Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bonney Christmas 2008

Since Dave worked Christmas Day, we celebrated Christmas this year on Christmas Eve. Dave came home from work that morning as fast as he could, then we all ran downstairs to see if Santa had visited us. We opened stockings and gifts as a family and had a brief break (and frankly a nap since Caiden, Kiya and I are all sick and Dave had worked all night) until the family came over for Part 2 of our Christmas Adventure.

Caiden and Kiya opening and exploring some gifts

Santa DID make an appearance

Caiden excited about his new spiderman toy
The dogs opening their gifts

It is really a blessing to have everyone together, and seeing as this is my favorite time of year, I am thrilled to be hosting Christmas. It was quite a commotion as we had 5 kids under the age of 5 in the house (2 infants, 2 toddlers, and of course my little man). We played "pass the kids around" while we chatted merrily and visited.

Me and Dean - How cute is he?!

Mom and Kiya :)
Karen and me
Lance and Susan and Kiya and Dean
Kiya still smiling, even though she has a cold
How cute is Kyle?
David made these two time out chairs for Kyle and Lindsay (per their parents' request)

Kyle and Lindsay's first time sitting in their new chairs
"hey...these chairs aren't so bad"...they sat in them for quite a while.
Kiya "feeling" out her new cousin Dean
Pam and Dean
Me cooking...yep..I know, even I am shocked that I am cooking :P

After dinner had settled, and the fury of wrapping paper had been cleaned up, we all settled down for some dessert and of course an opportunity to play with our new gifts. My mom gave Dave and I a wii for Christmas. Of course having the competitve family that I have, the game was on!!! Even Phil got into the spirit and even won the game!! Of course he was playing my character as I had to stop and go feed Kiya. :) Let's say I gave him a head start...no really, I WAS on a roll. :)

Phil playing wii...can you guess which game he was playing? Three guesses and the first two don't count.

Steph playing tennis with the wii

Ok, so I am not the most technically savvy of people. I'm just trying to figure the darn thing out.

Merry Christmas everyone :) It's wonderful to spend time with people who care about family and cherish time we have together.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cookies For Santa

This year Caiden and I decided to make some cookies for Santa, and put out some carrots for the reindeer along with Caiden's very festive letter to Santa. Since Caiden is not at the stage where he is writing full sentences, I transcribed what he told me to on the picture he colored for Santa of a scarecrow. (Don't ask me why a scarecrow, but this is what he chose).

Caiden's note to Santa

Caiden took his job making cookies very seriously, and worked very hard to make the perfect batch of cookies. Of course, what is cookie making without eating a little cookie dough?

Caiden making cookies
Very focused...

Well, it seems when my back was turned (attending to Kiya), Caiden ingested a bit more cookie dough than I realized. This was paid for later, as he Caiden got sick during the night (which also resulted in some late night laundry for me. (lesson learned: put AWAY the cookie dough quickly when you are done for the night). Clearly the lesson was not learned by Caiden as the first thing he asked for in the morning was more cookie dough. Sigh...I have created a monster.

I think they came out quite nicely, and that Santa will be quite impressed with the hard work and dedication that went into his cookies :)
Hmm...only crumbs and a little bit of milk left...hope Santa enjoyed them :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spark of Love Toy Drive 2008

For the past three years, we have participated in the Spark of Love Toy Drive. We knew with the hard economic times, the tough job market and the high rate of foreclosures that this year was going to be more important than past years as there are more people struggling, and even more children that will go without this year for Christmas.

Toys are separated by boys and girls as well as ages. Here is the girls section

Here is the boys section

As a parent, it is important for children to have that innocence and sense of normalcy. For a child, a new toy can do just that, but for many families this year, that wasn't going to be an option. Thankfully, the Spark of Love Toy Drive hosted by Fire Departments across five counties in Southern California were there to make a difference.

Some special families receive bicycles

Fire Santa

This year, as in the years past, we participated in the Spark of Love Toy Drive with San Bernardino County Fire Department. My team and I started early (around Thanksgiving) to collect toys up through the Toy Drive Event. I cannot tell you how impressed and grateful I was for the strong participation we had this year with my team. As a group, we collected more toys this year than the past three years that we have participated.

