something to eat...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Super Costumes...

Today, the kids had a dress up party at their school.  So very close to Halloween, how could you not?  Here is a picture before things went crazy.

Princess and Spiderman

In case you did not know... Megan is a princess... and Matthew is spider-man (but don't tell the bad guys... that would rune his whole gig).  Because after a long day of saving peoples lives and defeating the evil doers of Atlanta..... you would think there would be time to take a nap...

Spider nap...

Matthew is only three ...hehehe... but this one will be great to black mail him when he turns 15!!  I just hope he saves up enough allowance to pay me off.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sock Duty

Ah to be young... and to have to do every little thing that your parents tell you to.  You know how in prison, if you break the rules, you are given some terrible work to do.... or when you are newest at a job.. .they give you all the bad chores.

Well, life at our house is a lot like that.  (at least for the kids) 


Here we see worker Matthew.... doing his assigned chores.  I wonder what he did?  Maybe he would not share a toy with his sister?  Maybe he robbed a bank?  It is hard to tell in these situations, and sometimes it is best not to ask (in case it is a violent crime).

Keep Working!!

But he does not seem to complain.  He is just doing his time.  Waiting for the chance to move on to something else... or maybe for a chance to escape.  This would not be the first time.  So, what do you do about the ones that try to escape the "work"?

I'm Watching

Thats when you have to put someone in place to oversee that no one is slacking on the work.... and that no one escapes.  Here we have Megan over seeing the work and making sure that it is getting done properly.  If any attemp by a prisoner is made, it will quickly be followed by a "MOM ... MATTHEW ISNT HELPING ANY MORE!!!"

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bowling for Babies!!

Yesterday after church we got a chance to go bowling with the kids.  We met up with some friends from the 99x forum site FT.

Bowling Baby

It was a ton of fun.  The kids all got to bowl ... except for Sophia.  She refused to play since there were no balls that matched her outfit.

I added a gallery with pictures (as if you could escape without seeing them)  So click HERE to see more.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Bow wont stay on ...

Here is princess Megan this past Sunday.  All decked out in here princess dress.   And of course what outfit would be complete without the matching bow.  That's right... the pink bow on top.

 The Bow wont stay on...

The Bow ..... That Bow kept falling off.... almost too many times to count.  At first its like "oh well" and you put it back on .... after six or seven times you start to wonder why you would even keep that bow around.  Maybe you could just put it away and stop using it.  But no, "The Matching Bow" has power over the Mom.  And the Mom has power over the Dad.  ....so the battle went on all day... "Where is the bow?"  oh ... it fell again.  Put it back on. 

The last thing my wife told me that night was, "Hey ... where did you leave the Bow?  You didn't loss it did you?" ....no ... we still have the Bow.. and I can't wait until we have to use it again...  :-(

Monday, October 17, 2005

Paola is the Bomb

I don't say it enough and I really should, but we would all be lost without the love and guidance from Paola.  I don't know how she puts up with all of us and continues to keep a great positive outlook on life. 

 No kids!!

We got a chance to get away for a bit on Saturday morning from some brunch and a walk at Piedmont park.  Very beaustiful day ... with my beautiful wife.

....The kids and I were able to scrape together our allowances and buy Paola some roses.... just because she is so wonderful!


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Big Ears!

So, I get home to find that Matthew learned something new in class.  Today they showed Matthew how to make fun of people with big ears.


Well, that's the only thing I can think of for making him wear the big ear hat.  Is this some cruel way of preparing the kids for entering the harsh cruel world?

I guess it could be worse.... they could have done the nose too.  And of course, as you can tell, his sister is very heart broken with her brother being tortured in this way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Master Plan

Have you noticed the inordinate amount of times I have taken pictures of my kids cooking.  Or my wife showing my kids how to make stuff...... cookies.... muffins.... bread... you name it.

Bake Bake Bake

.......is my wife raising some baking army?  Is she preparing them for some master cooking plan?  I could understand if they were creating some form of giant cookie house to lure children to their doom... but they are not yet, maybe they are still in training.   ...I will have to keep an eye on them.... just in case.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cough Cough ... Sniffle Sniffle....

Yes the kids were sick today (not Sophia).  So I stuck around to help take care of them, because I also was not feeling at my best.  So what do a bunch of people do when they are stuck at home sick.... why they sleep and rest...... so that they can get better....


...yes ... as you can see, we were all barely able to lift ourselves out of bed this morning..... and the medications had us immobilized.  Don't you feel the pity for our illness?   We really were sick...... cough cough ... sniff sniff....

When Paola and Sophia got home, Paola took a long long long nap.... like a bear in hibernation..... I was starting to get worried... and had to check to make sure she was still breathing.  Sophia on the other hand was having a great time just watching us being silly..... she is also practicing her sitting up.

Look at me sitting!!

...soon there will be no stopping her..... which pretty much means the end of me.... I can barely keep up with two of these little rug rats let alone three.

Cough Cough

... We did get a chance to go roller skating with the kids on Friday.  Megan liked it more than Matthew.  I will get some of those pictures up as soon as I can.  This morning Matthew and Megan still had a bad cough, so we split up the gang.  I stayed home with Matthew and Megan to get rested and give medicine... and Paola went to church with Sophia...  I also have a bit of a sour throat, but I don't sound as bad as them...  These last two weeks have been very work filled... and I hope to cut back on that in the following weeks.

Good morning...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hard Days Night...

I did have to do some more late night work and again some late night work tonight.  But at least I spent some time with my family.  Every day the kids seem so much bigger than before.  Megan is talking non stop, and Sophia seem more and more ready to stand.... but first I guess she should start crawling..... She still kind of just rolls around and pull/pushes herself along.

Look at me!!

She seems very solid and can pull her self up if I hold out my hands to her.  Matthew on the other hand is becoming a handful.  He keeps getting into everything, and sometimes finds it hard to listen to us.... but it is kind of hard to reprimand him when his gives us his innocent face.  Today he helped Paola make some cookies.... they were good...

Serious Cookie Maker...

I hope I get some rest tonight ... and that the work does not last long... I am feeling very drained lately... and Matthew made me promise that I would play fight with him a little in the morning before I go to work.  The kids don't have school this week.... it is their spring break......

Take it easy....

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another Normal Day

...this was a rough weekend for me...  I worked almost 35+ hours and then ended going out with My wife... and getting little sleep before church.  So getting up was rather rough.  The kids had a better time getting ready .... in their little Sunday outfits.

Cute and Dangerous

The girls were all dressed and ready to go... ready for church.... ready to go.... while I on the other hand was wondering why my eye lids felt like bricks...

I'm Cute

Sophia is becoming dangerous.  She can now say "Ma Ma" and "Pa Pa" ... and can sit up for short periods of time.


...Church was very nice today... It was our churches 21st birthday and we celebrated our 50th mission!!!  Yes, our church has been very busy. 


Sophia keeps wanting to stand more... and does with a little help.  She is also practicing taking baby steps (with helps).  After church we went to eat with My sister Astrid and her kids.  Things were going pretty good.... we were all eating ..... and talking.... and laughing.....  the kids were playing at another table... and Matthew started acting up.   The first couple of times, I talked to him.   After that he got worse, and I knew that I would have to beat him in public.... but I did not want to go jail for child abuse, so instead I opted to put him in time out.

Time Out

He was not very happy .... but at least his sister wanted to make him feel better, and put herself in time out.  I think it only made him angrier...  after a great meal... we all went home to try to catch up on a bunch of stuff..... and then the unexpected happened,..... just like Bruce Banner turns into the incredible hulk..... so turneth Megan!!! ...but not to a green monster.... but instead ... "THE SOCK MONSTER!!!"

Sock Monster

Unstoppable... and with an unquenchable desire to remove everyone's socks!!.... oh the terror.... the horror...... the cold feet!!!   The only thing that was able to calm this ferocious beast was a soothing episode of "Dora the explorer" .... and then we were able to escape.....

Friday, September 30, 2005

My Girls

Sophia is already trying to stand.... and isnt even crawling yet.... but its only a matter of time.... she is already saying "mama" and is only 5 months!!  ....oh we are going to have our hands full!!

My Girls...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fall Festival 2005

So I got a chance to clean up some of the pictures.  And here they are Check It!!

Sister, Me, Paola, and Mom

Monday, September 26, 2005

....were back....

...we got back last night.... late night.... and we have a ton of pictures from this past weekend.....  but I am soo soo soo soo tired.  Did I mention that I am tired? .... I should say ... we.  Paola also was dead tired....

...so I will try to get more pictures out in a gallery as soon as possible... but for now I am just trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Lilian Pictures

My mom forwarded to us some cute Lilian pictures.  Check these out.

Five more minutes...

"Just five more minutes...then i'll get up"

Are you following me?

"...are you following me?"

This time I got you little monkey...

"...I will beat you ... you silly monkey!!"

I said I want to go to BabyRUs

"...mom... I don't see the Baby's R Us you promised..."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Happy vs Mad

So, you tell me.... who is happy and who is mad.  This is an easy quiz.... you can even have two guesses.

Happy Megan
Mad Matthew

In the struggle between good and evil, there is always bound to be mixed outcome.  Some end up happy .... some end up in time out....  But one thing is certain, when the battle is over.... it is the parents who feel defeated!!!

...now for some will deserved rest....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Some races can't be won...

Sometimes... no matter how hard you try.... you can't win the race.

Who will win?

Sunday, September 18, 2005


So my son and I were playing around today.... a fun little game of monster vs. victim.  This was one of those rare instances where I actually got to be the monster.  Yeah for me!!

