Thursday, June 26

Thank You!

Thank you so very much for your prayers & well wishes on behalf of Mitchell! I received the following email from my dad earlier this afternoon:

"Amberly, Mitchell's operation went great. The doctor said that Mitchell's body tolerated the operation so well that he will not be putting him in the ER for 24 hours as they normally do....he went back to his same room. They stopped the bleeding and put a plate in his head...about the size of a quarter. The great news is that it all went perfect...Praise the Lord. So, if you wish, you may call him at that number I gave you. You were not able to reach them when you called because they started operation procedure an hour earlier than they thought they would and nobody was in the room.
Love you, Dad"

What a huge relief! I appreciate all your kind thoughts concerning this very unfortunate situation!

Wednesday, June 25

Urgent Prayer Request - My Nephew, Mitchell

I have an urgent prayer request...

My 12-year-old nephew, Mitchell, was dropped on his head by a high school boy at his church lock-in this weekend. The boy asked Mitchell not to tell anyone what had happened, saying that it would be their secret. After complaining to his 15-year-old brother (my oldest nephew) that his head was hurting, his brother called home to his parents. My sister & her husband picked up Mitchell, who then told them for the first time what had happened. They took him straight to the Emergency Room & a CAT scan revealed a 4 1/2 inch crack in his skull. He was then taken to Dell Children's Hospital in Austin for a more thorough head scan. The scan revealed internal bleeding. He was kept overnight & monitored. And, he has been there ever since. They just performed another scan on his head to see if the bleeding had stopped & it hasn't. So, the doctors made the decision to operate. They will cut a portion of his skull & cauterize the wound to stop the bleeding. They have assured my sister & her husband that this is a routine procedure & he will be fine by tomorrow. The surgery will be done this afternoon & will take approximately 1 1/2 hours.

If you have a chance, please say a special prayer for my nephew. I know hearing the words "routine surgery" should instill a sense of peace & calm in our family, but they are cutting open my nephew's skull for heaven's sakes. It's a scary thought!

Also, I know the high school boy's family must be feeling terrible about all this. They all go to the same church & I'm sure his parents are just completely distraught over the fact that their son caused this. As a mother, I can't begin to imagine the shame & disappointment & anger his own mother must be struggling with. Please remember them in your prayers also.

Thank you so much! Your thoughts & prayers are truly appreciated!

(Here is a family photo so you can see who you are praying for... Mitchell is the shorter boy with glasses.)

Playing in the Rain

Subic Bay Ultimate Frisbee Team!
Every Sunday evening, my friend, Heather, gathers a group of adults & kids to play team sports at the school soccer field. We meet at 4:30 and play until dark... about 2 hours or more. Rain or shine! We have played soccer, flag & tackle football and ultimate frisbee. This has become such a fun family gathering that we all look forward to attending. The kids stay busy playing on the covered playground while the adults (mostly) play on the field. Several big kids join the fun on the field & the younger ones run back & forth doing just about whatever they want! We all get great exercise & the children, of course, are completely worn out by the end of the evening!

Even Typhoon Frank can't spoil our fun! In fact, I think it was even better playing Ultimate Frisbee in the rain! We were quite drenched & muddy when the game ended, though. Fun times...

Gathering together on the field

Sam making another awesome catch

Samuel, Cade & Michael

Sunday, June 22

Our Father's Day

We had a nice & relaxing Father's Day last week. Sam only asked for a day of doing whatever he wanted, so the kids & I tried hard to stay out of his hair. He slept in, he watched TV, he went for a jog, he played video games & he read some of his book. While he was relaxing inside, we decided to make him a Father's Day card outside on a cement slab located on the side of our house. We worked hard & used up all the sidewalk chalk we happened upon one day at the store. (Sidewalk chalk is almost impossible to find here & is currently not sold anywhere nearby, but we are waiting on a care package from my mom with a new bucket of sidewalk chalk inside! YEA!) Here are some pictures of our wonderful artwork!

Nicholas was excited to go inside the house & get Daddy to come see his "card"

Our cement card

Mommy & Nicholas pose in front of our portraits

Sydney & Samuel pose on their chalk outlines

Saturday, June 21

Summer Summary II

Needless to say, I won't be typing up a daily summer recap as was my goal. But, I will do my best to remember all the fun we have had so far...

