The Queen: Michelle

The Queen: Michelle
I am 28 years old. Still a princess but the queen of my family. Spoiled beyond belief. Lucky and truely blessed. A lover. A crafter. A mother. A wife. A friend. This is me.

My King: Junior

My King: Junior
The LOVE of my life! He completes me and balances me out in every way. He's a workaholic. He's loud, blunt, and crazy. He drinks Monsters like his life depends on it. Above all he is the greatest Daddy I could ever ask for, for my children. And he treats me like his Queen (and he calls me that too).

The Model Child: Diego Ray

The Model Child: Diego Ray
9 years old. My only boy. He is the epitome of the perfect child. He is so responsible and independent. Wise beyond his years. He is laughter, he is love, he is compassion, he is simply amazing. He keeps me grounded and reminds me always that I am beautiful. He is a natural born leader and takes care of the household and family better than me!

The Diva: Alayna Danae

The Diva: Alayna Danae
7 years old. She is drama. My fashionista for sure with a style all her own. Sensitive and loving when she wants to be. Thumbsucker. My biggest headache because she is the most like me. She is the only one who can cause me to become uncontrollably angry. She loves to dance. She loves to model. My bookworm and most academic.

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace
4 years old. This one is something else. She is pure comedy. Never a dull moment with her crazy antics. She is also the crybaby. She does things her own way. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to be cute to get it. My Disney loving pal. So girly. Her favorite color is pink. Loves Rapunzel. Will wear a dress every single day. Can't leave the house without a bow in her hair. She refuses.

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle
2 years old. My sweet baby. She loves her Mommy above all else. She is a cuddlebug for sure. The calmest most well behaved baby ever! But she has TONS of energy. She is so small and petite. She loves to sing and dance. She so SO ready for ballet and has yet to even step foot in a class. She loves Minnie Mouse and watching Disney Jr. She is hilarious and talks way too much.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder Why I Let My Kids Watch These Shows

So the other morning while cooking breakfast Alayna was watching cartoons. And I wasn't paying much attention to it... until that is... when I heard this...

I was laughing soooo hard... I was thinking... are they saying what I think they're saying.

This is from a show she LOVES to watch called Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. It's like Dora but the charachter teach you Mandarin Chinese. Hence the confusion on my part. Funny thing is she has a Monkey friend named Ho Ho... really Ho Ho?

I just thought it was too funny... what do I let me kids watch sometimes...

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Benke Wedding

Yesterday I was invited to my good friend Dawn's wedding. I met Dawn in the 7th grade and we instantly became friends. Throughout Jr High we were glued to each other... we were known as one name "Michelle&Dawn" or "Dawn&Michelle". But we went to different High Schools and soon lost touch.

I've always had a lot of friends... but never many Best Friends... and Dawn was one of my Best Friends growing up. Besides her I've only had one other friend that I could call my Best Friend... and she still is to this day. I am thankful that I can keep long lasting friendships such as these. And even though I've only seen Dawn a handful of times since Jr High... we've kept in touch through myspace and it seems like we've never stopped being friends even though our lives have taken such different roads. We both wanted to be teachers... and Dawn is doing just that! I am so proud of her!

Congrats Dawn Marie! Not only is Jacob extremely lucky to have you... but you are just as lucky to have such a sweetheart for a husband! Thank you for letting Junior and I share in your day. You know we're here for both of you guys always.

So the wedding was absolutely gorgeous and the bride was breathtakingly beautiful. To view pictures of all the details CLICK HERE.

Here's some pictures of the Benke Wedding:

First off, quick shout out to my sister Nichole for doing my makeup. Yeah awesome!

Mr. and Mrs. Benke

Yay they're married!!!

Didn't I tell you she's gorgeous?! And her dress was to-die for.

A self portrait of my husband and I by the fountain after the ceremony while the pictures were taking place.

I love this shot... her photographer (the man in brown) was taking some formal shots... and I took this while standing in the back watching

The cake table... AMAZING! I didn't taste it so I can't say if it was good but it looked fabulous sitting on that table.

The bridal party goofing off at the start of dinner

The first dance

The bouquet toss

Towards the end of the night... I finally got a picture with her!

My shoes went off soon after... they killed my feet... I have the war wounds to prove it.

The train... Woot Woot!

And the sparkler send-off!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Award

This award was given to me by my Daddy!
"Joe Cool"

And I gladly pass it to Betty:
"Meditations on the next phase"

Here are the rules for the award:
"You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.
The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.
Link back to the person who gave you the award.
List 5 things that you love about Christmas.
If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space!
Pass the award along to as many people as you like.
That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you!
But keep the Christmas cheer going!
Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment.
Also, link back to the person who gave you the award

1. Christmas Trees
2. All the Lights
3. Wrapping Gifts
4. Seeing my Kids faces when they open up their presents
5. Going to various holiday events
6. Dressing up
7. Drinking hot chocolate late at night with my husband
8. Receiving Christmas Cards in the Mail
9. Believing in Santa
10. Cookies

So I didn't have just 5 things. I love Christmas-time so it's hard to narrow it down!

