Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a New Year, New Beginnings

Another year has come and gone. 2010 has definitely flown by us. We were blessed to have had the love and memories of family, friends and outings throughout the year. We have had some challenges and changes through the year which has made us as a family stronger and closer.

With the New Year, we start to think about the new beginnings we will have. We've got plenty of trips planned for the year, new things we want to try or do and most importantly some new additions to our extended family. YES, there are lots of babies amongst our families and friends.
Konnor is still continuing in his music lessons. He's been doing a great job. He will soon be starting EAK (Early Acceptance to Kindergarten) and he also wants to do Karate or Teeball. Kameron wants to also join something so I think it'll be a busy season. Kevin is still in the Masters Program at University of Redlands and I'm continuing in the BSIT - Visual Communications at University of Phoenix. We're all pretty busy but we make time to enjoy eachother and our friends and family as often as possible. So here's to a new beginnings.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve

We decided to have a quiet Christmas Eve at home...just the FOUR of us. Of course, it was also because we were all still recovering from being sick. We couldn't take the boys to Christmas Eve mass since they were still coughing and contagious. 

We spent the afternoon with Grandpa and Grandma McMaster. There we opened and exchanged gifts. The boys were interested in board games this year and they definitely got their share of games. The received Connect Four, Operation, a standing mic for our comedian, Kameron and a Table Top Air Hockey Set.

At Grandpa and Grandma McMaster's house
Before opening their stockings
After leaving Grandpa & Grandma's we had Pho (vietnamese soup) for dinner then spent the evening at home tracking Santa, opening stocking stuffers and watching movies. The boys were so excited to open something tonight and we could tell they couldn't wait.

Being that we've had the tree up since the beginning of November and presents piled under the tree for the past month, they were anxious. They knew they had some presents under the tree (since they could read their own names). There was one gift in particular that Konnor peaked at everyday..little did he know it wasn't a big surprise, but a surprise for his toys. LOL

We had fun encouraging the boys to track Santa. Since Konnor is very interested in maps, locations and geography, he had a ball. Every few seconds he would refresh the laptop and read (or try to read) the city Santa was in. He watched all the videos of the past cities and countries Santa had visited and anxiously waited for his arrival in CALIFORNIA!
Tracking Santa
Maybe I need to look closer

Konnor tried with all his might to stay awake. Being that he's the one that sleeps early, he really tried to track Santa until he got to California. Unfortunately he fell asleep by 11:30pm...but Kameron was still wide awake waiting for Santa. As soon as it hit midnight, we went upstairs and turned out the lights so that Santa could do his magic. Kameron was sure to leave Santa his milk and cookies we made.

I've never really had a quite Christmas Eve. This quite night made me reminisce about years ago as a child. I remember growing up spending Christmas Eve in Seaside, CA with all the family. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Grandparents and neighbors. It was always exciting to be with FAMILY. The smell of the delicious food my Grandparents were always cooking all night long filled the house. The laughter of all the kids (including myself). We had traveled from San Diego to Monterey every year to celebrate Christmas with the rest of our family.

As we grow our family and start our own traditions, this year will be spent together as FOUR. It at times felt lonely for me, even though I had the 3 most important boys with me, but I did miss the times as a child celebrating with our large family. Maybe it had something to do with missing my Grandma this year. It was our first year without her. Her passing 8 months ago is still hard to deal with, some days harder than others. But I know she is always watching down on us smiling.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Day for Thanks!

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Wishing you all a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Visiting my LOVED ONES

On our road trip back home from Fairfield, we stopped to say Hello to my Grandma and my other relatives. It's been almost 7 months since the passing of my Grandma Nellie Concepcion. It's been a rough road. I know it's never easy losing a loved one. I've had many people in life pass early and leave me. I've been able to learn to deal with that at a very young age. Kevin and I made sure to stop by Seaside, where my Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Darlene and Great Grandparents are buried together.

Never the less, it wasn't easy to sit at this quiet grave and "talk" to my Grandma. I miss her deeply. I'm even in tears while blogging this!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Staump Productions Fall Concert 2010

This was an exciting night for both our family as well as the Staump Productions family. It was the Fall Concert at Lakeside Middle School. For us, this was Konnor's first stage performance EVER! Maria Staump, his keyboard and guitar instructor and Tim Staump, his drum instructor was thoughtful enough to allow him to play even though he is just a month and half into his lessons with the production company. They thought he'd enjoy it...and so he did! He didn't hesitate at all to partake in the concert. We are thankful he doesn't have "stage fright", but I'll have to work with him on his "stage presence" as he was a bit aprehensive when I had to keep telling him to SMILE! The whole point was him to have fun..and that he did! Click the link below to see the video.

Fall Concert "You and Me"

Here are a few pics to share Konnor's passion

Monday, October 18, 2010

Konnor's rendition of "Billionaire" - Bruno Mars

Konnor has become intrigued and very interested in music and instruments. As you can see from previous posts, he thinks he’s a ROCKSTAR already. He loves to sing, but his passion is in the instruments, especially the DRUMS. Here is just hanging out at home and decided to sing “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars. He loves the song and always sings it. He especially likes the version from Glee! By no means is he properly playing the correct chords on the ukelele, but he thinks he is. He knows most of the chorus and can sing it over and over. Watch out Bruno Mars…

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Three things are needed for a good life: "Good Friends, Good Food, and Good Song." -Jason Zebehazy

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Konnor and Mommy Date Night: JONAS Brothers Concert

Standing in line ready with
all his Jonas Brothers Gear
September 16, 2010 Chula Vista, CA - I knew quite some time that JONAS was coming to San Diego. Konnor expressed how much he wanted to go. With his behavior, Kevin and I had told him that he needed to work on his behavior and his chores and we would think about it.
A day before the concert I surprised him and told him we were going somewhere special...just Konnor and Mommy. We had dinner together at our "date" place - CPK. California Pizza Kitchen was the first restaurant Konnor and I had gone to, together..without Daddy. After dinner we headed over to the Cricket Theater in Chula Vista for the Jonas Brothers/Camp Rock 2 concert.
Striking a pose
Being in an ampitheater with thousands of screaming girls was nuts. Konnor was cool, calm and collect and just enjoyed rocking out and singing along. It got quite cold through the night and Konnor did such a great job fighting his sleep to finish the concert. It was hard being that his normal bedtime is at 8:30pm-9pm. In the end we both had a great time. A part of me felt like a kid again. The best thing was to see my son happy and enjoying a concert of one of his favorite boy bands. ;-)

The sign he made for JB's
Rocking his JB necklaces from Mama
Jonas Brothers



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Find us on Tumblr

So I was introduced to tumblr by several friends and I thought to check it out. Yet, another social network. I'm such a sucker for these things. So yes, I decided to join and start my own tumblr blog. Being that I was able to download the Blackberry app I figured it was easier to post and blog since I always had my phone in hand. So here it goes. Let's see if I can manage both blogs. To keep up to date, check out both ..Live..Laugh..Love.. and Our Family Blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ROCKSTAR in training

Konnor on his first drum set,
hours after we brought it home
 We've noticed for a long time now how much Konnor loves music, instruments and his dream of being a "rockstar". His favorite groups and  singers are people like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, All Star Weekend, Justin Bieber and Big Time Rush. As early as a few months old he was always facinated with music. He would watch a show called "Hi-5" on tv that was a toddler/kid show that taught kids by singing and dancing. He would sit in his bouncer or swing and just be so happy watching. He fell in love with the show as he got older. We bought him all of the DVDs and the CDs. He wanted to watch them in the car and while at home. And anytime he could he would listen to the CDs. He started to learn the words for the songs and would start to sing along as he started to learn to talk. He even 
8 months
went to the Hi-5 concert when they were in San Diego. Up until he turned 3 yrs old he watched it daily. Then he turned to Disney Channel's Imagination Movers and wanted to be like them. They too sang and danced and captured his heart of music. We also took him to that concert all the way in Mesa, AZ in December 2009. So needless to say he became quick to learning lyrics to different songs. Not just kid music, but even other genres. If he heard it, he would sing it. Maybe not the whole song, but he appreciated music. Suddenly he became more interested in wanting to learn to play an instrument. I kept telling him he would have to wait til he was a certain age.

We recently decided to find a music school for him to start lessons. After talking to several people, I found a place close to home to take him. He started his first lesson last week and was so excited. Staump Productions Music Lessons

First lessons at Staump w/Tim

Maria and Tim Staump of Staump Productions Music Lessons were a great match. They are great with kids and have a great method and attitude about teaching to music to kids. Maria is a composer, songwriter and  musician. While Tim is also a muscian and according to Konnor, "he rocks out."

Do you think his passion for music has anything to do with me playing music daily while he was in utero? Or singing to him while I did housework while he was in my belly?  I don't know what it is because Kevin and I are not as musically inclined as I wish we were. Yeah, I love music, dancing and singing. I did play piano when I was younger but never "wanted" to, I was just forced to. With Konnor, I never have to force him to play or practice.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No more floaties Mommy!

