Monday, February 28, 2011

Sick Sunday Extended

Yesterday we all, well all but Parker, woke up sick. We had sore throats, stuffed up noses, foggy heads, and were ornery, ornery, ornery. However, it was my mom's birthday so all of us (except Mota who was completely wiped out) got ready for dinner and went to her home to celebrate. For not feeling so well we really did have a good time. Happy birthday Mom! I was hoping we'd all feel a little better today, but no such luck. Parker woke up and asked to stay in bed for the day and Hunter couldn't quit coughing so Mota sent him back to bed. Then we all slept in until Mota woke me up while getting ready for his daily workout. Once awake, again, I knew I couldn't stay in bed and had to get going. Mom's don't get "sick days". So lucky for me I've been endowed with the special mom super-power that all mom's have to be able to preform any necessary tasks while sick . . . tending to husbands and kids, cleaning, cooking, etc. Even though the Mota's are a bit under the weather this beautiful Monday morning, I anticipate accomplishing a lot today. I am positively determined to make it a wonderful day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This morning I had an appointment a few blocks away from our first home so I decided to drive by and show Tanner where he lived for almost the first year of his life. Mota warned me that it was run down, but I couldn't resist taking a peek at the home we bought only a few months after we married. It was a teeny tiny 1940's two bedroom, one bath home that we spent 10 years lovingly fixing up.

We added an awning to the back porch, extended the garage adding a power garage door, gutted the bathroom, put up siding, gutters, new windows and doors, built a fence around the back yard, planted new trees and put in planters. Had the 5 of us and our 2 labs not outgrown our 800 sq ft we would have stayed forever. The part of our home I miss the most is our backyard, it was amazing. Our large dog kennel, shed and a temporary garage for our eBay stuff was a plus, but my absolute favorite part was the play area. We'd built a cute little picket fence around it for the boys and put in a drinking fountain, kids picnic table and swing set with a garden around the perimeter. It was the perfect place to play on a sunny summer day.

Parker & Tanner 4/26/07

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Out With The Old . . . In With The New

A little over three years ago we moved from our 800 sq. ft home into our current home of 2,450 sq. ft. Right away I knew our kitchen needed updating. However, our goal is to become debt free so putting a new kitchen on credit was completely out of the question. Needless to say, I've been "suffering" with 80's pink counter-tops and the old oak cupboards, a white fridge and stove, black dishwasher and a cream microwave. I'm not complaining too much because our kitchen is very functional and tons bigger than our previous home with a galley kitchen smaller than our travel trailer kitchen. I really and truly am grateful for my massive kitchen, I love it . . . I just like to dream of a day when it will have granite counter tops, two ovens and a bar with a stove top. When we moved we came up with a strategy to get matching appliances. We decided as they went out we'd buy black with stainless steel accents to replace them. Our first appliance became unusable this morning. I say unusable because our over-the-stove microwave still works great, the door just decided to fall apart! Last fall the handle fell off, but it was still in working order so we decided to wait until spring when a new one better fit our budget. Our microwave had a different idea, this morning the glass front started falling out. We knew we couldn't wait any longer. Mota got on line and found one in no time. The rest of the afternoon was spent in frustration figuring out how to get the old one off the wall and the new one in place. I love my new microwave ... and now I can't wait for my stove to go out!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100% Girl...99% Of The Time

After having 3 boys, finding out my little Shaylee bug was a girl almost sent me into shock. To be honest I didn't trust the ultrasound and continued to believe she'd be a boy. At about 37 weeks I had a second ultrasound with the same tech. When she asked if we'd gone crazy with the girl stuff I told her the truth . . . I wouldn't believe it until I saw her, but I'd sewn a pink blanket just in case. The evening before her due date Mota finally convinced me that we'd better buy some girl stuff. So off to the store we went to pick out a pink car seat (I kept the receipt of course). Mota and the boys each picked out an outfit for her while I just stood there overwhelmed, looking at all the girly stuff. Two weeks after our little shopping trip our baby arrived . . . the nurse double checked, just for me, before announcing "It's a girl!".

Now I look back and laugh at how completely worried I was with raising a girl in a house full of boys, trucks, video games and not a single doll in sight. Despite my original fears it's been working out just fine. Shaylee bug loves playing trucks and swords with her brothers, but she's truly a natural at the girly stuff. 99% of the time she's soft and gentle with her baby dolls, feeding and rocking them to sleep. She loves cooking in her little kitchen and serving burgers to her daddy. She even gets her brothers to sit down for tea parties! She loves pretties (jewelry), shopping for clothes, and there's no doubt she loves her shoes. But every once in a great while you can definitely see that she has 3 older brothers . . . it's those moments that put a ginormous smile on my face.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad Day For the Blue & Gold

Today's one of those days where I've felt like I have too much on my plate. On top of all the mom and wife stuff, home stuff and business stuff I also hold callings in my church. One is that of den leader and tonight was the cub scout Blue & Gold Banquet. My part was tiny, just throw the main course in the oven (pre-made by the pack leader) and help Parker make a cake (all of the cubs decorated one), but I was so completely exhausted it overwhelmed me for some crazy reason. Even though I complained to my ornery self during the entire cake making process I knew we'd have fun tonight, and we really did. February's scout theme is resourcefulness and our creative pack leader thought . . . who's more resourceful than Harry Potter? Well, she couldn't think of anyone so naturally our banquet became a Harry Potter theme! There were banners, a riddle hunt, awards, dry ice fill drinks with pop rocks in the cups and rattle snake eggs. We also had the Sorting Hat. As it was placed on each boys head it magically said their name and the awards they earned. I got to be the magic announcer hidden in the back room, peeking through the door and announcing each boy with a microphone hooked up to the speaker system. Parker's red velvet and butter-cream frosting cake turned out pretty dang snacky and looked great too. All in all the night was wonderful and to top it off I'm feeling like my old "can-do-it-all" self even though I admit . . . I'll never be able to do-it-all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Daytona 500 Day

The biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500 was today . . . and Mota DVR-ed it! Why? Because church was right smack in the middle of the race! Unfortunately, after getting home he checked his facebook and texts before settling into his Lazy Boy. What he read was devastating... Earnhardt Jr. wrecked and for just a moment Mota almost decided not to watch the race. But he did, and what a race it was. 20 year old new comer Trevor Bayne, who'd never raced the 500, won! Even though I know Mota's heart will forever and always be with Earnhardt he was bouncing up and down and yelling. Today's race also brought a few tears to my eyes as well as Mota's (shhh don't tell). Before and during the race they honored Dale Earnhardt (senior), Mota's all time favorite racer since he was a tiny guy. Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of his death at Daytona. What makes him so amazing to me is where he started and how he proved that if you work hard enough and want something bad enough you can achieve anything. Here's to you Earnhardt, you were a great man and one heck of a driver. The sport will never be the same.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Last Game

Sadly Parker's basketball season came to an end today, but he had an amazing last game. I was trying to take pictures so I only saw him make 4 baskets. However, he claims to have made 6! What made this season great was his amazing coach who's main goal was teaching the fundamentals and making sure the kids had fun. I believe that's why Parker has loved the game so much and improved by leaps and bounds this year. As you can see I'm not a seriously competitive kind of mom. I don't really believe it's good for my kids to feel like they need to win at all costs. Don't get me wrong, winning is awesome and defiantly the goal . . . but why play the game if it's not fun? For now I want my kids to be kids, to have as much fun in life as they possibly can with the least amount of stress, yet still learn responsibility. I know it's a tall order, but I also know it's the only time in life where they're blessed with no worries. I believe this basketball season has been just that. Parker learned responsibility while having fun being a kid. He had such an amazingly fun time that he's already talking about playing again next year. It's a fabulous feeling when your able to help your kids find joy and happiness in something they love to do!

Something New

While the kiddos were busy with grandpa and grandma Susie eating pizza, playing Twister, getting ice-cream and putting puzzles together Mota and I went out for an evening together with a couple of friends. All I wanted was to go and do something we'd never done before. Dinner was at a cute, slightly upscale restaurant that we'd never been to before. We were seated in a grove of lemon trees and my dinner was absolutely wonderful. Afterwords, we walked over to a new indoor activity type place where we decided to "try" to play a game of croquet. Once Larry knew what he was doing he was awesome at it . . . on the other hand I was playing with pure luck. He scored 30 and I was thrilled with my score of 14. Next date night we'll be going back and trying the ropes course. We're both afraid of heights so we'll see how that goes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Family Time - Get It How Ever You Can

Yesterday was crazy busy, but super fun! Our schedule: Parker's basketball practice at 5pm, haircuts at 6pm and swimming at 7pm. We made it to the first two appointments on time, but the boys hair was sooo long they looked like little troll dolls and their cuts took longer than anticipated. We sped home, scarfed down dinner (hot dogs and mac & cheese) then sped off to the pool.

