Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm 35!!!

I'm officially 35 and loving life!

I LOVE birthdays. I'm not one to try to skip over it or try to hope it doesn't happen or reverse the clock. It truly is a celebration that 35 years ago I was welcomed into this lovely life! What a wonderful life I've had too; so much to be grateful for...

- I was born into a loving home with awesome parents who taught me great principles.

-I get to be the OLDEST of 6 kids (I really feel for you middle & youngest kids).

-I have AWSOME brothers & sisters with whom I feel loved & supported by.

-I survived growing up in Utah till I was 12

-Got to move to Norco and meet a group of AMAZING friends who kept me grounded
and we managed to have good, clean fun and make it through the pitfalls of highschool.

-Thanks to blogging, I feel more connected with my friends and it's like we've never
been apart!

-Met a wonderful man at 19 and was able to go through the St. George temple. He will
keep me Forever Young (just our song, thanks for having it on your blog Heather)

-Get to live in Huntington Beach for the 16 years of my married life, LOVE IT HERE!!

-Have 5 INCREDIBLE children who keep my life worthwhile & entertaining

-Met so many wonderful "for lifer" friends here. You've really been examples to me!


-Get to live in USA & enjoy amazing freedoms & liberties

-Etc, Etc, Etc,
The list is really to huge to keep adding to. So see, why wouldn't I enjoy celebrating another year of my life? I've learned so much. I appreciate all the life lessons I learn, although many have not been easy. I have learned and grown and hopefully moved on and know better now.

I don't want to repeat any part of my life, as much as I've loved it or wish I could have done things so differently. I look forward to each new phase. And I have definately moved to the next phase of my life...

I have a family with a daughter starting high school.... YIKES! I admit, this is a HUGE milestone that has been hard to cross for me. A son starting middle school (who unknowingly knows all the right things to say to a girl). A son going into 3rd grade, 1 starting kidnergarten and my 1 1/2 year old. Yes... I will officially have kids in 3 different schools for the next 10 years! AND I will be getting up for seminary at the crack of dawn again, and again, and again for the next 18!!
(Of course my dear seminary buddies, Erin, Heather & Shannon know how gracefully I handled it the 1st time around!)
I look so forward to watching my kids' lives role out before them.

Life is an adventure.

My 35 Bday adventure...

Thanks to my friends Kristin & Helen who helped make my 35 birthday an adventure.

We went to dinner at Chilis and upon learning my ears were not pierced (boy have I missed out on life!) they drag me to Wal*Mart to get my ears pierced at 9:30 at night. (yes, they have EVERYTHING there.)

They even had 2 women there to do my piercings at the same time! Actually, I found out I was more of a guinea pig to the one woman who I was the first piercing she was to ever do. Was I lucky or what? Yes, it was just as it sounds... or what!

The experienced lady, popped it right in...

The new lady, well, it went in all right nice and S.....L...O....W! To add the cherry on top, the earring got stuck in the gun. I got to learn a lesson in patience (which my children will be thankful for since I don't have enough of it) while they wrestled for 15 whole minutes, twisting and pulling at my ear trying to get the darn thing off! I think my ear was going to come off before that earring was going to let loose of that gun!

FORTUNATELY, I am an hope for the worst, but expect the best sort of person. And although I used to be a big needle wimp, after having 5 kids, I have learned to toughen up. So it really was not bad at all. My ears didn't turn hot and throb like I thought they would and it wasn't really so bad while they worked on trying to get it free. (better it happen to me than some poor kid!)

Plus, it was fun watching Helen & Kristing squirm as they watched the torture they were putting me through for my bday! (j/k)

(wish I'd taken a better close up)
(I meant moi, not You, Helen or Kristin)

It was totally fun and makes for a great blog story. I look forward to wearing some really cool designer earrings in 5 more weeks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Time is moving forward.... WAY TOO FAST FOR MOM!!

June 19, 2008
I'm still trying to catch up on everything I want to post from last week. The 3rd week of June is ALWAYS the busiest week of the year it being the end of school, father's day, promotions, birthdays.

This year, happens to be a big mile stone year for almost every member of the family.....