Konnor started his first swim lessons at 4months old. He did it for 2 years straight. He never had a fear of water. Even his first dip in the pool as an infant was easy for him. With the many days of swimming through the past Summers, and moving into a house with a community pool, Konnor has developed the LOVE of swimming. So much that he learned to swim on his own...without floaties! Yesterday after a whole day at the beach, we got home and he headed straight to the pool. He told me he was ready to try without the floaties.

This is the video of his first try:

I was so excited for him. He was surprised with himself and kept at it until the sun went down! He was so excited he couldn't wait to show Daddy. So of course, as proof we took more video of this very cool milestone of his! We are so proud of you Konnor!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My 35th Birthday Celebration(s)

So my big 35th birthday came and went. I wanted to have a celebration that included my closest friends. The best thing was that I had my best friend from Arizona, Maria (who I call CEY) along with her Husband Abel celebrating with us. We had to celebrate a week early because Kevin had some important people at work coming in during the week of my birthday.

We started off the morning at The Omlette Factory in Santee. A wonderful homecooked style restaurant. Then we relaxed by the pool for awhile before getting ready to head out for the night. We invited a few of my closest friends. Kevin had surprised me with a limo that picked us up. (Mostly likely so we wouldn't have to worry about a DD for the night). Our friend Anders of AB Viking Limousine was gracious enough to be our driver at the last minute. If you are in San Diego and need transportation, call him up! He's great company too!

We celebrated at Barefoot Bar and Grill in the beautiful Paradise Point Resort and Spa. This is one of my favorite places in San Diego. The view is exceptional and it's relaxing atmosphere is the best. The night was a blast. Great food, great drinks and most of all GREAT COMPANY!! I love my friends. It's always such a pleasure to have them around. of course we had quite a few drinks through the night. It amazes me sometimes how much my friends can drink...and how much I can drink too! =) Heck, I drank a bottle of wine in the limo on the way down to Paradise Point! It was a nice dinner, nothing fancy or upscale. Just a relaxed evening full of friends. Just the way I like it! Thank you so much to my Hubby Kevin, my Bestie Cey and  Abel, The fabulous Chris and Sherry, Tammie and Howard, Chris and Melissa, Em and Steve, Manny and Brian for making it my night a memorable one! Anytime we're all together is alwaysFor those who weren't able to make it out that night, I missed you!

On Sunday, the 25th we spent the day poolside with the kids and our friends. We took over our pool and partied! THE MCMASTER'S are BACK! We love to entertain and love having our friends over. We had lots of food, drinks and fun in the sun. We made our famous kalua pork sliders, fruit, salads, grilled corn, pancit and of course  RICE! Good times as always. It was even more special to have all of the kiddos together enjoying the pool.
Thank you to: The Garcia's, The Corotan's, The Clauson's, The Brinkerhoff's, The Young's, The Dominguez's Erica and Landen and Brian Petretta for your company.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hello, San Diego!

first dip in the new pool
It's been a busy Summer for us. Although we have only really experienced summer weather this past week, we've been splish splashing and enjoying every bit of it.

On July 1st we moved back to San Diego (Santee to be exact). We have enjoyed being closer to a lot of our family and friends and have definitely gotten used to being closer. The boys have adapted very quickly to the new home, neighborhood and swimming pool. We have been in the pool everyday since we moved in. We have enjoyed Santee Lakes, the YMCA and all the new parks around Santee.

Kevin has enjoyed being that much closer to work, not having to worry about his commute. We are able to spend more time as a family and the greatest thing...eating dinner together! Stay tuned for more to come on our new adventure of being back in San Diego....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I am lost, My heart is aching

It's been a tough few weeks. On April 19, 2010 my heart shattered into a million different pieces. The news of my Grandma's passing stabbed me in the heart. A day at the mall with my parents, my nephews and my boys became a black blur.
My Grandma was such an important person in my life. Though I didn't see her as often as I should have, she played a very important role in my life as I was growing up. I spent many years in Monterey and even lived with her for awhile.
I was thankful for all the many memories I had with her. Thankful she was able to see me get married and to meet the boys. I still remember how strict she was about not getting married or having children too early. So when I finally was engaged, she was very excited for me. And when I told her I was pregnant with my first child, she was even more excited. The greatest feeling to me was for her to have had spent time with my boys.

The boys knew their "Great Mama" and they loved her dearly. They enjoyed visiting her and spending time at her apartment. I am grateful for all my Grandma had taught me (and she taught me a lot). I am thankful my kids were able to know their Great Mama too. She was always so excited to see the boys whether it was in person or in pictures.
We love and miss you so much Grandma! It has been rough going on without you in this world. We know you're always looking down on us and watching us. The boys pray for you everynight and so do I! That is the one thing I've always learned from you was the importance of church, praying and leaving things in God's hands.

I love you with all my heart and hope you're always smiling down on us as you watch the kids grow.