Family Photos

A week and a half ago my sister-in-law asked me to do pictures of her, my brother, and their 3 kids. Of course I was happy to! We didn't have much time. Literally like 20 minutes, if that. We were headed to that Star of Wonder Christmas Show and we stopped at this really nice church and used their lawns and fountain as our backdrop. So it was hard to get everyone in the picture mood when they all were looking forward to the show. But we did our best.

Here's some pictures:

This is my nephew Juanito clinging to his Mom's leg cuz I was chasing him with my camera. Funny thing is his Mom is trying to take a slinter out of one of my neices finger while she cries hysterically. LOL

My brother's family

My brother and his son. The two Juans.

My oldest niece Tallynna

My other niece Brianna

My favorite picture of them from our session

Then Jen took a few for us... Jr and I weren't really dressed for the occasion but it's rare when we get a picture of he 5 of us... so I took the opportunity.

My son trying to climb up into a tree

My nephew Ducky... my sister's son.

Showing off Arielle's onsie that Jamma bought her

All the Melo Grandkids - Arielle, Tallynna, Diego, Brianna, Juanito, Ducky, and Alayna

And my 3 babies! All nice and festive.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Every year I do the bulk of the Christmas decorating in our house. I call it my Winter wonderland. Usually the house looks like Santa's workshop threw up. But this year we kept it more simple. Sticking with the more traditional red, greens, and gold.

Here's out tree. My Dad helped me raise it onto Diego's Cars table and we made a tableskirt out of a tablecloth to cover up Lightning McQueen. Our tree is so tiny... so it really helped. Not only that, then we could fit all the gifts under it... This was the first night we put it up and stacked the gifts... now there's about twice as many as that.

Here's the dining room table. I started decorating it but was put on hold because my mom wanted my Dad to clean the chandelier. So while we were gone one day, he cleaned them and my mom totally re-did and added to the table. Looks pretty awesome no?

We don't have a chimney anymore... the house we grew up in did. Funny thing is at the old house we never had stockings as kids. My husband's family always does stockings... so for the past 4 years we've incorporated it with my parents as well. So to the left are my family's, the middle 2 are my parents, the 5 on the right are my brother's family, and the 3 on the far right are my sister's family. (Don't mind the ones on the far left because those are the ones I have to take to my Mother-in-Law's house)

This picture was taken after the previous one... now our "Chiminey" is full of Christmas cards. The left side are mine (and Diego's)... and the right side are my parents. We've recieved lots of cards!!! (Actually a few more have been added since the taking of this picture as well. So thank you friends!)

And on our tree we have a weird mixture. No ornaments match and there are only a few on there. Each one is special for one reason or another.

I made this little soldier when I was like 8 or 9. My sister also made one that is on our tree as well. My aunt had taken us to Maryvale Ballpark for a Christmas event thing that they had and that's where we made them.

This baby Jesus was given to my mom by my sister's Godmother I believe. Before she was even born... so before she was even her Godmother. They worked together at a bank what I was a baby and that's how they met. She gave it to her as a gift. And it's still around. I have always hung it right under the star. I don't think anyone else knows that... but I feel it's where he belongs. Plus I was always afraid of breaking it and my Mom being super mad.

Then we have a plethora of Harley ornaments that we've either given my Dad or somehow he acquired.

Here's a ceramic motorcycle.

And some round ones...

This is one of my favorites... an Elf sleeping in a saddle bag.

And Jr and I started a tradition for our kids. We're buying a new ornament every year for our tree:

In 2006, 2 weeks before xmas Jr and I went to Disneyland without Diego and Alayna as our gift. So that's when we decided to start the ornanment tradition. And we brought back one ornament for each of them.

This is Alayna's. It's actually an antennae ball but, at the time she was really obsessed with Mickey Mouse and we wanted something really cutesy looking... and I feel in love with this one. So we threaded ribbon through it and ta-da!

Here's Diego's. No need for an explination. Since he was 3 til he was 5 he was OBSESSED with the movie Cars. So this is what we brought him back from Disneyland.

In 2007 we got married and since then I have been looking for a bride and groom ornament to commemorate that year. We found some at the Hallmark store but they weren't that cute and way too expensive. So maybe I'll just make it.

For this year... I am waiting till the after xmas sales on Friday. But I am thinking of something with a baby on it... since we had a new baby this year.