* I have taken the kids to the Fontana Water Park in Clark twice so far this summer. Now that the SCTEX toll road that runs between Subic & Clark (where the new Texas Instruments facility is being constructed) is complete, it takes me a mere 45 minutes to make the drive to the water park. It's clean, it's fun & it's cheap! We are enjoying every minute while the sun is shining before rainy season engulfs us!

* The kids have spent countless hours playing with their friends: John, Ciaran, Rowan, Eva, Cade, Melissa, Min Seo and others that are also staying here throughout the summer. Thank goodness for friends!

* We spent one Sunday afternoon in downtown Subic Bay watching several teams of 8 players participate in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Our friend, Heather, was playing so we cheered her on from the sidelines. The kids loved every single action packed minute! You can see pictures here.

* Sam & I have been able to sneak away for a few dates here & there. We enjoyed some live music at a little outdoor restaurant called Pier One. However, neither of the two rotating bands knew any of the songs that we requested. It was a bit of a reality check... we're definitely not in America anymore! Afterwards, we found a new videoke hangout. (Did I mention that my purse, which was holding Sam's wallet, was stolen from a previous videoke lounge back in May? I returned to get it less than 10 minutes after I left & it was already gone! Oh & we were the ONLY customers there! So, we have since boycotted that evil place!) This new lounge is even better, though, because they also provide tambourines we can play while Sam sings. Because, as all of our friends are learning, Sam is definitely the microphone hog! I know what you're thinking, but I promise... he is!

* We have also seen a few movies. I took the kiddos to see Kung Fu Panda a couple of weeks ago. Such a funny movie! We all loved it! We also saw Ironman. Sam & Samuel really liked it. Nicholas wasn't too interested at the time, but has now been asking to see it again. Sydney could take it or leave it. There were no princesses in it, so it doesn't get any stars in her book. And, last night, Sam & I went on a date to see M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, The Happening. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!! It was completely NOT worth it! Probably one of the stupidest movies I have seen in quite a while.

* Samuel & Nicholas also started taking taekwondo lessons. Samuel has been begging for months to go & now that we finally started, I'm not sure that he's too crazy about it. Nicholas, on the other hand, LOVES it! He is the youngest in the class & doesn't take it too seriously like many of the other kids, but kicking & punching are right up his alley! He is able to release tons of pent up energy! Sydney also started tennis lessons last week. She was pretty nervous about her first lesson, but was quick to tell me afterwards how much fun she had. She was so proud of herself every time she actually hit a ball over the net. Samuel will be joining her next week, so maybe this will be a sport they can play together one day.

* On Sunday afternoons, we typically meet a few other families at the school soccer field to play a variety of sports... ultimate frisbee, flag football or soccer. Ultimate frisbee has become a favorite among the kids & adults. I am completely worn out halfway through the game. And, we only play to 10 points! The younger kids play on the jungle gym while the older kids & parents get some much needed exercise. We really look forward to these fun outings & especially to the early bedtimes they create for our energetic kiddos!

* Sydney, Samuel & Nicholas recently completed a 2-day camp at Ocean Adventure. Ocean Adventure is similar to Sea World, but on a much smaller scale. They learned all about marine life & about taking care of our earth; they had the opportunity to interact with a variety of sea creatures; they picked up trash & debris along the coastline; they enjoyed fun crafts designed to help teach them about our ocean; and, last but certainly not least, they had the opportunity to kiss a sea lion & to swim with a dolphin! They absolutely LOVED their 2 days spent at Ocean Adventure. It was the best investment I have made so far this summer!

Here are a few pictures:

Samuel & Dolphin

Sydney & Dolphin

Nicholas & Dolphin

A sea lion planting a wet, sloppy kiss on Samuel's cheek

And, Nick's head

Shaking Sydney's hand
More pictures here


My wonderful parents are currently caring for our beloved dog, Dallas. We rescued Dallas soon after our 2nd wedding anniversary, so she has been a part of our family for over 8 years now! She was our 2nd "child". (We inherited my other rescued dog, Mystery, when we moved to a home with a yard in the D/FW area. Unfortunately, we had to put Mystery to sleep almost 4 years ago. She was our 1st "child".) Although we miss Dallas terribly, we know she is completely happy & in the best of care with her grandparents in the country. She has so much room to run & roam. And, now, she gets to run alongside my parents while they ride their bikes up & down the dirt road. She is loving every minute of her looooong vacation in Central Texas!

Mom & Dad, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking such special care of our high maintenance baby! She is so lucky to have the best Mimi & Papa!!

Look at this great smile!

Saturday, June 14

Air Supply

They're old, but they can still rock out to those sappy love songs! Here are some pictures from the concert we attended Thursday night. We all had a great time!


There they are - young at heart!

We sang every song with them!

Espinosas with Tammy & Steve Davis
(Tammy's brother, Dan, in background)

More pictures here

Friday, June 13


My youngest nephew celebrated his 11th birthday today, June 13! (Well, it's the morning of June 14th in the Philippines, but it's still Friday the 13th in Texas!)

Dillon, we all love you so much & we hope you had an exciting day of celebrating! You are such an awesome & fun boy!

Happy 11th birthday, Dill Pickle!!

Dillon & Sadie (Mimi & Papa's dog)

Pictures of a younger Dillon from our family camping trips:

Tuesday, June 3


70th Birthday Morning

Today is my Dad's birthday! And, not just any 'ol birthday... but his 70th!! My Dad is 70 years young & is the best looking grandpa around! In honor of my wonderful father, here are some pictures of him in action with a few facts about him thrown in...

(The picture above was taken this morning. Our family has a tradition of making a special birthday pancake on the morning of the lucky person's birthday. Mom & Dad continue this tradition even without any kids at home.)

Proud of his "Grandpa" shirt!
(And he definitely is a very proud Papa/Abuelo to all 8 of his grandkids!
5 of his grandchildren call him "Papa" & 3 call him "Abuelo".
He loves both titles!)

Soaked at the Frio River!
(He LOVES the Frio River, but he HATES being cold!
And, he really likes his "Grandpa" shirt!)

Dad & Mom at Frio River - June 2007
(Standing with Mom beneath the flood line on the tree at the Frio River.
The river rose that much just the day before.)

Amberly holding Nick & Papa holding Samuel at edge of flood water
(We were evacuated from our cabin & still couldn't get to it yet at this point.
The boys were still in their pajamas since we had to leave so quickly.)

Papa mowing with Samuel
Papa mowing with Sydney

Amberly (pregnant & swollen with Nick) holding Sydney, Dad holding Samuel & Mom
(Mom & Dad spent DAYS painting the beautiful red wall behind my sofa since I was huge & pregnant! Dad & I realized we probably should have taken the advice of the Home Depot paint department when they suggested we use a primer. We learned the hard way... 7 coats later! Sorry Mom.)
Dad & Sydney "fishing" at the City of Richardson Great Fountain Plaza Festival
(Dad enjoys fishing & especially enjoys taking his grandkids out fishing. Even in fountains!)
Papa holding newborn Nicholas
(Dad's nickname for Nicholas is "El Milagro", meaning "The Miracle". I was diagnosed with a complete placenta previa early on in my pregnancy, then diagnosed again with vasa previa one week before Nicholas was born. We were all thankful for my miracle boy that decided to stay nice & comfy in my womb until a safe c-section could be performed.)

Papa & his turkey feeding crew
(Mimi & Papa are very proud of their wild turkeys that visit the house in the evenings. The kids love throwing corn with Papa & watching the turkeys come for a feast.)

Happy birthday Dad & Papa! We all love you very, very much! You are the best & you deserve the best! Have a wonderfully special birthday!

Monday, June 2

One Word

I'm a sucker for surveys & the such! On this particular one, you are supposed to answer each question with one word only. Here are my answers... let's see yours on your blog!

1. Where is your cell phone? Counter

2. Where is your significant other? Kitchen

3. Your hair? Up

4. Your mother? Young

5. Your father? Birthday!

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Gone

8. Your favorite drink? Lemonade

9. Your dream/goal? Debtless (I will not stoop to using TWO words!!)

10. The room you're in? Family

11. Your hobby? Tennis

12. Your fear? Unknown

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Adventure

14. Where were you last night? Manila

15. What you're not? Skinny

16. Muffins? Nope

17. One of your wish list items? Australia

18. Where you grew up? Kingsville

19. The last thing you did? Drive

20. What are you wearing? Clothes

21. Your TV? Movie

22. Your pets? Dallas

23. Your computer? MacBook (one word... I promise!)

24. Your life? Busy

25. Your mood? PMSing

26. Missing someone? Family

27. Your car? Leased

28. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

29. Favorite store? Online

30. Your summer? Beginning

31. Like someone? Absolutely

32. Your favorite color? Blue

33. When is the last time you laughed? Today

34. Last time you cried? Saturday

35. Who will resend this? Sisters