But of course, all good things can't last.  In one of my fake bite attacks my son pushed his hand towards me and I accidentally bite his hand.... his finger.  (no blood ... but pretty hard)
Matthew : "DAD THAT HURT!!!"
....at that point, I did apologize and tell him it was an accident.  But he would have none of that.  Oh the anger I saw in that little boys eyes.
...and then he ran out of the room and slammed the door!!! but before he left he did say one last thing.
After the door closed, for a split second, I did get a small fear.  What if he is right?  What is Paola comes back into the room and gives me a spanking.... 
  Every day he seems a month older.  And a few times already Paola has said, sometimes he seems just like you.  There is a scary thought.
(Before sleepy time... he had forgiven me... I will have to keep my teeth under control next time)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Dance White Boy

Last night we got a chance to go to El Azteca for a little fiesta time!!  I set up a new Gallery with some of the pictures.

It was a lot of fun.  Crash from 99x was there.  He flew in on a helicopter.  They had a live mariachi band that was a lot of fun.... and also an inflatable bouncy kid tower thingy... (I believe this is the technical name for it).

Dance White Boy

Over all a lot of fun.  Here is a picture of Matthew shacking his booty to the chicken dance song!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Superheroes also have sad days...

Not every day is a happy day for our super heroes.  They have hard days like everyone else.  Batman seems in a good mood, but his buddy Spider man does not. 

Sad Days

I don't remember what the cause was.... maybe there was an ungrateful person that he saved?  ... maybe it was just one of those sad cloudy days...  We will most likely never know... because the life of a superhero is a lonely one....

Be Strong Spider man!!!  Just 47 more years until you can retire!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cho Cho

 Cho Cho

Matthew's skill with the Lego's is increasing.  It is amazing to see how his ability has developed and grown.  They grow up so fast.... 

Today was a long long day... and I have to get up early ... so good night all.  I thank God, for I am truly a blessed man with this precious family.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

There is no spoon....

Sophia now being five months old is starting to practice for when its time to eat steak.  Of course, baby steps first....  :-)  hehe

There is no spoon...

THERE IS NO SPOON.... ok .. maybe there is.  An interesting device designed to assist in getting certain types of foods close enough to ones face so that you can express your artistic abilities!!

Yeah Baby!!

Look at this work of art!!!  It's like painting on a canvas!!!  Watch out steak.... your only a few months away....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Healthy Snack?

So the other day we did get a chance to go out for some ice cream, and I started to think about all the good food they eat.  Paola is great about giving them well balanced meals, and never allowing them to eat too much junk food..... I guess the grandparents help correct/create that problem.  So I was just thinking that maybe it would be easier if we combined some junk food with some health food, so it is accepted better.....


So ... maybe a little ice cream, and then follow it up with some healthy vegetables??  Somehow I think it might not be so easily accepted....  maybe if we do the health food first...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Paola's New Baby!!!

You would think that since Sophia is almost 5 months old, that it would be hard for Paola to have a new baby in the picture!!.

No longer the new baby.

As you can tell by this picture, the news of this replacement has sent Sophia over the edge.  Do you see the crazed look in her face.  Obviously the face of hysterical terror or disbelief.

Used to be the babies

Now, Megan and Matthew are both way to old to be the "New" baby, but that does not stop them from trying.  Megan is talking a lot more now... almost too much.... and is playing much more with dolls or what ever Matthew currently is holding in his hands.  Her favorite word now is "mine... mine.... mine...."  We hope this will pass soon.

Way to old to be the baby.

Now Matthew on the other hand, is a born actor.  He can go from trouble to innocent in the blink of an eye. 

     Matthew:     "No daddy, I am not sure who did that..... maybe Megan or Sophia broke it" 


     Matthew:     "....are you sure it was me daddy?  I love you."

But I guess you are wondering who Paola's new baby is....well to make a short story long, the old Pathfinder was starting to wear a lot of battle wounds.... we recently had it checked and the repair list was higher than the car value..... Time for a new ride (used: 2002 with 23k miles).

Paola's New Baby!!

So, if you see this car on the road, beware!!!  We thank God we were able to get such a good deal on this car... and it even comes with a warranty.  So soon I suspect that Paola will even out the other side of the garage door with a little love tap from her new baby...  :-)   ha-ha ... just kidding Paola.  Love you.

(Maybe she will even let me drive it from time to time...)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The day the ice cream won...

I am sorry that I have not gotten a change to post much this week, but we have been really swamped, so I will have to catch up in a few days.... but for now... we have some stuff to finish up ... so I will just leave you with this picture... and more stories to follow in the days to come.

Ice Cream Won!!!

Sorry.... but we are finishing up our filings for Paola's immigration stuff... and there are a ton of forms.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

another day older...

Today we had a chance to visit some friends for a birthday party.  Diego turned 33 and threw a little party.  It was a ton of fun.... Diego cooked a great barbeque with all kinds of goodies.

Diego and Maria Jose

As always, a pleasure to spend time with their beautiful family in their beautiful home.

Daddys Girl

Here is Diego and his little princess, Mikaela.

Hold on...

But the kids focused mainly on running around and driving the kid cars.  I don't remember ever having any toys like these when growing up.

I want one of these...

At first Matthew was a little shy on them, but he picked it up pretty quickly.  Even Megan had lots of fun riding Mikaela's little car.

This goes great with my outfit.

Even Sophia seemed to have a great time.

Shes going to eat me!!

The time flew by too quickly.... (as it always does when you spend it with good friends....) ...and bedtime was calling.  I wish everyday could by like this, except that it would wear me out so quickly I would be dead in a week.... but other than that... a nice day with family and friends.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Walk... I said Walk

A couple of weekends ago, we took the kids and went with some friends to the Center of Puppetry Arts.  A very cool place, and the shows that they have are constantly changing.

We saw the real "Aladdin" story and also checked out the Puppet museum that they have there.  We also went to a little puppet workshop where we all made some shadow puppets.  It allowed me to find yet another thing that I am not good at doing.  :-)

Could I control my parents with string?

The kids had a great time... ours and our friends kids.  Matthew got a chance to get some insider tips on how to control a person with the use of strings and a stick... I think he has plans to try this with his younger siblings.


Unfortunately.... before we left, Diego was squished by a giant puppet.  He will be missed.  Specially since he turns 33 today!!!  Happy birthday Diego!!  Un abrazo de todos nosotros para ti!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sleep.... or ...Shop?

I guess I could see how one could get confused....  "Megan, time to go to sleep...."  Of course this could easily be interpreted as "Time to go Shopping!!" 

Ready to go...

or maybe the pajama was a dead give away...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Is my butt too big?

We all start to let ourselves go from time to time. Putting on a few pounds here and there.... at some point someone has to say, "...this used to fit me" or "...this is a little too tight for me now."

I dont fit anymore

Sometimes we have to realize no matter how hard you work at it... the older you get, the harder it is to fit into that old pair of ....hmmm.... Kiddy swing center??  What would have been funnier is if the picture of me trying to get into that thing had been taken. 

Saucer of Doom!!

"Once I figure out how to drive this thing.... I will be able to take over the world!!!!"

Where is the NUKE button!!

"...it's only a matter of time....."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

...too much to blog about...

Time for Catch up.  First of all, we got some more pictures from my brother (Damian) and gang!  Very cute pictures.  They should send more often.... so we don't miss out on anything.  New Gallery!!


Obviously they are not feeding Lilian enough, and she has to find other ways of feeding herself!!!  Shame on you guys...  :-)

Not to be outdone, Paola took a picture of Sophia and me (closing my eyes)... very tricky, that wife of mine.

Sleepy eyes....

Sophia is all smiles because we just finished some grueling allowance negotiations and she will be seeing a 35% increase in fourth fiscal quarter of this year.

Megan on the other hand is donating all her allowance to chocolate... and is even picking up extra chores around the house to see if we will give her more M&Ms.


Here she is taking a turn at feeding Sophia.  Who, by the way, is starting on some formula now since she is outgrowing the milk production factory.

And lastly, but not least.  Matthew today pulled me aside, and told me to be careful.  "Mommy is not very happy today.  Mommy crashed the door with the car.  Where are we going to get another door daddy?  They cost a lot of dollars!!"

Crash indeed...

I knew by the look of that door that I needed to be on my best behavior... or else she might run over me next!!!   :-)   I am just glad it was a minor accident and no one got hurt.... no one got hurt but my wallet.

.....isn't that enough information for one day.... It is tyring me out just writing about it....  Good night all....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sunday Afternoon Diving

This past Sunday ... after church, we were able to go to our friends house for a great time.  We took all the kids to the community swimming pool.... and swam... and played... and dived.... (until I thought I would die).  It was a beautiful and hot day.

Dive Dive !!!

The kids had fun as always.... by the end of the day ... we were all ready to collapse into sweet slumber.... wanna see bigger?  Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4  ....wish I could dive like that.... when I do it... it looks more like a belly flop.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Friday Night Hibachi

Paola and I got a chance to get dinner and a movie on Friday night.  Our niece Alex was able to come and baby sit for us.   OH WHAT BLISS!! To be able to get out ... rest and relax... and have a nice night out.  Don't get me wrong.  We love our kids... but because we love them... we need a little break away from them so that we don't go crazy and kill them.  Hehe


Dinner was great.... they did that Onion volcano that all Hibachi places do.... but this fire was a little bigger than normal...  I was a bit too close... and my hair caught on fire!!! .... I dropped to the floor and rolled around and my wife through drinks at me.

Ok... so maybe I did not catch fire.... but I did get really warm from the fire...  


Friday, August 19, 2005

Ice Cream Social

Wednesday at the school.... the kids had an ice cream social.   AN ICE CREAM SOCIAL!!!  Why did we never do these cool thing when we were their age?  I guess I am just a little jealous since no one takes me out for ice cream anymore...  :-(

Ice Cream Party

Here is a nice picture of the kids and their friends (Mikaela, Matthew, Diego Jose, and Megan).  It is rare to be able to get a picture of these kids not in motion... or fighting/playing  But I suspect they were bribed with promises of ice cream if they would just stay still for one picture!!!  :-)

Would someone please take me out for ice cream??...no... seriously.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Day My Age Stood Still

Today is my birthday.  I turned 33 today.  Where once I thought that I was starting to get old... today that feeling was confirmed.  The grey is spreading across my hair like the plague.  Last night was a nice "Family & Friends" dinner.