Hope you liked my Christmas tour! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Star of Wonder

Last weekend we were invited by my sister-in-law and Brother to join them in going to Phoenix First Assembly's annual Star of Wonder Christmas Show. A friend of hers from work was in the show and she thought it would be neat to go and see it. So being that it's free she extended the invitation out to our whole family. My parents, and my family, along with my aunt and her family had went last year for the very first time and LOVED the show. So I for one was excited to go again. Plus this time the kids are older so I knew they would enjoy it more.

So we rounded up our crowd, my family, my brother's family, my sister and nephew, and my Aunt Kika and cousin Paula. (Yes, my parents bailed last minute... fun suckers!) We had planned on going to the 3pm showing. Which meant they started letting the general admissions in at 2pm for seats. We got there like right at 2... and it was packed full. Not an empty seat... and with our crowd we just didn't fit. We deliberated sitting in the aisles, standing in the back, and going home. Well I overheard a man telling some lady that their last and final show was at 7pm and that doors would open at 6pm. So I relayed the info to my sister in law and since she lives not to far from the church we decided to go to her house and come back super early to wait in line and get us some seats!

We ended up going an hour before they opened the doors. It was freezing and we were all bundled up. The kids started to lose patience so we took them to see Santa while my brother held our place in line. They were all excited to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a picture... all except for Alayna that is. Not unusual. She was so embarrassed to go over by him. I literally had to push her into the picture.

Finally at 6pm we were let inside. We found some nosebleed seats on the balcony (same exactly place we sat last year but except for the front row... we sat in the last row)... and we gathered our herd and took up the entire row. Then we had to wait another hour before the show even started. Now the kids were more confined and WE were starting to lose our patience. And why did it have to be the 3 oldest girls to cause all the problems? Shouldn't they behave because their older. The 5 little kids did a much better job! Ok maybe not Ducky. My 3 kids behaved so well I was so proud of them. I only had to ask Diego to keep his voice down like twice... but that's because he scream talks when he gets excited. Luckily I always come OVERprepared and I packed like 10 granola bars, a bag of goldfish, gummy snack, and cookies for all the kids. And that bought us some quiet time for like 10 minutes.

But the show was just as amazing as last year. I had already seen it and knew the whole story line... and everything was pretty much exactly the same... but it was great! They do something that appeals to everyone. It's not only a play, but a musical as well. And they include songs like traditional Christmas carols, some 70's, some Bing Crosby, some High School Musical, and some hip hop step music. It's really a good collaboration of music and styles and stories and songs... mixed in with some ballet, cirque du so lei, laser lights, fireworks, and dance. The only difference beside (obviously) different people playing some of the characters. Was that last year they did a medley of high school musical songs in one of the scenes... it was 3 songs... and this year they did 1 High School Musical, 1 Hannah Montana, and 1 Jonas Brothers. The kids went WILD and Alayna was star struck... she thought it was the real Hannah and she's a BIG fan.

I was amazed to see how into it Alayna was. She got tired halfway through and wanted to go to sleep but she kept her eyes open. She paid a lot of attention to details. After the show on our quiet drive home, I asked her what her favorite part was... thinking for sure she'd say Hannah Montana... and she said... the Ballerinas. Then I asked her why. She said because they were so pretty with their dresses and they did an arabesque. I was in AWE that she said arabesque. I couldn't figure out how she knew that! Diego informed me that it was probably the show Little Einsteins on the Disney Channel. One of the character is a ballerina and she uses a lot of ballet terminology.

So here's some pictures:

And a video:

I figured I'd post the High School Musical Section from last year. (This year I couldn't film with a baby in my arms... it was hard enough taking pictures) Cuz remember this year it was... High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and Jonas Brothers. I really wish I would have known or I would have been ready to film.

So we ended up watching the last and final performance of the season. But they do this show every year. And if you want better seats you can actually purchase the tickets. (Which we're doing next year) but General admission isn't all that bad. Check it out! It really great for families, Kids, Teens, or even on a date. I encourage you to catch a show next year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Diego's Holiday Program

How cute was it to sit and watch the Kindergartners sing all their little Holiday songs last night? It was adorable!!! Diego was excited for his show and we all went: Me, my husband, our daughters, my mom and dad, my nephew Ducky, my BFF/Diego's Nina and her boyfriend and their daughter/my goddaughter Arianna. We got there early and snagged front row seats.

They sand I thinka total of 5 songs. So funny. For being so excited Diego wasn't so into it... after the first song he stood there just slightly mumbling the words and staring off into space. He did bust out some little dance moves from time to time though... kinda funny.

So here's some pics:

Diego the star

Posing with Alayna and Ducky

Alayna, Arielle, and Ducky


And there's my cute little boy! (Surrounded by nothing but girls...
he gets mad when we make fun of him always being around the girls.)

And here's a video: