Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Recap


ahhh christmas. This christmas was a turning point for me seeing that we have the little one who is now old enough to understand jesus birthday party, (to a degree) . We have been preparing him for the holiday with church and the advent wreath. Books helped too. I was no longer excited to get gifts. That excitement was replaced by awaiting the joy that Ak would get via gifts. Theresa did a good job explaining how that joy was supposed to be assosiated with baby jesus.
Im not even going to try to recreate what she said. But it was on point.

walkin to church

blowing out advent candles

i went to home depot on xmas eve to get our tree. thats our tradition via our anglican religeon. we keep it low key and then the night before xmas we put up the decorations, lights and tree!
(that and trees are free at this point). But wait! hold the phone! Trees were not even marked down when i got there. Everyone was like, "hey, these are supposed to be free!" I guess times are tough and home depot wants every little penny.

We also prepared by cooking cookies for gifts and food for the big party. It was my first xmas night staying up late preparing stuff, unwrapping gifts for akello and then wrapping them back up again so as to be easy to open, decorating and transforming the the living room from a school into a suitable hosting space for jesus's birthday party the next day.


oh, and i had to make a fancy menu of course.

brunch menu

The next morning i was just as excited to wake up as Ak. We rushed to the living room to make coffee and warm up some tamales. Ak has a knack for opening up the biggest gifts first. pretty funny. We bought him a guitar that was just his size. He has a ukelelee wich is small, and moms guitar wich is huge. this was perfect. He loves it.

if you werent awake...

all day had family coming over to the house. By the end of the day ak was walking around asking for more gifts. Whoa! pull up on them reigns boy!

pimpin the slippers
ak and g pimp their new slippers. (wish i got the giraffe ones, thankness for receipts!)

tamales and muffins
cheers grandma
cheers grandma!
ak passing out the gifts!

days prior to the big day
ak decided to make cookies for gifts and deliver them around the neighborhood. A toddlers work is never done.
get the dishes...
layout the ingredients...
mix it!
course he did have some help!
ak on his stepstool putting cookies in the tupperwares

time to wrap them up...

...and deliver!


Ak made some very healthy cookies, granola bites really. Not to sweet, but oh so addicting.

after that he said, "i wanna work hard like daddy"

so it was on with his work boots (rain boots) and outside we went to work on the trail.

he is quite the little helper.

the neighbors thought i was going ghetto for awhile parking my truck on the lawn, but no, twas simply another load to transport. i think ive been back and forth to whitlesey 10 times maybe? more?

Here we are unloading a load for the trail. Well, ak worked, and i just took pictures.

ak soon tired of my wheelbarrow and decided that his filled up a lot faster.


we were making good progress until akello heard the garbage truck. it was all over after that.


So it was back to me to compact the granite. I used this bad boy to compact the first layer.

trail, first layer

then i rented a "whaker" as there called form home depot to finish off the second layer.


i rented it for the day, the day before xmas, thereby giving me two days to work on the trail before taking it in. ha! too bad i was too tired from drinking baileys irish cream and whisky all day to work on it till the evening. but the trail is done! whew!
merry xmas to Ak and his friends!


whats frustrating is that the bendaboard expands and contracts with the weather. as seen from the pic above, you can never have a straight line no matter how many stakes you use. it drives me nuts!!

plastic jungle
we now have the pushtoys off the patio. this frees up the patio for other activities.


now i just got to build a sandbox and paint akellos room. and ill be done for the "break"

speaking of trails, we went to go check out the trail of lights. pretty fun, we even found a nativity scene amongst all the spongebob and dora exhibits.


for xmas i received the iron gym. (as seen on tv) from my uncle. I really have been wanting this thing and knew in some weird way that somebody would get it for me. and out of the three gifts that i got, it was one of them...and i didnt even ask for it! i put it together and tried it out. it works pretty well. i am going to start a routine with it on the first OF JANUARY along with half of america. And along with half of america, i will quit after the first month. HA!


Monday, December 29, 2008

a musical christmas

akello plays his new set of tubular bells from Tia Anita. This sound so pleasant. We much rather him rock out on these versus the cymbals. Ill do a big xmas post soon

Friday, December 26, 2008

This little light of mine

Merry Merry to all of you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Backyard Renovations

outlining the limestone, cleaning up the leaves

So we have been working on our backyard for quite some time now. Moving the shed was the first step in our plan. The break has allowed us time to move forward with the "trail".

We completed outlining some flowerbeds awhile back and have recently finished outlining a trail that follows the perimeter of the backyard for akello and his freinds to ride their trikes on.

here is a pick that shows akello wearing his safety goggles while helping dad. You can see in the pick at the top as well as this one the flower bed and his tree that we want to encircle with the trail as a turnaround for the trikes.

in this picture you can see the new flowerbed filled in with soil, mulch, some color spot perrenials and 3 types of sage brush. The trail has been outlined and i have started to lay down the week blanket.

akello is a great helper. He passes me the staples for the weed blanket and i hammer them in. sometimes, ill get one started and let akello hammer away at it for an hour or two, that usually gets him ready for nap. works out great.

Yesterday I went to Whittlesey Landscape supply to pick up some decomposed granite to fill in the trail. Below is a pick of them putting half a cubic yard into my truck. its as much as my truck can handle. it took me three trips to get enough for the first layer

The first layer is now complete but now i have to go and get another layer and then rent a compacter to really make it a good surface for the trikes.

Whittlesey is great. Its sooooo cheap compared to home depot. See the flower bed in the picture? thats 30 feet long and 4 feet deep. There is 3 inches of mulch in there that cost me 16 bucks. This would have cost me 50 bucks if i went to home depot. i SHUTTER to think what the limestone would have cost me at 3 bucks a rock at home depot.

Whittlesey also sells bend-a-board edging which is a rounded plastic of sorts thats a little more forgiving if falled upon than the classic Green metal edging. i also like it cuss its brown and i can cut it with a hacksaw.

more pics soon

Sunday, December 21, 2008


SANTA DRUMS, originally uploaded by Gilkata.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Akello's Christmas Wish List

at the capitol tree lighting this year.


while i was titling this blog, i immediatley began to stop, go back, and change the word "christmas" for the word "holiday", and then i realized i wasnt at school anymore and could say what i wanted to. So merry xmas everybody! Prepare Ye the way!


So lets talk about akello and his language development and memory. He has a great memory and is very good and putting two and two together. He saw the cover of the ironman dvd in the living room and said, "hey! we bought that at the store!" He hadnt seen it in weeks.


one day akello said, "thats the cd we listened to with mama.!" i paused and looked at the row of cd's. Akello saw my puzzled look and said, REMEMBER DAD!"

I busted out laughing pretty hard after that. Theresa and i are both happy that he has lifted sanctions on us singing. Anytime we would start singing along with him or just humming a tune he would get infuriated. "no daddy! no singing! i sing!"

now he has asked us to sing songs or join him in song. so that nice.

akello lighting the advent candles

We have had many people inquire about want kind of gifts would be cool for a two-year old, in particular, Akello.

We appreciate the consideration and first of all want you to know that less is more. We try not to have to many toys out for Akello but it is nice to rotate every few weeks/month so that he maintains fresh interest and appreciation for his belongings.

We love anything that encourages hands-on, concentrated and/or active type of learning. We try our best to avoid electronic toys. these tend to be too overstimulating and often provide little or no opportunity for the child to use his/her imagination and thought process.

akello goes for the juice at einsteins bagels (our weekend hang)

We also steer clear of anything related to popular and overly commercialized characters (PLEASE no superhereos, no Dora and no Diego). We prefer toys made of natural materials (not plastic) and while Little Tikes and Fisher Price are uber popular for this age-group, the opportunity to work with wooden materials can give the
child a sense of appreciation and connection as to where something comes from and how it was created. Akello LOVES books and we always welcome adding more to his library however, we try our best to avoid fantastical story lines with themes to unrealistic for him to grasp as well as books that have animal characters that dress-up, walk and talk like human beings.

akello putting away his groceries. the bottom shelf is akellos shelf and anything for him is put down there so that he can get his food on his own. here he has ammassed a tower of yogurts.

We love books that are quite often non-fiction and there are many great books out there with people characters that he could easily relate to and understand. Well those are the ins and outs of our gift giving criteria.

aunt mona stops by for a visit

You might be thinking, those crazy Montessori people, but we want you to know the gifts aren't the important aspect of this holiday and we will encourage that in how we raise Akello. Most of all it will be wonderful to see and spend time with as many of you as we can during the holidays. Good times with family and friends celebrating the blessings of what Christmas means can be the greatest gifts of all.


or a drumset for akello. ha! no just kidding, friends and family visits, really

(drumset link here...)

We have however provided a wishlist for those of you still interested in getting Akello a little something, something.

below to view the Wish list:

You can also make purchases from this Wish List at any one of our retail stores. Just remember to bring the following information:

Gift Recipient: AKELLO GARCIA
Event Type: Christmas
Wish List #: 4660818

*Please remember to print a fresh copy of the Wish list when you visit a store to prevent duplicate purchases. Also make sure you present your printout during checkout so that this Wish List is updated correctly.