Oh ... soo old!

Due to the fire hazard regulations, we were not allowed to put all the required candles onto the birthday flan.  ...but I had a fire extinguisher standing by... just in case.  This is really a picture of me pretending to blow out the candles..... the third time!!  Matthew kept "assisting" so we have to do this a few times.

Today, my birthday fell on Sunday.... and that means that there was the humiliation of being called to the front of the church, while everyone sings the church version of a Spanish happy birthday song.  Since all of those pictures where horrible.... mostly because I look like the hunch back of Notre Dame... I decided to include this cute picture of Sophia from today.

Sophia on my birthday.

Now you see.  Isn't that a much nicer picture to look at then an old fart?    I guess this was a nice day.... it was not at all relaxing... in fact, it was more tiring than normal, but I still loved spending it with the people I love....  and besides, today they had to be nice to me.... its my birthday!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Bring It!!

Now, being an expert swimmer.  :-)  Matthew welcomes every chance to swim.  After a grueling day working from home... we got a little break with the cousins at their community pool....

Bring It!

Today Megan ran to the deep end and jumped in.  She almost gave me a heart attack.... I swam to her as fast as I could and saw her underwater.  Holding her breath.... and just floating in the water.  I brought her up.... and she was not crying or freaking out at all.   She just looked at me and smiled.  Were going to have to keep our eyes on that one...

Friday, August 12, 2005

You really should floss more...

Yesterday I had a regular clean up at the Dentist.  They poke... they prod.... they scuff you.... they floss you.  They told me everything was ok... but then they tell you what they tell you every single time you go.  "You really should floss more."  It's almost like they have to tell you this, no matter what.  So, I ask... "Is it bad".  "No, you are doing great."  (I have never had a cavity.) "...but I should floss a little more."  "Yeah"

Floss More...

Well.... here is a little secret.  I NEVER floss.... I have tried it a couple of times, but I just can't make it a habit.  And since my teeth are ok, .... I figure I can keep neglecting them...  :-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

First Day of Class

Today was the first day of pre-Kindergarten for Matthew.  Megan also had her first day of day care.  They seemed so excited to go.  Sporting their cool new school gear.  It's hard to believe how quickly they are growing....

First Day of School

I put all the pictures Paola took in the gallery "First Day of Class" Very cute pictures.  Check them out...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Big Hug

..."Come on now... you two play nice... Big Hug" .....

Big Hug

They are growing closer ever time.  At first when Megan and Michaela met, there was more jealous than fun... but they seem to be growing on each other.  They are actually starting to play and share...  This was taken this past Saturday.  We were all at the lake with a bunch of friends from Church.  There was a big cook out..... and I got all sunburned!!  :-)  ....but I am sure that I will recovery.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

PieBar of yummy goodness

Friday night we got a chance to escape and check out some cool new place for dinner.  This place was called PieBar.  Very cool place.... We took some photos... and I added them to the gallery HERE.

Good times...

We got there around 9ish... and were there til almost 2am!!  We are some crazy party animals... or something like that.  Always a lot of fun with Diego and Maria Jose.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Cake That Was...

Howdy Howdy.  Last night, Paola and I went off to meet some of the bloggers from Atlanta Metblog  They were all great... and we had a great time.  Before we went, we made a cake...well by "we", I mean Paola and the kids...

Atlanta Metblog Cake

I must say ... the cake was delicious... and everyone who had some at the party loved it.  I don't think the kids so much cared about who was going to eat the cake at the party, as just wanted to get to lick the spoons when they were done mixing.   :-)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Promised Pictures

Today we went chillin to the pool.  Matthew is doing great in his swim class.  Here he is before he went to class.  Cool as ever:


Here is Matthew doing  some swimming.  A bunch of pictures that I took did not come out well...and the rest of the time I was in the water playing with Matthew after his swim class.  Matthew can now swim for short periods of time all by himself in the deep.  Great going Matthew... 

Matthew deep...

 Its hard to think that a couple of months ago, he would not leave the first couple of steps... As I see him taking his classes, I realize that I need to brush up on my swimming skills.... I never took any classes.

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Swim Pictures... not yet.

I know... I know... I promised to get some swim pictures... but I have failed.  OH THE HUMANITY!!!  I forgot to take the camera with us... but before we left, there were some cute pictures taken... (just not from swimming).

Bring It!!!

Here Matthew is showing me the Lego empire that he is building to take over the world.  These two vehicles are submerines that will make it easy to launch his missles in strategic places when he is ready for his attack.

I'm up.

Sophia heard all the secret plans, and quickly looked up to see if she was in danger... luckily she is not yet on Matthew's radar.  But that is just a matter of time.

Matthew is Swimming!!

Yesterday I got a chance to take Matthew to swim class again... he is swimming so good.  We swam the length of the swimming pool (long) three times yesterday....without a noodle or float!  He only had to stop a couple of times.  He is more confident when I am in the water with him... but when he starts going.  He does great.  Underwater, he is practicing retrieving stuff from the bottom of the pool (4 ft), which is great practice for him.  It is very exciting to see the progress he is making.  I did not have my camera, so I will try to get a picture today when we go to class (if it does not rain and class is cancelled). 

Swim Swim Swim

Great Going Matthew!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Damian, Karin, and Liliana

I got some pictures sent to me from Damian, Karin, and Liliana.  Very cute pictures.

Happy Three...

Check out more pictures HERE.  More and More cousins...  :-) It would be nice to get them all together someday.

A dinner without munchkins.

Last night, we were able to go out and eat at a restaurant with my sister and her husband (Astrid and Alex).  We were able to get a baby sitter.... so we were KID FREE!!!

Wow... it sure was restful.... no yelling, fighting, dirty diapers....   :-)   I was on my best behavior.


Well, almost... here is a picture of me tempting Paola with dessert.  She has been doing great on her diet... but I could not help but offer her something sweet...  not to break her diet... but as a small reward for the accomplishment.  We should do this more often.... to balance out the time with the kids.... and make it a habit to have time with the adults.  This will help us to keep sane.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Grass is always Greener...

You know the old expression "The grass is always greener on the other side"?  This picture reminded me of that old saying...

Grass is Greener

Where does that saying come from?  In today's society, we are constantly bombarded by commercials telling us what we should buy.... we start to look around at the things others have, and we say to ourselves... I wish I had that.  It is easy to get caught up in that... it is easy to forget about the things that really matter... and the allure of what is new and shiny...


Sometimes we have to focus on whats in front of us... and stop our son from killing his sister...  :-)  These are the things that matter more that "stuff"  ...not sure why Matthew was trying to flip his sister.... but a few years from now... when Megan looks back at this historical photo... I am sure she will get even...  :-)

Love you guys...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hot Summer's Day

Today was a long hot day.... Temperatures reached 100+ today.... and on top of that.... the Air Conditioning upstairs is dead...

Hot Hot Day...

So, ... now it is bed time, and we are all sleeping on the main floor.... Even with the sun down, it is way too hot to sleep upstairs.  I have to see if we can get someone to come and fix it tomorrow.  Its amazing how the heat and sun drain you.... I am ready for some sleep...  Good night all.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sohpia Presented

Today we presented Sophia at the church.  She was so cute.  All dressed up and ready to meet the world.


Hard to believe she is a little over three months old!!  I added some of the pictures to the Gallery.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sophia Sighs...

Ah ... A nice relaxing day at home.  We escaped to a trendy breakfast location that only societies elite can enjoy.  McDonalds.  Ah, a place not for kings.... (not burger king).


After that, it was a few fix up jobs around the house and some pool time (in the little inflatable pool).  A very relaxing day. 

Sophia did some exercises today.  I think she will start crawling soon.... or at least be able to throw stuff at me soon.
Good Times
Tomorrow we are presenting Sophia at the church!!  ....promise to have some cute pictures for tomorrow.  Hope everyone else is having a relaxing weekend like we did.  :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Matthew's Friend Drew

A couple of weekends ago, we went to a birthday party for one of Matthew's friends, Drew.  It was a lot of fun, and very nice to see some old friends...(well, their not that old).

The party was at a park, that also had a pool park thingy next door.  Check out the pictures in the gallery.

Thanks to Drew and his parents for the invite, we had a good time.

I think I ran over someone...

"I think I ran over someone!!"

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Taebo Death

I am almost dead...

I had a couple of emails asking me how the working out was going…. And between the lines, I could hear the “did you give up yet?”


But NO… although sometimes I wish I could get more rest, I am still going at it.  I have gone for 200+ down to 185!!  J  I am proud of my accomplishments… but it is a bit discouraging that I am not going down any more weight.


I guess this is a good weight for me… but I had hoped to drop down to 175.  I am starting to get more tone, which is a good thing.  You know they say that muscle weights more than fat… but who are “they”?  I am sure that is also a good excuse not to keep losing more weight also…. So I won’t fall for that!!  175 is my goal… even if it kills me.


Well… maybe not if it kills me…. But you get the idea.  The other day Matthew and Megan woke up after their bed time and caught my wife and I doing Teabo.  It was the funnies thing seeing them work out with us…. They looked like they were having so much fun… laughing and jumping around….  I would have enjoyed that time more if only I was not suffering so much due to the pain in my abs.  J

We rule

(This is not that day... it was hard to think of getting the camera when I just wanted to lay down and close my eyes)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Invasion of the pod people...

The invasion has started, so beware!!  The pod people are trying to take over and I have proof.  They look like you and me... mostly... but there are some differences.  They are smaller and cuter than we are.

We are replaced

Here is a picture of two pod people who tried to replace us.... right down to our shoes.  They put up a good deception and had everyone fooled that they were us.

Another way you can tell that they are not the original Paola and Briam is that they seem much more energetic with a strong desire to play non stop.  But maybe that is just part of their master plan to take over.

I am not sure how my wife did it, but she was able to neutralize our two impostors.  But I don't think we have seen the last of them...

Bang Bang

You have been warned.... we may have stopped them this time, but they will be back.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Silence be thy middle name…

I have never ever been one that loved silence…. Even in college, I would always prefer to study with a radio on … and a TV… and people hanging out drinking beer.  I guess that’s why my grades were so good.  Ha Ha He He


Well my son is 3 ¼ now.  His grasp of both Spanish and English are astounding.  He even corrects me from time to time.  One thing that is starting to concern me is the relentless non-stop questions that he barrages me with at all times!!


I know it sounds funny…. Even TV and movies depict it as funny, but when it happens to you… day in… day out, it can start to wear down your patience.  I don’t know how my wife does it all the time.


I worked from home today, and it seems be getting harder and harder to get things done.  No so much because of my job functions (I can connect to everything I need as if I were at the office), but more so because I get derailed from what ever I am working on with question after question.


Silly Rabbit 


My favorite questions today were along the lines of why there were no dinosaurs, and what we could do to get them back.  Obviously to much TV or cartoons has taught my son that we can make a machine to fix anything.  On a dozen different occasions, Matthew came by and asked me to show him what something looked like (normally an encyclopedia internet look up is sufficient)… a dinosaur, T-rex, Elephant with Giant Tusks, Squid, Octopus…etc..  I wonder how we ever got along without the internet…but I digress.


I just pray that God gives me more patience…. I can’t wait until our younger two kids start asking questions too.


Good Night All.  God bless!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Children's Museum of Atlanta

I finaly got a chance to put the Museum pictures in a Gallery.  They can be found Here.  Enjoy!!

Long day.... long night.  Time for me to get some sleep.  My younger sister is in town!! and hopefully we will be able to all get together for dinner or something.  :-)


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Child Labor Camp

So here is my plan to become rich.  First I will have to open up a child labor camp.  But you can’t just jump into some decision of this type without doing some research.


The line


First, I will need an assembly line.  Somewhere that I cant put a bunch of munchkins to work.  Here is my son and his friend, Drew, working the assembly line.  Their little hands will be perfect for moving and making the merchandize.




And in order to make the money, we will have to have people manning the registers 24/7.  It will all pay off in the long run.


Lady Bug


Of course, we will need to have them wear the proper gear.  Some of the work conditions can be hazardous.  Here we have worker Megan sporting a lovely ladybug raincoat.


The Box


But I am sure that there will be moments when the stern hand of discipline will have to be used.  Here we have Matthew paying the price for a slow production day.


We were able to do our testing of our labor camp at this place:  Imagine It!     A very cool place!!  (More pictures to come to the Gallery when I get a little more time)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sleepy Time

Hello all! 

Today there was a sleep-over at our house for all the girls/young ladies from our church.  My wife was going to do a couple of the chats. 

A house full of girls!!  What fun.  So I did what any brave man would do.  I took the kids and fled.  :-)

Slumber Party

So, Matthew, Megan, and I are sleeping over at my parents house...  where it will be nice and peaceful.....  Only time will tell if I have made a wise choice....

Night Night.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Kids have all the fun…

Growing up I always thought that when I grew up, everything would be better.  After all, when you are a grown up, you can do what ever you want.  I would be able to stay out as late as I wanted.  I would be able to buy whatever I wanted.  Grown ups have all the fun!!  Isn’t that what we all thought?


I wasnt doing anything...


Well, I guess this is one of those, “the grass is greener on the other side” things.  Sure there are a lot of great things about being a grown up…. But there are some things that you also start to miss.  Remember the beauty in the simple things.  Remember being able to play the silliest games with almost anything and it was almost real.  The adventures I used to have!




Well, looking at my kids, I start to miss being their age.  At that age, you are able to have fun under the simplest of circumstances.  In a way, I guess it comes back to us.  Don't we also start to have fun because of the fun that they are having?  I know that when my family is happy ... that makes me happy....


Thats funny!!!


...and I guess in some ways, thats even better.  Keep smiling!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More time for Photos

Hey all.  I finaly got some time to add more of the photos from Tennesee into the Gallery.  Check it HERE.

I wonder 

Here is a cute one....  I guess I have been a bit tired lately... what I need is a nice vacation from my vacation to try to recover..  :-)  Maybe that is what sick days are for?  I wonder....

Monday, July 04, 2005

Lights Out!!!

Ah, a break from the routine.  We got a chance to leave the city for a few days and visit my sister (Ivana) and her family (Tommy and Nicky).  The day we were driving up there (Friday), there were some storms where we live... and the lights went out.  So, my website was down for a few days, since I was not here to bring it back up.  I really should improve my backup power situation....

Well anyways.... we have a lot of fun visisting my sister and her family in Tennessee...  Here is a quick picture of My wife and kids, and Ivana and Nicky.  I will be able to add more pictures when I have a little more time.

Weekend in TN

It will all appear magically HERE in the gallery.  Thanks Tommy, Ivana, and Nicky for having us over.  We had a great time, and the kids love seeing you guys!!  I hope they were not too much.  [More to follow when I get some time]

Love you guys!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I wanna go on a field trip!!!

If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you will quickly learn that my kids, my wife, my sister, her kids, parents, friends…etc…. go out a lot.  A LOT.  They plan stuff all the time.  Of course I am not always able to go…. I have to do my part and go to work.


It sure must be nice to be able to go to all these fun and exciting things on a regular basis…. I do wish I could go out with my family more, but at least I do love my work.


Today the kids, and cousins, and my wife, and my sister, and my mother…. Pretty much everyone but me, went to Fernbank Science Center. 


Ricky and Megan


Here is a picture of my nephew Ricky being dragged around by Megan….I think the younger kids had more fun than the older kids on this trip (with the exception of my mother who had a blast!)  


I don’t think I have been there in almost 20 years (since middle school).  I do wish I could check out the Planetarium show… just to see if it is as awe-striking as my memory makes it.




At least I can dream about the stars, even if I dont get a chance to see them....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Mind Machine

We see the kid’s innocent smiles, and we hear their innocent voices… but what are they really thinking?  Today let’s take a trip into the minds of my children and see what they were thinking.


Destroy Matthew


Here is a nice cute photo of Megan playing with Lego blocks…. Or is she?

Megan:  “It’s only a matter of time before I beat you Matthew!!  I will build a fortress so strong, that you won’t be able to catch me.  Then you are doomed!!”


Capture Daddy!!


Here is a nice cute photo of Matthew who was playing along side his sister…. It looks like he is having fun.

Matthew:  “I will build a trap to capture Daddy, then his keys are mine… And I am out of here on my way to Disney Land!!...for now, just keep smiling.”




Here is a nice cute photo of Sophia trying on a new hat.

Sophia:  “Does this hat make me look silly?  I wonder when I get to start picking out my own clothing.  There are laws against this type of treatment you know!”


Well, maybe sometimes its not good to know what people really think.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What else could they do?

At some point… with three kids, you start thinking, WOW, that was pretty bad.  At least they won’t do anything worse than that.  I remember my son stabbing me in the foot with a fork once, because I would not give him more M&Ms.  




I remember my son trying to push me down the stairs… (I don’t recall why).  I remember my son pushing his sister down the stairs, because she was moving too slowly…


But Megan has not yet gotten up to that level.  But I guess she is working her way up.  I got home early today… so I had time to play with the kids before Matthew’s swim class.  Before it was time to go, I noticed that my office was a bit of a disorder.  And wouldn’t you know it… one of the ink boxes for the photo printer had been open.  It’s a Canon photo printer that uses different cartridges for each color…


 Ink Face


Well, Megan had chosen the black ink cartridge.  It is hard to tell because some cleaning was done, but I am sure that she was trying to put on some type of war paint for the upcoming battle.  Undoubtedly she was planning some devious attack that I would be powerless to stop.  She has already discovered that she can disarm any level of anger I have with her innocent smile.  If it were not for my wife being immune to that smile, she would be ruler of our household by now.


Pray for us!!  J

Monday, June 27, 2005

A day without children...

It almost seemed like we were living other people’s lives…  J  almost.  We were able to take the kids over to Aunt Astrid’s house to play with their cousins.  And the kids were very excited to go… a full day of play time!  Sophia did have to make a visit to the doctor’s office to see about a rash on her tooshie…. The doctor gave us some cream…and she is doing much better.


While my wife took her to the doctor, I was able to get some work done from home.  But after that we were free!!  …ah what to do with the time.  And who better to spend it with, than my beautiful wife.




We were able to have a nice peaceful lunch.  Chatting about the last six years, and how it seems we just got married.  The time just flew by...  Then we went to catch a movie:  “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”  An entertaining movie, but we don’t think it will win any Oscars.


Nice peacful lunch


Overall a nice and enjoyable day… we hope to have more days like this, now that Sophia is a big girl (2 months).  J

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Six Year Anniversary!!!

Ah six glorious years together.  It seems like only yesterday we were married.  Where does the time go?  (I seem to ask myself that a lot)

Today is our Six year anniversary… and of course today was also Sunday.  Here is Sophia in her Sunday dress.  Like most baby cloths, she will most likely only get to where it once or twice before it no longer fits…. Go figure.

2 Months

Like most Sunday's we were over booked, and did not really get a chance to spend some quality time alone.  But my sister, Astrid, has been generous enough to offer to give us a slice of peace for a few hours tomorrow.   J  We will get a chance to drop off the kids with her and go do our own thing for a few hours ALONE!!  One does not start to realize and appreciate how little ALONE time one has, until they have kids.  It promises to be a nice time out... just me and my beautiful wife!!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Lazy Day...

Ah... a nice day of rest today....

Lazy Day

I got a chance to spend the whole day with the family at home...  The game my kids seem to enjoy playing the most is "Jump on Daddy until he cries"

After a few hours of that... they finaly got bored of it and we played other things... so nice to take a day off from work or running around and just chill at home with the family.... enjoy it... because this too shall pass.  :-)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Death to the piñata!!

My son’s best friend Diego just had a birthday the other day…. He turned the big 4!!  Ah, I remember those early years….. Who am I kidding… I have trouble remembering what I had for lunch (that’s one of the reasons I keep this blog).


Party Time 


But what is a birthday without a birthday party?  And in our circles… that also means piñata!!  


Beat it!!


Oh yes… what evil things these piñatas must have done to us many years ago.  For now they are the target of all our Hispanic celebrations.  We teach our kids that these piñatas must be beaten.  Beaten good!!  …for the terrible things that they did to us so long ago…




And if you beat them hard enough, you will be rewarded.  J CANDY!!  That is better than gold to children….


Much fun was had by all!  Many thanks to Diego (Diego Jose’s Dad) and Maria Jose for inviting our family.  They are beautiful people, and a blessing to us.


Diego's Family


The are more pictures of the Party in the Gallery if you want to check it out.  Just click on this piñata.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A mile in my shoes...

Do you ever feel that no one understands you?  That you work your butt off and it goes unappreciated?  We all do sometimes.  That is part of life.  Sometimes we need the appreciation, and sometimes we do not.  When we don’t need this pat on the back, it is because we are strong and sure of ourselves.  But you can’t be like that all the time.  That’s just not realistic.  Sometimes we get beaten down and tired, and no one seems to understand or appreciate us.


Then you start thinking things like, “why do I bother” or “I wonder if it’s worth it.”  Or even, “If they could only walk a mile in my shoes … maybe they would understand.”


A mile in my shoes... 


Lighten up.  Things start getting better the moment we stop pitying ourselves.  We have to stop focusing on how tired we are, and start appreciating all the things we have… while we still have them.  You know nothing lasts forever… so don’t let the important things pass you by without appreciating them.  That makes it all worth it… and that makes me feel less tired…. J

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sophia Smiles

I had finished my blog entry for the evening, when my wife mentioned that she had taken a cute picture of Sophia smiling.  So tonight is a special "Two For One" ... Everything must go!!

Sophia 2 months old

Wow,... they do grow up so fast.  Here is Sophia at two months to the day.  She is so big for her age....  I think we are going to be in trouble when all three are walking... That maybe next week!!  J

Work Out Crazy

So, a few people have asked me.  "How are your work outs going? Did you give up yet?" 



Such positive reinforcement… but oh well.  It actually goes very good.  I did 6 straight days of Taebo death!  Add to that a cut back on my eating, and I have dropped 10 pounds in one week!!  J  I am happy about that.


But you know what they say, “first 10 pounds are the easiest.”  Who are “they” and why are they so mean to me?  What did I ever do to them.  Maybe for me the first 10 were the hardest.  Yeah right… I wish.


Work it!


But I am still going at it.  I took Sunday off (Father’s Day) and picked backup today.  I am still dead tired… but motivated by the progress.  To tell you the truth, what really keeps me going, is the little old man in the video who is also doing it.  He must be 100 years old… and he looks like he is having a heart attack… but he keeps on going.  I often wonder, as the work out finish… where is the old man… I don’t see him in the final part.  Maybe he did die!  …. That can’t be good. 

Well... sleepy time.... tomorrow I go to work early.

Time to work...

Father's Day 2005

This has been another long weekend.  Where does the time go?  Ah Father’s Day!!!  This of course will be my baby brother’s first Father’s day!!  Is he in for a treat!  A new born baby…. Who makes all the demands in the world, and who in return, gives you diaper full, after diaper full.


J  But that first smile you get when they recognize your voice, or face is truly priceless (just like the commercial).

Father's Day

Well, ok.  They don't seem too happy in this photo, but it is cute non the less.

It was a nice enjoyable day... At church service they gave a flower to the fathers in recognition of all their service to their families (some more than others).  In our culture (Spanish), there is a tendency for fathers to play a more hand's off approach.  But thank God that my father showed us differently.  I truly love and appreciate my Dad for so many things.  The most important things he taught me were by example.  These are the things that I strive to be in my family.  Loving, caring, strong, fair, and present (and accounted for).  Sometimes the family just needs the father to be there.... even if it is just to play another game of "Catch the Monster" or story time.

Fathers Day 2005

Here is to you Dad.  I love you!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Daddy, where does milk come from?

Happy Cow.  Well you see kids.... long long ago... in a galaxy far far away....no wait.  Thats were yogurt comes from.  J

If you want to get the right information, you have to go to mommy.  That’s why mommy took the kids to the Dairy farm.  My sister and a couple of her kids also came along for the ride, although I have my suspicions that they already knew where milk came from.


Dairy Farm


I added a Gallery section for the Dairy farm.  Check out the cool pictures.


Where was I during this fun filled day?...  at work. L Maybe I will be allowed to go to the next outing… and maybe someone will finaly tell me where milk comes from.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Batman Begins

My son got a chance to go see Batman Begins today.  I have not even seen this yet... probably the first of many.

Batman Begins

Well his really good friend Diego Jose (and father) invited him.  He had a great time.  Diego Jose and my son (Matthew) always seem so happy to see each other... and normally when the fun ends, are so upset that it can't last longer.

Best Friends

But at that age, like most things, it is almost like a love hate relationship.  They play, they fight, the play, the fight.....  It's almost as if, when we get older, we make our relationships dull.  We take the intensity out of it, and it is no longer "YEAH your here" ... and "I don't want you to leave".  It becomes "Hi" ... and "See you Later"

As we get older, it is hard to keep really close friends.  Or worse, it becomes hard to be close to our spouse.  We all get so many distractions like work, chores, errands, family, pets, etc...  Its hard to spend the time to feed these relationships that make life worth living.  We are not just supposed to work year after year, just so that we eventually make it to our death.  We need to stop "doing things" and we need to start "living life with our loved ones"  That has value... much more than a paycheck every other week.

I want more time with my family.... so that I don't miss out.  J What do you think?  Please leave a comment...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Daddy's Girl

I worked out again today…  L  I feel hurt where hurt should not be…  but such is life.  When I finished, I found a little surprise from my wife.  She had taken this cute picture of Megan.


My princess


Megan… Daddy’s girl.  You hear that expression a lot, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you are the dad that has a daughter.  I find it hard to discipline Megan more than Matthew.  It makes me sad when she cries, or pouts, and I have to find myself consciously trying not to give in so that we can be fair and equal to all of our kids.


Sometimes my wife has to rescue me, and she is more by the book with Megan… I hope that when Sophia grows up, her and Megan don’t gang up on me… or I am doomed.


Father’s day is coming soon… and my wife has asked me what I want.  But to tell you the truth, I have more in my life than I ever could have dreamed…  all I need is just more time with my family.


Sleepy time… Good night everyone.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Swim Class

My son started taking his swim classes in the evening, and today I worked early so that I was able to go with the family to check it out.


Although he lacks a lot of discipline, Matthew has lost all fear of the water.  I am not sure if that is a good thing yet.  As he took his class, he did have a hard time focusing on the instructor’s direction, because he was distracted by all the cute girls.


Check Me Out!!! 


This is a perfect example.  As the instructor is asking Matthew to swim across, he is obviously distracted by the girl on the steps.  After his swim turn was up, in a sign of true affection, he took her floating noodle thing away and almost made her cry….. ahh to be young and in love.


After a disastrous defeat with the ladies, we walk back to the car and he is comforted by his sister who explains to him that there are plenty of fishes in the sea.


Its ok brother.


=============== Topic Jump ================

So, I had a physical today at my family doctor.  Don’t worry … no bad news.  Well kinda.  He checks me out and sees all the results from a bunch of stuff and says “You are fit as a fiddle, nothing wrong with you…”  J  Ah, a clean get away!!  “…but …there is one thing….. you weight 10 pounds more than you did at your last years physical.”  L


So that got me thinking.  This was the same message that he had given me last year.  All ok but I had put on 10 pounds!!  Do you know what this means?  By the time I am 40 I will weight 235 pounds.  By the time I am 50 I will weight 335!!!  Will it ever end?  


Ok, so maybe it is not that bad… but I do want to drop a few pounds.  So I am trying not to gorge myself.  And I am starting to work out.  My wife says to me “you should do my Tae-bo tapes with me, …they are really good.”  Inside I laughed, because I thought it wouldn’t be that bad.  So why not…  Well by the end of the session…. I was crying in pain and was covered in what I hoped was sweat and not blood…  J  That really kicked my butt.


Kill Me


But I will keep at it… No pain no gain….  Why do they say that?  Can’t we ever just get a little gain without the need for the pain part?  …I guess that is close to the old saying … you get what you pay for….. and believe me brother, I am paying.   Peace out!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Thumb

There are few things in this life that are as comforting and reassuring as “The Thumb.”  And this magic gift does not seem to last very long when we are young.  Studies show that most kids give this habit up by the age of four, naturally. 


Our little angel, Megan, is only 1 & 2/3 years old, and still has not lost this magic. 


The Thumb


But what if it never ended…. I know some older kids that still do it…. And a couple of adults…  J   Comfort comes in many forms.  Some people rely on others…. Some on food…. Some on a bottle….. some on “The Thumb.”


In the big picture of things, we should be careful on the things we pick to comfort us.  There is a fine line between “a temporary comfort in time of need”, and “a crutch that becomes a life long habitual impairment.”

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Babies babies everywhere….

It’s almost like an epidemic.  We had Sophia a few weeks ago…. A couple of Paola’s cousin had theirs a bit ago.  A couple of our friends are pregnant now.  And two days ago my brother and his wife also had a baby…


But that is not the most alarming part…. All the babies lately have been girls!!!  I am a statistics man, and the numbers are not adding up.  Maybe this is some plot to enslave all men on this planet?  …or maybe its God telling us men, that we have really messed up and now it’s the women’s turn.

or she will hit me.

On a totally separate subject, here is a picture of our cute daughter.  My wife told me if I did not put a picture of her on my blog, that she would hit me…. Hmmm, maybe it is not such a separate subject from the inevitable world domination plan by women!


Be kind to us new masters!  J

Thursday, June 09, 2005

More Photos

Congratulations to Damian and Karin, although I belive Karin did most of the work.  :-)

They sent some more awesome pictures.  Check them out.

Mom and Baby

Look at that cute baby!!!  Thank goodness she looks more like her mother than her father.  :-P


I bet both sets of grand parents can't wait to spoil this little princess with gifts!!  ...almost makes me wish I was a little princess... :-)

Karin and Damian had their baby!!!

Hey guys, 

Damian and Karin had their baby girl!!

Liliana Medows Fachisthers
8 pounds 9 ounces
21.5 inches
Here is a picture of proud papa.
Proud Papa 
Mom and baby are doing great!!
We love you guys!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Too pooped to pop

The weekend was long … and tiring (but fun)…. So I thought I would get a chance to get some rest on Monday….. nope (kinda busy) …. So then I thought I could get some rest on Tuesday…. Nope (I really should just give up on getting rest)


Long day at the office… followed by some errands.  Then took my nephews and nieces out for a little ice cream at Bruster’s (AWESOME ICECREAM)


….so afterwards it was everyone over to our house for some fun.  When we got to my house there on the lawn was a Slip and Slide.  I have not seen one of these for years.  Apparently my wife had gotten it with one of my son’s birthday gift cards.


Here is my niece trying to show everyone how its done.  Yeah Alex!!


Almost made it


Evening turned into night…. Turned into long night…  J  Now time for some sleepy time… maybe tomorrow will be a bit more restful.  Who am I kidding?  I probably wont get any rest until the kids are off to college.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Summer Time

After church on Sunday we ate out with some friends, and then we went off for a little pool time.


Pool Time

It was a lot of fun.... how fast the time passes.  We had a great sunny weekend.... funny this same night... rain storms rolled in....


Matthew and Diego Jose are both in the same swim classes.  It really shows that they are getting bolder in the swimming pool.  Long gone are the days were Matthew will only stay on the steps of the pool.  He has moved on ... and left me in the dust, just me and Megan on the steps now. 



All this 'sun' time.... Matthew is starting to sport a nice tan.  Me ... I turn red like a lobster!!  Good thing I am the one holding the camera.... or there would be some good blackmail pictures.


This summer is off to a nice beginning.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Silly rabbit....

After I had done last night’s post I was catching up on some email and found a picture from last year.


Silly Clown


Very funny.  All that talk about clowns, and I forgot that my mom and sisters sometimes play the part.  From left to right:  Astrid (Older sister), Ivana (Younger sister), and my Mom.  I am the ugly clown with the beard.  This was a picture (last year I think) at a festival/fund raiser at my sister's church.


J  I guess it just goes to show you, people in glass houses should not throw stones…. or crème pies… or something like that.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bring out the clowns.

Today we went to the Renaissance Festival.  It was our first time and it was a lot of fun.  There were tons of things to do with the kids there, and that is always a good thing.  They loved the games, and the rides, and all the neat costumes!!  There were tree people and dragons.  There were ponies and birds.  You name it, it had something for everyone.  Add to that a co-worker gave us free tickets (thanks Jeff!!).


There was fun to be had by all.  We even went with a friend (Dorothy) and her Daughter (Merial).  The kids always find ways to amuse themselves.  We got some photos and put them in our Gallery.  One thing that stuck out in my head was the jester.  

Clown Time

Or Clown if you will.  Have you ever noticed that not all kids like clowns?  I had to ask myself why.... I know some kids love clowns, and depending on costumes, and the person playing the part, it is normally easy to understand why.

Coulrophobia:  An abnormal and persistent fear of clowns.

Is it unreasonable to think a small child would be scared of an adult who wears strange clothing and paints, normally making loud irrational comments, and wearing a maniacal smile?

So I guess I can see why some kids fear these strangers in strange outfits and with strange faces... but sometimes its just nice to laugh at silly people.

Just Smile

Thursday, June 02, 2005

We do not beat our childern!!

People are going to start thinking that we beat our children….. I am not sure where our kids get it from, but they are very prone to hurting themselves.  Some time ago my son Matthew jumped off a table and thought he could clear the living room to a near by lazy boy…. But he was wrong.  He hit his head right above his left eye… he has a little scar as a reminder that he can’t fly.


Tonight our little girl Megan (1.6 years old) was getting her bath time with her brother (3.1 years old).  It seemed like nice bath time fun with very little turmoil.  So I turned around to get their toothbrushes when I hear a scream that sounded like a banshee!!


First thought that comes to mind was that an old fashion jail house fight had broken out, and that everyone was reaching for their shiv!!  I had to remind myself that freaking out only spokes the kids more than they need to be.  So I pick up my little girl out of the tub and wrap her in a towel.  She cried for a little bit and then wanted to go back to playing.


It was not until I was putting on their pajamas that I noticed the shiner near her eye!! She must have hit hard…. My wife put some ice on it… but there is bound to be some more swelling.


Megan Hurt


It is now only a matter of time before we are investigated…. But I am confident that if our kids spend time with anyone, they will quickly realize that we are not the cause of their wounds.


Night kids…. (sleepy time is a moment of rest for the parents!!  THANK YOU GOD!!!)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Today we found out that Nicky is not feeling so well.  He is currently fighting an infection and was getting some more test done today.  We hope he gets better soon.

Hang in there little man!!  I dug up this picture of Nicky and his cousins when we visited them in Tennessee last year.

The Gang!

Were praying for you.  We hope we can come see you soon!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hilton Head Pictures

Hey All!  I promised that I would get the pictures out by monday .... and TADA ... I lied.  It's tuesday now.  But better late than never, right?  I added a new gallery section for Hilton Head 2005

Hilton Head 2005

Enjoy.... and please feel free to leave feed back.  We love feedback!!  My wife would not let me publish the pictures until she had approved them for display.....

Peace out!!

Sunday, May 29, 2005


So there were a few things the doctor told me before I left his office (Vasectomy).


1.      Don’t get that area wet for a few days (not even showers)

2.      Don’t do any heavy lift (over 20 pounds)

3.      Don’t drive for a couple of days.


So, being the genius that I am, I drive the family for 6 hours to the beach.  My kids and the luggage all way outside the allotted lifting limit, … and there is no way I am able to keep dry.   J


…and to add to that, the area I had to shave for my surgery is starting to grow stubble…and it did not feel nice when I walked.  Too much info?  (Probably)


I'm Ready!!!


Well.  We had a great time!  We made it back alive.  And by that, I mean that the kids are doing well and me and my wife are dead tired.


When we got back tonight, I dropped my wife’s camera in the dock and pressed the button to transfer the photos, and BAM!!  200 pictures.  I did not think we were gone that long.


I will get the cream of the crop pictures in the gallery tomorrow…. For now, I must lay still and learn to breath normally again.  Hilton Head 2005 Party Fest is now over…  J  It was a lot of fun…. But it is always good to come home again.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

All Good...

Thought I would post so you guys would know that I was still alive.  The Vasectomy went smoothly.  The process was quick and painless.  I went back to work afterwards.

I did as I was told and took it easy when I got home.... with only minor horseplay with my kids.  Then it was bags of ice and Television.  One of my favorite shows was on, LOST!!

So, a good nights rest.  And I am back in the office this morning.  Minor sourness (as expected) and doing good.

Thanks to those who were concerned.  I AM ALIVE

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hey, lets go get a Vasectomy.

Definition:  A contraceptive procedure in men in which the vas deferens is cut and the cut ends are sealed to prevent the transportation of sperm. Surgical separation of the vas deferens so that sperm, while still produced, do not leave the body.


So, we have had our third child Sophia.  And My wife and I had talked prior to this that we only wanted to have three.  And since the last was not triplets, I guess we are done.  J


Of course my co-workers are very supportive and encouraging me with words such as:


            “…now you will be able to sing those high notes…”


            “…snip snip… the end is near…”


You get the idea.  I am not really worried about the procedure, since it is a simple 15 minute surgery, and if all goes well, I will be fine the next day.  Although, maybe a bit sore.


In good fun, I dug around and found the following funny picture, which I thought I would share.




Keep me in your prayers…. 2 pm today “Snip Snip”


Peace out!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Family values…

You remember the old shows that use to teach us family values, like “Leave it to beaver…” or “The Brady bunch”.  Well, each episode had some lesson we were suppose to learn.  Or some family values that we were suppose to agree on.


Yeah…yeah… some of these were really hooky.  But they start taking on some deeper meaning when you grow up … get married… and have kids (not always in that order).


My mom gave me this picture today at church.  It was a picture of my dad and my son planting a baby tree.  My father started this tradition about planting a tree for each of his grandkids.  This one was for my daughter Sophia that was just born 5 weeks ago.  It probably seemed like a great idea early on …  J  but now there are 7 grandkids total and one due in the next few weeks!!  (Congrats Kurt & Karin)


One More Tree!!


I think about what my parents did for us growing up.  They were always taking time to be with us, even when times were rough.  But the times never really seemed rough, since our parents showed us that it was not “stuff” that makes a family happy…. but the “value” our family had.  Value does not just appear because you put a price tag on it… value appears because you spend a lot of love on it…..and time.


My wife and I strive to keep this family tradition going…. Almost seems like a crime not to.  But we already see it working in our Family values.


Take care!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

If you can't learn to do something well...

Growing up ... I was always told that if I tried hard enough, I could do anything.  Well, that is a good thing to hear while you are growing up, but is it always true?

There are many things in this life that I KNOW that I am not supposed to do.  For one thing, my wife does the cooking.  I could cook, but it does not come out as nice as my wife's meals.  I could paint, but it even makes me uneasy to see some of my creations.  :-)

So I was flipping through some old favorites in my browser and I came across a site I had not visited in a long time.  http://www.despair.com  A very funny site that has some hilarious posters.  I had not been there for awhile, but saw the poster for Ineptitude:

I love to ski.

You see, I love to ski .... but this picture pretty much shows you my best skill.... eating snow.  But I do not do it to be good... I do it because I enjoy it.

So I guess its not how we do something, but the fact that we do the things we like to do.  What kind of life would it be if we worked at something that we hated, but we were good at?  I thank God that I get to work on stuff I like.

So I guess my parents where right.  I can do anything I like... they never said I would be good at it.   :-)  Enjoy life... its too short to fill it with things we don't like.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Darth Tator!!!

Do you know what day it is?  Yes ... it is finaly here.

May the spud be with you!

Ah yes... I remember my younger days..... when I had such hopes... such power.  I could have been Darth Briam, ... but then I tripped on my cape and fell on my saber.   That hurt.

So instead I turned to a life of computers.... and making babies.  :-)

Today some of the office guys are having an off-site lunch "meeting" that coincidently happens to be as long as the movie "Star Wars III".  This meeting promises to be more entertaining than our regular meetings... but only time will tell.

A few days ago, I found my self saying to my son,  "Matthew, I AM YOUR FATHER" ... in my worst vador voice.  He just looked at me and said "you are the bad guy, and I am going to shoot you..."  Ah such wisdom from the mouths of babes.

Peace out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The good ... the bad

The good.... Or I should say GREAT!! My sister (Ivana) called last night and my newphew is doing great following his surgery!!  We have been praying for him, and will continue to do so during his recovery.  But thank God that the hard part is passed.

The bad.... I am sitting in the dentist chair on my lunch break....  :-(   wiating on the dentist.  Sending this blog entry via my blackberry.

If I dont make it, tell my wife and kids that I love them. 

Update:  They sent this link so that you can check on Nicky's status.

Monday, May 16, 2005

They are coming for me...

My wife took this lovely picture of Sophia.... right before she was jumped by a band of crazed stuffed animals.  This pack of stuffed animals was most likely made insane, due to the relentless torture and abuse from children who have no regards for their emotional well being.

They are coming for me...

It’s a tragic thing really.  These cuddly toys were once happy and eager to play with new babies.  But this is the third baby… and times have changed.  They most likely are tired of being tossed aside or drooled on when they were only looking for a hug.  But maybe this baby will be different… maybe this will be the baby that appreciates the cute soft toys that will help pass the time….   Only time will tell.  So beware baby.  Be nice to your toys…. or sleep with one eye open.   J

Sunday, May 15, 2005


...so last night... just going in for a quick 15 minute upgrade.   :-)   Its never just a quick 15 minutes is it?

Got home from work this morning around 9 a.m.  And family was leaving for church..... and I was leaving for pillow land.

 Just chillin 

My son kept trying to explain to me that it was no longer time to sleep because the sun was up... and that I needed to get ready for church.... I guess he was right... I was too tired to win the argument... but in the end I was able to just fall asleep since I had forgotten how to work my shoe laces. 

He eventually gave up on me and went to church.... and I slept a long sleep.  The sleep of the dead..... dead tired that is.

Today has been a nice day.... rest is good.

Friday, May 13, 2005

No, I want to kiss the baby...

Love Love Love.... love so strong you are willing to smack your brother in order to give one more kiss on the cheek?

No, I want to kiss the baby...

I find it hard to remember when my emotions and actions were so simple.  So simple that it was as basic, as getting what was more important to me... When was the last time we "smacked" something in our way to get that kiss on the cheek from someone we love?  ...maybe that is too intangible.  When was the last time we turned down doing something at work (that could wait) to go home and spend a little more quality time with our spouse and kids?  ....when did we stop working to support our life with our family, and start spending less time at home so we could get our work done?

....It is important to get these reminders.... not because this is some amazingly incredible new information... but because we are only human and tend to forget.  We don't live to work.... we work to live... with the ones we love.

Go hug a loved one!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Another round of golf?

Ah yes…. The in-laws are gone now.  They have been a great help as we adjust to life with another rug rat in the house.  It will be hard to adjust, but I guess that is part of life.  So much blessing…. But also so much work.  But it never seizes to amaze me how quickly the grow… and start to crawl, and walk… and run… and jump on you when you least expect it!!  J  But I guess for now Sophia will take it slow.  


I guess I will have to cut back on my golf game….


Bring It!!! 


Oh yeah… I forgot.  I don’t play golf.  Well then, I guess I can just cut back on my sleep…. Who needs that anyways.


Peach out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A day with friends... a day at the park

I decided to take a day off work … and we took the family to visit some old friends.  Mike, Laura and their cute baby Audrey.  We had a really nice time.  It is so nice to see good friends…. Although we had not seen them in a long time, it always feels like we pick up right where we left off.


Mike, Laura, baby Audrey, and a couple of our kids.


From there it was off to downtown Atlanta to walk around a bit and play at Centennial park.  There are some pictures in the gallery under the Centennial Park Day section.


I had not been downtown in a long time... In the past I did not enjoy the park too much since it seemed kind of bland, but going with the kids added a different level of enjoyment.


I wasnt supposed to get wet.

Check out the rest of the pictures in the gallery ... there are some very amusing ones there. 

Monday, May 09, 2005

A day of rest? Of course not.

I thought I would get a little rest on Mothers day (Sunday)... but my wife invited a few thousand of our closest friends over after Church service to help her keep me awake.   J  She succeeded.


My kids did not do too bad, they were able to destroy several rooms.... while eating every item in the house that contained even the slightest trace of sugar.  Here is a picture of what used to be the kids toy room.


Tazmanian Devil


If the kids look a little blurry.... yeah ... thats becuase they would not stop moving.  There are a bunch of pictures from Mother's Day in the Gallery.  ... I have to do some late night work... so maybe I will be allowed to get a little rest tomorrow.


Peace out!

Yellow River Game Ranch

I finally got some rest today (monday)… by going to the office to do some relaxing computer work.  The weekend was a bit rough.  Nothing like a family and a holiday (“Mother’s Day") to totally drain a person of every ounce of energy that he has....like a vampire sucking every drop off blood out of you....


J...but I digress.  Saturday was a lot of fun with family and the kids.  We were able to go and spend some time at the Yellow River Game Ranch.  Check it out… it was a lot of fun and I added a bunch of pictures in the Gallery section.  This day ended long and with little sleep.




This is my wife and our three kids and my wives parents.  I am the handsome guy taking the picture.  :-P

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Too Tired

...weekend so full... work and home stuff... going out...  I am running on little sleep and am having problems typing...

At least my son was not eating by the wild beast at the petting zoo... he appeased them with some tastey graham crakers.

Dont eat me!

...I will write more about this when I cath up on some sleep... tomorrow (being mothers day) promises to also be very jam packed.

Good night.  Peace out.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Those I love...

It took me awhile to realize that this blog is not about me.... because I am not that intersting.  But I have gotten a lot of good feedback on it.  So I changed the name of the blog this morning.  Because this blog is really interesting because of the people I love.

So, the name has been changed to protect the innocent.  :-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Call in the experts...

After a long hard day at the office... I was ready to call it a day.  But I had one major problem I was not able to solve.  Sometimes these technical issues require a lot of testing and the solution can be allusive.  So to save some time, I decided to call in some experts to look at my notes, and suggest a solution that we could quickly implement.

Call in the experts.

These guys are no joke.  They were able to quickly look at my notes and determine how to quickly and concisely implement the required solution.  It can get expensive, but if you need a quick solution, you have to call in the big guns!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Experiment #532 SUCCESS

Experiment:  #532
Subject:  "Princess Megan”
Date Executed:  Sunday May 1, 2005

For some time, we have been working on a way to incapacitate subject "Princess Megan.”  All of my prior attempts have been a failure.  Original experiments were based on attempts to incapacitate subject “Matthew Monster”.  And all attempts with that subject were futile.

Since subject Megan was much younger and smaller than subject Matthew, my thoughts were that we would be more quickly able to discover some weakness.  Until now it has been a struggle to get these two specimens to behave and go to sleep on time.

But at long last after months of experimenting, eureka!  With the proper dosage of food and distraction we were able to achieve a decisive victory.  It did require some assistants from other subjects with similar age.  And a lot of running around and playing, but it was well worth it.

Here is the subject (and mom) at our friend's house obviously having a good time.  Unaware that she was being monitored the entire time.


After much play time and a healthy serving of good home cooking (thanks to our friends) the subject started to slow down.  One car trip later, the subject was out.

She's Out

We may not be able to achieve these goals every day, but it is encouraging to know that it is possible.  Once we have perfected our method, we will move on to subject “Baby Sophia” in the hopes that we will be able to curb this energetic destructive behavior before it is too late.

Baby Sophia

Keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Free at last... free at last

Ah... the time has come.  This morning it was time to let the butterflies go free.  Four of the five made it through the trials.  Not many species can survive that amount of time with Matthew and Megan and come out unscathed.  But only one died from exhaustion, or maybe just chose an eternal path of rest.

At first my son tried to convince me that they should stay and live in our house.  But I told him our cat would most likely eat them (or the ceiling fans).

Fly away...

It took awhile for them to fly off… as if not sure that they wanted to move on.  Free food and board with no natural predators waiting to snack on you…. But then again… it was probably only a matter of time before my kids would want to see what made them tick (or add their wings to the action figures to see if they could fly).

Fly away...