Brian promoted from Preschool. He is the only one of my kids to actually go to Preschool since he was 3; mainly because he cried and asked to go last year because all his friends and brothers & sister were going to school. He felt left out. So I enrolled him in at Joyful Noises at the recommendation of many friends. He loved school and his teacher this year, Mrs. Buxton. He's all ready for kidnergarten in September!

Bryce is now 8 and we were so glad he decided to be baptized this year. He had a great year with Mrs. Villeneuve in 2nd grade. Bradley also had her in 2nd grade. This is the first year that any of the kids had a teacher another one had. Bryce really enjoyed Mrs. Villenueve. The feeling was definately mutual. She always told me how she wishes her whole class was full of kids like Bryce and she's love to hold onto him. She loved how he is always enthusiastic about learning and what a true "genius" he is at math! Bryce can also write. All of the 2nd graders were asked to write a piece on how reading will help them in life and his writing won out of all the second grade classes. He talked about how reading will help him to become a mathmatical genius like his grandpa who helped put the first rocket on the moon. Keep it up Bryce! Maybe you'll put someone on Mars!

Bradley made it all the way through elementary school and promoted from 5th grade! He had his best year yet at Moffett. All through his elementary career, his teachers would say how they loved Bradley but he was an A student doing C quality work because he just didn't apply himself. So Danny and I sat down with Bradley at the beginning of the year and told him "we knew he was capable of Os (outstandings) and As and we expected that of him this year. It's important he get a good education so he can have more choices in what he wants to do in providing for a family someday." This year was the first year I ever made a teacher request. I really wanted Bradley to have a good, strong year so he felt confident going into middle school. I have been at the school long enough to become familiar with the teachers and was pretty sure who would make a good match for Brad. Fortunately, Ms. Baker, our principal, kindly granted that request for another teacher our family is familiar with, Ms. Maya. She was Kierstin's first grade teacher years ago who had switched to 5th grade the year Kierstin left. Bradley had his BEST year ever bringing home staight As & Outstandings just like we knew he could.... WAY TO GO BRAD. (however, now we are going to keep those expectations for you!)

Bradley also achieved another big accomplishment this year; after 3 full years of Cub Scouts, he earned the Arrow of Light Award, the highest award in Cubs. It is the only award he can take with him and put on his Boy Scout Uniform. Thanks for being a good example to your younger bros. Now, onward to Eagle.

And now for the biggest milestone, one this mom is having a hard time crossing.....
Kierstin promoted from 8th grade!!

Isn't she beautiful? Although I have to agree with you Kierst, I don't know why they have you wear those gowns over your pretty dresses. And it happened to be the hottest day of the year (87, hot for us cuz it's humid too) at 1:30! Half way through, I noticed a lot of kids shedding their gowns, who could blame them?

We are so proud of you Kierstin. You were on the distinguised Honor Role (3.5 and above) for every quarter with mostly straight As. She also received the Presidential education award signed by President Bush for all those kids who received 3.5 or above for their whole Middle School career. Out of about 400 8th graders, only about 25 received this award. Yes, we know she's got not only the looks, but the brains!
Kierstin & Friends....

Natalie, Kyra, Alexa & Kierstin Emily & Kierstin Kierstin's 2 friends, Kierst, Alexa & Nat
(you'll be missed next year Em, but have an amazing 8th grade year)
After promotion, we went to Kierstin's & her cousin Kelsey's, favorite restaurant Sweetie Thai, with Uncle Daren, Aunt Nikole & Fam. (side note, we also had dinner to celebrate my bday, which is that day)

Kierstin & Kelsey
Afterwards, Kierstin had Kelsey and her best friend Renee & Emily stay the night (darn, forgot to get a pic of that). I'm sure they talked about all the middle school good times all night long!
CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done to all our amazing children! Dad & I love you and are so proud of your amazing accomplishments. You ROCK!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Tribute to Dan My Man!

Daniel Christian Baak
June 18, 1962 Isn't he cute at 3?

It's amazing he made it out of his twenties & teens!

But he made it alive and now he's MY guy!

Happy Birthday, you made it another year,
but I won't tell your age, never fear!

You managed to blow out ALL those candles!
Rebecca surprised him by having his friends come over...

and play shoot em up on the XBox! (you know I love ya if I encourage it at all!)

And he's dad to our Fabulous 5!

Dad is the fun guy, teaching all the kids to ride!
(Kierstin even rides especially well, even though she won't tell!)

Dad really is the MASTER scouter, he's been varsity scout master
scout master for 7 years (while Brad was just a twinkle in his eye)
and the Cub Master for the last 6 years.
He knows just what to do, to get all 4 boys through...
and all the way up the Eagle Trail, the Baak boys won't fail!

But the thing I'm most grateful for, is the testimony he holds and shares with our girl & boys. He's a worthy Priesthood Holder and bears his testimony often to our kids and encourages them to stay on the right path and choose the right way so we can all live together forever some day!

Luv Ya!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Brian Really Turns 5!

A few days after Thanksgiving we were in line at the grocery store and the clerk asked Brian how old he was. He told the lady he was 5. I said, "Brian, you're not 5 yet, until your birthday in June." He turned to me and said, "no, I'm 5 NOW!" I wasn't going to argue in the store so we walked out, loaded the car and then I pressed the matter again. I asked him why he thought he was 5 already. He went on to tell me how he and his brother (Bryce) had got the wishbone off the turkey at Thanksgiving. Bryce had explained to him how the person that broke off the larger piece got to have their wish come true. Apparently, he had managed to wrestle the larger piece from his older brother and wished that he would be 5 and so he assumed he was 5. Of course, the practical mother I am, explained to him that it doesn't work that way. He looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, "So mom, you mean that wishes don't come true?"

How can I dash hopes and dreams of youth? Of course wishes can come true in a very real sense. So I rack my brain for a good explaination and came up with; "Well, if you are already 5 then that means we didn't get to celebrate with you at your birthday party!" That brought on tears that he ruined his life by wishing that wish and now he didn't get a birthday party. I explained to him that all he had to do was unwish it by not telling people he is 5 and we could still celebrate his birthday on the real day. He was much relieved and I silently patted myself on the back and at the same time wondered why we adults, go through all this trouble of Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, etc.?!
In any event, On June 2nd, 2008, Brian turned 5 years old. We invited several of his friends over to play in our above ground pool. Although it wasn't exactly warm, it was sunny and most of his friends braved the water even if a few lips did turn blue! We got out and warmed up wacking on the pinata & eating pizza, ice cream and cake.
At the end of the day as I was putting Brian in bed I found him crying. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "Turning 5 was the best day of my life and I don't want it to end! Can't every day be like this!"
My wish for you my sweet Brian, is that although EVERY day may not be like this, that very many days will be!

"Memor(y)- ial" Day Fun with the Fam

I know this is a little late, but I did want to put in a little blurb about our fun memorial day with the fam. Danny's Uncle Jack & Aunt Carolyn have an amazing home in H.B. right across from Central Park with a pool, kid's playhouse and an AMAZING garden complete with flowers, berries,

tomatos, squash, lemon trees, etc. Brian just opened his eyes wide and said, "mom, Uncle Jack's house is amazing!" I concur.

They were kind enough to invite all their neices and nephews in the vicinity to come over and enjoy thier pool and hospitality. Boy, did we enjoy it. We swam (yes, even mom & dad), picked berries right off the bush, swam some more, ate BBQ and the kids, swam some more. Danny's Aunt Diane & Cousin Melissa & fam, who live 3 doors down came, Danny's brother Daren & Fam and even his brother Derek & fam came all the way from Palos Verdes to come hang out with us. We were delighted to see them since we don't get to very often.
It is so fun to have a big family. Danny comes from a family of 5 boys, 2 girls (he's the 3rd). I come from 4 girls, 2 boys (I'm the boss, 1st). It's especially fun for the kids to have automatic friends in their cousins and have a blast even though we see each other too often. It's also fun to sit around and reminisce about the good old days (although Danny and his brother's stories have been rated A, for adults only, so as not to give adoring children any ideas!).
Thanks again, Uncle Jack & Aunt Carolyn! We love you! (I'm ready to help you get your blog going Aunt Carolyn!)