We finally hopped in the pool about 8:30 and the kiddos had a blast! It was Shaylee's first time in a real pool! At first she'd only put her toes in the water. By the end of the night she was splashing and swimming with dad's help. Tanner was the biggest surprise, he took to the water like a fish. We finally left the pool at 10pm!!! The kiddos were exhausted, but fabulous memories were made.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Parker...Karate Extrodianare

Monday's and Wednesday's are karate days. Parker never wants to get ready and usually throws a fit all the way to class, but didn't today! What makes me laugh is picking him up...he's full smiles, energy and excitement, completely jazzed up and can't wait for the next class. He started karate in 1st grade and loved it so much that he joined their Black Belt Club a year later. If you were to ask him what his favorite weapon is he'd tell you the sword, because it's soooo dangerous! At the moment he's a brown/purple belt, but that will soon be changing. He's only one test away from his brown/blue. Go Parkey!!! Before we know it he'll have his black belt!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Tradition

We usually don't do much for Valentine's day, but this year Mota surprised me with breakfast in bed and a beautiful ring he designed just for me . . . what a sweety!

Mota Valentine's Day tradition mandates that we always give the kiddos a valentine with their dinner, usually a little chocolate something. And homemade cherry cream pie is an absolute must. It just wouldn't be Valentine's without it. Shaylee really dug into hers this year!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homemade Ice-Cream & Valentines

Valentine's Day isn't one of my favorites, but it's just not in me to pass up a day to be creative. Besides, my kiddos love it and all the preparation is worth it to see smiles on their little faces. Each year we have a ton of fun making our own valentines. This year was no exception. My boys asked if they could make the same gum airplanes we made last year instead of coming up with something new, so we did. This afternoon I laid everything out . . . gum, smarties, stickers, lifesavers and rubber bands. The boys sat around the table putting names on banners to be tied to the tail of the planes as I put the planes together. With a lot of laughs and smiles we completed all 67 in just under two hours and made memories!

Not only did we make valentines today, we made vanilla ice-cream!!! My kiddos are absolutely ecstatic when Sunday finally rolls around. In the Mota home Sunday dinner means dessert. Despite the freezing cold February temps, homemade ice-cream sounded like an extraordinary idea . . . so I pulled out the ice-cream freezer, dusted it off and made a batch of vanilla. The kids gobbled down their dinner and waited as I put scoops of ice-cream in bowls, topping them with caramel and whipped cream. The room was silent as they literally licked their bowls clean!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Meet the Mota's

This is my first shot at blogging. In the beginning I thought, what a crazy kind of idea . . . putting your life on display for the world, who does that? Then I read an article that gave me a whole different take on what a blog can be and I got excited! It's not just ramblings of some stranger, but a life history and a way to leave it for all my present and future posterity. With that in mind, I welcome you to join me and my Mota family on our simply amazing journey through life.

Meet my hubby, Larry (aka Mota): We met in high school, dated 5 years and got married. Mota's an entrepreneur and great at it. He's always go, go, going, never stopping. He loves racing and his dream of professional racing isn't that far fetched. Currently he drag races motorcycles. In fact, the 1st year he raced he took 1st at the local track, 2nd at nationals in Vegas and WON a Wally at the world finals in Pomona, CA. He also loves, snowboarding, wake-boarding, camping, hunting, 4-wheeling and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of.

Meet me, Jenn: Mota and I have been married for 14 years and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him. I help run Larry's business' from home and love being near my kiddos. I'm a crafty kind of gal. I love scrap booking, planning my kids parties, baking and spending time with my family. I really enjoy all that goes with homemaking, it's such a challenge. I also love camping and water-skiing. I suppose I'd love snowboarding too . . . if only I could figure out how. ;)

Meet my Parker: He's my oldest and my angel. He's extremely strong willed, don't let his quietness fool you. He's amazingly helpful and reliable. He loves playing basketball, flag football and is awesome at karate. His favorite subject in school is math . . . definitely not something he got from me. Parker is always an amazing kid, unless you ask him to clean his room.

Meet my Hunter: He's my second child and my sunshine. When he flashes his contagious smile the room simply lights up! He's a happy-go-lucky kid and nothing much phases him. He's just starting to dabble in sports, but seems to love T-Ball. Hunter is definitely a people person, always making new friends. School comes easily and he loves all subjects.

Meet my Tanner: He's my third child and my little sweetheart. He's very tenderhearted and loving. He's also extremely polite, always saying please and thank you. Tanner never turns down a chance at sitting on my lap or one on one time with me and his dad. He wants to be as big as his older brothers and is always trying to keep up with them. During the summer he's always sneaking out to play in the sandbox, but he loves riding his bike too.

Meet my Shaylee: She's my baby and my little sugar. She's amazingly affectionate. Always kissing and hugging mommy, daddy and her brothers. She has daddy wrapped around her little finger and it's absolutely adorable. With three older brothers she can hold her own. She already has her own little sense of style. She loves picking out her own outfits on shopping trips and loves her shoes. Yes, I know, we're in big trouble when she hits the teen years!