New Stuff

A new look, different thoughts, updates on Asia, and maybe even some words from the Mr. himself all at c + m. Come check us out.

Why c + m? We've been labeling things of ours that way for years and it just felt...fitting. In fact, our families set aside gifts for us earmarked "c + m" and there's a delicious Stromboli in the fridge calling to us with a similar trademark.

See ya there!

Work. Travel. Why not?

Since the Mr. graduated, we've been job hunting and job hunting. Chris has been going to job fairs and has been to interviews, but honestly, I can't see him working in the places he's interviewed for. Then we got an email from Chris' university alumni job board to teach abroad. And he called for an which the whole family was invited.

My head was spinning as the interview came closer, thinking that this was surely not an option since we had young family. I mean, really, this is the kind of thing you do before you have a family. But you know what? We just took our passport pictures.

We can all go, live well and still save, learn so much, and immerse our family in another culture. And while we're there, I plan on finishing my degree. Chris may even get his masters.

Right now, this is our top option and we're getting pretty excited.

Our Advent Calendar

The new Advent calendar has been a huge hit with Dianna this year. She totally gets it and loves opening a door every day.

This morning when she woke up, she said, "Daddy, please. Open 20?"

When they're older, I'm sticking little messages for them to read aloud to the family. For now, though, we open a door, get the candy and Dianna says, "Thank you, Santa!"

Graduation? Check!

Yesterday was a phenomenal day: my husband graduated. How amazing is that?

For days and days, I had been asking the Mr. what he wanted me to prepare for our little shindig, but it turned out that with family being family we just ended up flying by the seat of our pants. I was just folding laundry when the Mr. called and said we'd be having lunch with his mom and that he'd be home in half an hour and that I'd hopefully be ready. Just sayin', when he says he hopes I'll be ready, he doesn't mean just me. He means me, the kids, and the house (so that our dog doesn't ruin it because we left food out). So I rushed and, yes, I was ready. Kabam! I always feel extremely successful after hurriedly getting everyone ready.

We went to P.F. Chang's and enjoyed a lovely lunch. The kids were great and we had a very knowledgeable, attentive waitress. Did you know they have a dim sum lunch option for $8, by the way? Get on that. My fortune cookie: "A gift from nature is on its way." Oh boy.

Afterward, we went home to meet my dad, who very generously offered to watch the kids during the commencement ceremony. Then we were off! While I saved seats and got my hubby a lei (which was heinously overpriced, might I add), he went to meet his fellow classmates. At four pm, I stared at this for hour and a half hours of my life:

Now, I don't know about you, but these are good seats. My only disappointment of the day: no one threw up their mortarboards. I was totally waiting for that moment because I was in the perfect darn spot to catch that. What they heck, people?!
Hats in the air or not, the event was lovely. When the Mr. got called, we cheered and he waved and smiled right at us.
It took a while to exit the stadium and then exit the parking lot, but we got some good pictures in.

We met my parents at our customary Chinese restaurant where we've celebrated just about everything for the last 20 years that my family has lived in Las Vegas. And there, we ate away.

Chris and Dave hurried to Smash Burger for a shake...and drank away.
Happy graduation to my wonderful husband. He got it done with two kids, a mortgage, and several jobs. Now I'm next! Graduation Part two years. Hopefully!


Christmas Time Is Here...

I was singing that out loud, just so you know.

We have everything up around the house finally and I'm ecstatic! I grabbed two extra stockings today, too, for our new roomies (aka Poppy and Uncle Johnny). I've got a forest on my mantel with six stockings, our beautiful tree, and festive kitchen. And among other presents that we've caved about opening, we decided to use our new retro radio/Ipod dock before Christmas so that we can play Christmas music from Sunny 106.5. I just sang that, too, but you only know what the heck I'm talking about if you grew up in Las Vegas listening to that station.

I've been feeling so festive lately, and I'm excited to get my bake on this week, and to spend quality time with the Mr. now that he's FINISHED, I repeat FINISHED, with his degree! Now that is an amazing Christmas gift for everyone. In fact, today is his ceremony. You'll hear about all that later. Promise. 

Fall is in the Air and Christmas Stuff is Already on Display

I actually grew up with a mom who would have liked to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving altogether. There were some especially enthusiastic years when she actually had the Christmas tree up inside when all the pumpkins and faux spiderweb were still up and All Hallows' Eve had literally not been celebrated yet. I'm really not exaggerating here.

In retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised, then, when I see Christmas everything stacked up next to the fall garland at the store. But dang. I am.

I feel like Halloween was just last week. What we really did last week, though, was go to a Harvest Festival at Tivoli Village. Every Saturday, Tivoli Village has a farmers' market. Last Saturday, was a farmers' market on steroids. On top of the usual vendors, there were food trucks, music, and a petting zoo. I think there was more, but we honestly didn't get that far.

Here's what the petting zoo was like, though. I'll narrate.


"And chickens!"

"It got me!"

I loved being able to show her all the animals she has learned about in person. As you can see, she loved it, too.

Oh Yeah, Halloween Also Happened!

While contemplating turkey pot pies and appropriate sides, I realized that I never mentioned Halloween.

For the past three years, I have been a menacing witch in the Schulte haunted house that took place in my in-laws' huge courtyard in their equally huge home. We didn't do that this year. So for the first time as a family, we got to decide what to do on our own!

Growing up, my family were and still are devout Filipino Catholics. I make that distinction, because mixed into the Catholic culture in the Philippines is a whole lot of superstition (not that that little fact applies right now). So, my dad always made food for our little altar to celebrate All Souls' Day to commemorate his mom and in recent years, my other grandparents. He always made the same food: spaghetti and biko (Filipino-style sticky rice). He would then take a plate of each of the dishes and place them at the altar so that, as he always put it, "Your grandma can eat."

Faced with my first real Halloween at my own home, what else did I make but spaghetti and instead of biko, champurrado (chocolate rice pudding). Yum. That night when I parents dropped by to see the kids' costumes, I gave them some of my champurrado and felt a certain sense of pride when my dad said that he would put some of my food on the altar for grandma, too.

This was also a special year because it was Dean's first ever Halloween and the first year that Dianna actually had a clue as to what was going on. In the weeks leading up to the special night, I did crafts, read books, and watched Halloween-themed shows (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown included) with her. I had Dianna practice saying, "Trick or treat!", which mostly sounded like, "Tri-tree!"

When the time came to dress the kids, Dean was in an awesome homemade Superman costume and Dianna was back in her flower girl tutu but with wings now included to be a fairy princess.

I've gotta admit that I was seriously nervous, because that little girl of mine is easily scared of people she doesn't know. But you know what? After the first couple houses, she sure got the hang of it. Walk to door, wait for Daddy to knock, door opens, hold up bag and say, "Tri-treat!" only sometimes, and "Thank you" every time. She loved it. And toward the end, "Trick or treat!" actually started to really sound like, "Trick or treat!"

What we found funniest was that for every home we walked up to that was the same layout as our own home, she seemed to just know that it was the same and walked right in. Cute now, but...we need to work on that one!

We already have a ton of ideas for future costumes: Dora and Diego for the kids, the Mr. and I as Dean Jordan and Cho Chang and the kids as Hedwig and Professor McGonagall in cat form, something Star Wars related...good thing we have a few more years before gently nudging their minds to fit our family-themed costumes just won't work anymore.
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