All in all the kids loved the whole process. InsectLore Thanks again Aunt Ivana, Uncle Tommy, and Cousin Nicky!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sometimes the princess does not get saved.

So my son built an elaborate castle/tower where the princess was trapped.  No way to get out on her own.  There was no wooden hero to save her... but it was between a wooden horse or a wooden dog to save the day.

Of course the dog and the horse had to have a contest to see who would get to save the princess.  I was the horse… and my son was the dog.  Guess who won the contests?  The Dog

Goodbye princess


So then it was time for the dog to save the princess (yellow wooden thingy with pointy princess hat) and he charges up the ramp.  OH NO.  The dog set off a trap and the blocks came tumbling down and killed the princess.

I was in shock.  I had already suspected that the hero would be saving the princess…. Where did my son learn this twist of fate?  He seemed not the least bit concerned… and moved on to another story.  I on the other hand will need some time to adjust to this realization that even to my three year old son, the good guy doesn't always win…. and live happily ever after.  Maybe too much tv?


Friday, April 29, 2005

Tantrum Time

We had family over tonight.... lots of fun.  Drinking and talking ... and too much eating (as usual). 

My son Matthew is growing closer and closer to his cousins.  He loves to play with them even though they are bigger and older.  But eventually comes the time when they have to head out.... "leave?  but why?"  I have had this talk with my son a few occasions, but it does not seem to matter or have meaning for him yet.

And then tonight he blew his fuse..... he refused to let them go.  Screaming and kicking he just kept saying "NO!!!" 


BabyCentre "What is a Tantrum?"  "... the toddler is overwhelmed by his own internal rage; lost to the world, and terrified by the violent feelings which he cannot control."

It is done!!!

I am now proud to be an American.  Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers!!


This morning I toke the oath and was given my certificate of naturalization.  I am now a respectable member of society (who cant spell well)  :-) 

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I don't want to take a picture...

So most of the pictures you see are taken by my wife.  She takes pictures all the time... and loves it.... almost like an unhealthy obsession.  :-)

I call this one.... "Happy Baby" 

Sleepy baby

When baby is happy .... we are all happy.  So you have to wonder why someone would ever want to interfear with such happiness.  For all the tea in china?  ...no... but maybe for a picture.

I dont want to take a picture

Sometimes we dont want to pose for a picture... just sleep. 

Fortune smiles...

So, today I had Chinese for lunch….  “WOW Briam… that’s amazing!!!”  Yeah yeah, let me finish.  So at the end of the meal I got a fortune cookie that said: “Between truth and the search for truth, opt for the second.”

Fortune anyone?

Oh wise one, what does that mean?  I guess it’s kind of like “It is not the destination, but the journey that matters.”   Or maybe “It is not how you die, but how you live…” [You get the idea]

Well anyways, tomorrow morning I have an important appointment with INS (Immigration and naturalization services)   I have been waiting to swear in and become a U.S. citizen for over 10 years…


So, I guess it is not that I will now be an American citizen, but that I have tired to live like a good citizen.

Be Good

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's Alive... It's Alive!!

So here is a cool one.  My sister (and family) bought Matthew a very neat present for his birthday.   ... BUGS.... well, not just any bugs.  She bought him some caterpillars from InsectLore 


Very cool concept.  They send you the caterpillars (qty 5) and you take care of them for a few days.  You have to keep your kids from shaking them to death.... or feeding them to the cat.

The kids love it!!  They watch the caterpillars eat and grow until its time to move them to the butterfly garden (not the kids... the buterflies)

But what will they eat?


Foor fit for a king!

Ah yes... a meal fit for a king (a king butterfly).  Some flowers and orange slices with suger water droplets.

Then comes the hard part.... hard, not only for the kids.... but also for the dad.   We wait.

...and we wait.

...and wait.... and wait.  It takes a few days for all of the butterflies to emerge, but it is well worth it. 

Thanks Aunt Ivana, Uncle Tommy, & Nicky!!  Its the bomb-diggidy

Yeah Baby!!

New shiny toy!!

It never fails, we think as parents, we know what kids want.  But usually we are only fooling ourselves.  When they are infants, we buy them presents, as if they cared what they got.  Most of the time they are just as happy to play with a bow and wrapping paper than they are with the toy inside.

Well they start growing up, and you think they will start liking the toys that have more features.  Why not?  We like the toys that have more features.... like a new car with tons of buttons... or a stereo with all the options.... or a High Def  200 inch Television!! ...  (you get the idea)

My son just turned three... and is starting to play with more complicated toys....  But I guess every now and then you have to take it old school..... and just have fun for the sake of having fun. 

New Expensive Toy

It makes me stop and think (and remember).  I am a very blessed person ... I love my family, ...and we have soo much fun together.  I guess that all of the other "stuff" is just icing on the cake.

It could be worse....

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Someone is always watching...

Watch out... someone is always watching you.  God... your parents... your brothers and sisters.... your spouse.... your kids.... strangers....

You are being watched....

We are supposed to be a good example to our kids... but sometimes when they are not around, we let our guard down. 

"Matthew, how many times have I told you not to stick your finger in your nose?"  ...well I thought I was alone,... and had something in my nose that was itching... so why not.  Just a quick scratch....

Then out of nowhere.... captain stealth jumps out at me yelling "DADDY .... YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!!!"

How will I live that down?  All I could do is laught, knowing that my son had just taken a step closer to replacing me as head of the house hold. 

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Where is Big Bird?

"Sometimes I look out over the lake, and wonder where Big Bird is?"

Where is big bird?

My kids never cease to amaze me.  They teach me new things all the time.... or sometimes they just remind me about things I fogot.

I get so cought up in "grown up" stuff some times, that I forget that some of those things are not really that important.  I was tyring to finish up some work on the computer at home the other day, and my son wanted to play.  I told him that I had to finish up my work first, then I would be able to play.

He got a serious look on his face and then said "Dont worry daddy, I will go to my computer and send out some emails for you.... then you will be able to play with me."

So of course I stopped what I was doing, and we went to go play.  Those are the things I will remember in my old age.... time with my family.... not some silly status report that can wait until monday.

Thank God for the little reminders in life.... otherwise we would wake up someday ... with no time left with our loves ones.... and all we would have left is regret.

...and who wants that?   :-)  Not me.  Peace out.


Friday, April 22, 2005


So spill after spill... cleaning after cleaning.... You can tell your kids all day long to be carefull, but when they are playing, things are bound to spill.

So, my wife had enough of this, and made a LAW.  No drinks in the Living room.  We have been sticking to it....and the kids are getting used to it.

But what happens when they are watching their favorite show.... and get a little thirsty?  Well, it just so happens that there is a cushion seat that they started to drag to the edge of the kitchen, where they can still see the TV.

What is the LAW?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Almost Asleep

I am starting to get that feeling of "Always Tired."  Most likely due to baby feedings every couple of hours, playing with the kids all the time, and squezzing in some work work from time to time.  (Maybe also throw in there horrible eating habits and no excersice since Christmas) 

My wife says not to worry.... I will get more rest in a few ... years.  Maybe when they are all off to college or married.

So the baby has been doing well.  Every couple of hours cry cry cry .... eat eat eat..... POOOP.  So finaly a feeding had ended, and Sophia had been a bit fussy all day .... but finaly she started to dose off.  My wife was eager to get a nap in since she has been getting less sleep than normal.

So we put Sophia in the little bouncer chair.... and she was finaly asleep when our other little angel (Megan) decided to come over and check out her new sister.

I think I made her cry...

...my question is .... why didn't the person with the camera stop her!!!  Oh well.... at least we got this cute picture out of it.

I hope they sleep well tonight.... for all our sakes.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Proud To Almost Be An American

BAMB!!!  Over 10 years of waiting to become an American citizen, and when I had almost given up, I recieve a letter in the mail telling me its time to swear in. 

I have been raised here.  I went to most of my schooling here.  I went to college here.  I have worked here for over 10 years....  I feel like a U.S. citizen... and soon I will also have a little piece of paper saying I am a U.S. citizen!!

:-)  I guess life is funny that way.  So, do good things come to those who wait?  If so, when do you know if you have waited too long, and the good things have passed you by?

Peace out!

U.S. Flag

Another day.... another dollar...

Back to work!!  ... vacation is over.  (not that it was a vacation).  I am kinda missing the work, because it is what I love.  But I cant help but think that I could get used to being at home all the time.... if my kids didnt end up killing me. 

The more time I spend at home with my family, the more I appreciate all the work my wife does.... she is a stronger women than me  :-)   Besides, she looks better in a dress than I do.

Work and Home

Monday, April 18, 2005

Home Sweet Home!!

A few days of vaction from the kids was nice... although it was me and my wife at the hospital waiting for our third kid to be born.

We did start to miss the kids... and it was nice when they came to visit.

But now we are at home..... and the kids just think that Sophia is just a new toy.  Well our first night at home with the new one... and its that old familar schedule of sleep, eat, poop...... oh yeah... and the baby wants attention too...  :-P

Baby Time!!

On Saturday morning [a couple of days ago], my wife wakes me up (7 am) and says:

     "...I have been having painful contractions since 4 am.."

So I say, ..."you should have said something... lets go to the hospital!!"

     "...Lets have some breakfast first.... and I want to take a shower..."

:-)  ....I dont think I will ever understand women.  But I guess thats not my role.  We did not get to the hospital until after 10ish.  We did not start pushing until after 12 (noon) and we had our baby at 12:49 pm [8.13 lb : 20.5 "] 

It was a quick and painless (Epideral) delivery and Mom and Baby are doing great!!

Friday, April 15, 2005

This is my first post.

This is my first post in my first blog.... how sad. 

But today is a day of celebration ... for today is my sons third birthday!!!  They grow up soooo fast... maybe too fast?  ...what are we feeding that kid.

I hope he does not kill me in my sleep.

Peace out!