In addition to donations by the group, team members branched out to get sponsors involved as well. Special thanks to Peter Moeini, Anthony Danna, Josh Christopher and Kate Bisaillon who worked with Corporate, local businesses and friends and families to bring in additional toys to our toy drive. Also, special thanks to Peter Moeini, Anthony Danna, his girlfriend, Megan, Amanda McWilliams, and Josh Christopher who joined Caiden, Kiya and myself to help pass out toys and tidings of good cheer to our honored guests.

Caiden helped Josh find that special toy for some of the children

Anthony and Megan handed out Hot Chocolate after retiring from handing out toys

Amanda helped pass out the gift bags (toys) to the respective families.

Megan, Anthony and Peter wait for the event to begin
Peter, Anthony and Megan wait for a note that tells them which family they will be collecting toys for

Although Dave was working, he stopped by, along with his crew, to participate for a brief time. Every year I bring Caiden, and this is the first year for Kiya, but I feel that it is very important for the kids to give back to the community, and to see that everyone can make a difference. As Caiden is getting older, I am hoping that it is lessons learned from events and life experiences such as these to realize what Christmas is all about. It's not about what you get for Christmas, or how many toys you get. It is about spending time with loved ones, and giving selflessly to others, especially those in need.

Caiden, Kiya and myself
Caiden all bundled up
Kiya not quite sure about all of the commotion
Dave showed up for a little bit :)

Dave let Caiden wear his antlers for the picture. His whole crew had some kind of crazy holiday hats...

Kiya all bundled up
Kiya and I passing out good cheer and hot chocolate

We had a rush at the hot chocolate stand :)

All and all it was a tough year, but thanks to the team in Irvine we were able to assist in making the Christmases for some very needy families a little bit easier this year, as well as sending a message of hope for the future. It takes a community to make a difference, and I, for one, am very proud to be part of the Irvine community that helped to make a difference this year!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Graduation Heather!!

After years of blood, sweat and tears, Heather Wilson has graduated, and what better way to celebrate than with a Kitchen aid!!!

Well, if you know Heather, you know that this is quite the perfect gift for her, if I do say so myself. Even though it was not officially her graduation party, I forced her to open her gift from Stephen Roberts, Michael Chapman, Josh Christopher and myself. I have been holding onto it for months and was so excited to give it to you.

Heather..all smiles! And Yes...the KitchenAid is pink!!!

Plus, she is not the most cooperative person to try and keep a surprise from. Thank goodness, I had Danny in on the secret, as well as my accomplice Michael Chapman who diligently helped me derail Heather from finding the perfect Kitchen Aid on sale. With the crappy economy, and being the experience deal shopper that Heather is, she was out sniffing for the perfect Kitchen Aid at a great price - not unlike a bloodhound on a very smelly trail :)

In the end it all worked out, so the fierce some four (Josh, Michael, Stephen and myself) can all breathe a unified sigh of relief that our gift came off without a glitch. :)

Congratulations Heather...oh, and I can't WAIT for my cupcakes :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

Well, since Kiya was getting pretty tired after Mackenzie's party, we figured that we had better go get our Christmas tree soon. We all ventured out to find our perfect 2008 Christmas tree.

Dave and Caiden setting up the tree

Caiden was a very big helper and did a great job helping Dave set up the tree. Then later, Caiden, Kiya and I decorated the tree (Dave was at work). Caiden was excellent! He was very careful with the ornaments, and didn't break one this year!!! He enjoyed explaining everything to Kiya too.
Caiden did a great job hanging ornaments and had a great time :)

Caiden explaining the process to Kiya

Kiya was more interested in this pen cap she found, and her ability to stand solo

It was exhausting, so we all cuddled up to rest. Caiden is such a good big brother. He just loves his sister. We are so blessed. :)

Kiya has found and claimed her spot...that is underneath the end table.

Even Trooper doesn't understand why Kiya is there and has to come investigate.

Exhausted but happy...my beautiful children :)