Psalm 139:13-14

PSALM 139:13-14
"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well."

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our 2 yr check up!

We can't believe it's December already! Mommy can't believe it's been two months since she has updated everyone! Before we get down to our recent stats from our doctor's visit, let's go down memory lane from October.

We go to the park almost every day. Here is a pic of us eating our snack. Daddy took us to the park because Mommy was working that day and Gianna was at school.

Cooper, Emmy, Addy, Gabby, and Riley

Halloween was pretty uneventful for us. Mommy didn't want to keep us up past our bedtime to go trick-or-treating. But she promised we could go next year so we are holding her to it!! Gianna had a Harvest Parade at her preschool and dressed up as Belle. She has a blast walking around the courtyard to different classrooms to get goodies and treats! It was Gabby's turn to go out, so mommy brought her in a Halloween Hello Kitty shirt, but mommy forgot to get a picture of her  :(.

 Gianna also had a blast playing soccer this past fall for the first time. Daddy was confused as to why Gianna kept encouraging everyone to take their turn with the soccer ball instead of trying to get it in the goal herself. But by the end of the season, she got her goal in the last game. Mommy and Cooper cheered her on as she dribbled it from mid-field all the way to the goal and finished strong! As promised, if she had made a goal, we went for ice cream after the game  =) Way to go Team Turbo!!

Cooper with his SUPER beanie

 As the days started to
get cooler, Riley and Cooper started asking to wear their winter hats around the house. Here are a couple of pics of these two little cuties!

Against Mommy's wishes, we decided that WE wanted to start potty training! We don't know why Mommy is having a hard time with this concept. She helped Lola (our Mom's mom) potty train Gianna when she was on strict bedrest with us. So what's the big deal? Why can't we ALL use the potty at the same time? It's really hard for us when someone beats us to the potty and we have to wait til one frees up. We usually have already "gone" by the time we sit down. HOWEVER, Mommy is very proud that we all have gone on the potty at least a few times. Not consistently, but we make it to the potty every once in awhile. We think it's mostly because there are Skittles involved if we go "pee pee in the potty". We think we should be rewarded just for trying and give Mommy a REALLY hard time if we try and there is no candy.

Emmy- A girl's gotta wear her rainboots when trying to pee pee on the potty.
We finally went to see our Dr for our 2yr check up earlier this month. Mommy made our 3yr check up for Sept next year so that we are back on track! Gianna came with us for moral support (and her flu shot.)  Mommy gave us all lollipops prior to getting into the exam room so that we'd take our annual picture without crying. Addy didn't want to be there even with a lollipop and therefore let everyone know how she really felt about the outing.

Gabby, Riley, Gianna, Addy, Cooper, and Emmy

So without further a due, here are our stats! The percentage is us ranked with our peers (not adjusted age).

Gabby- Ht: 2 ft 9.75 ins. (33%)  Wt: 24 lbs 12 oz (16%) 
Likes: Mommy, mommy, mommy, and being hornery. Has a sweet side with siblings, but still likes to hang solo. Hates getting her hair fixed. Also loves sucking her thumb.
Riley- Ht: 3ft 1.50 ins. (97%) Wt: 29 lbs (53%)
Likes: Jumping from sofa to bean bag, playing with balls and Duplo blocks, and running down hills.

Addy-2 ft 11.50 ins. (78%) Wt: 24lbs 7 oz (13%)
Likes: Rough-housing with brothers and sisters, climbing up the gate, and "trying" to take care of Gabby and Emmy. Will tolerate getting her hair fixed occasionally.

Cooper- Ht: 3ft 0.50 ins. (87%)  Wt: 29lbs 4oz (56%)
Likes: Being a "big helper", watching "Thomas the Train", going in the car, and running down hills. Wants his hair fixed when girls get theirs done.

Emerson- Ht: 2ft 9 ins (17%) Wt: 22lbs 8oz (2%)
Likes: Playing with Gianna, climbing the outside of staircase, laughing like a "monster", and mommy, mommy, mommy. Loves getting her hair fixed.

We all got to go to Gianna's Christmas program. She did a great job with her speaking part and songs that she sang with her Duck class!

Gianna and Emmy went on a special lunch date with Mommy, Ms. Sheila, and her husband Mr. Mike.
We had a great time!

This is what has been going on lately with GRACE plus One =) We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy 2nd birthday Gabrielle, Riley, Addison, Cooper, and Emerson!

 It's been a busy few months for us! Mommy apologizes for not updating everyone for awhile!!
 So before we go into the details and pictures of our birthday, we will recap some of the highlights and one lowlight of August and September.

Gianna loves to go "camping"! So Daddy tries to take her camping in the backyard a few times a year. Here is one of those times =)

"I love CAMPING!"

Camping by the fire!
So here is the "lowlight"...Emerson has bilateral strabismus. In layman terms, lazy eye muscles in both eyes. Her eyes tend to drift when she isn't concentrating on anything or when she is tired. The pictures  were taken at our 1st visit to the pediatric ophthalmalogist back in August. She surprisingly did well for the initial 2 1/2 hr appt.

However, it progressed so fast in her left eye that we had to go back in September to get it checked out again. It's at the point where her left eye wanders even if she is focusing on something.

Our next visit is coming up in October to get accurate measurements for correction of the eye muscles in both eyes. Once we get those done (if she cooperates), we will book her surgery and hopefully have it done some time in November.

"This place isn't too bad...(as long as I have my sippy cup and lovie!)"

"Hmmm...what's behind that desk?"
"I think I'm going to take a little break before the Dr comes in".

Gianna started her first day of Pre-K at Mother's Day Out at our church preschool the 2nd week of August. She was super excited to go back this year and be in the Duck class! Can't believe it's her last year here!!

We went on vacation again at the end of August! We hadn't gone as a family since January. We had a blast and wanted to give a shout out to all the people that came down to spend some time with us in the pool! Thank you to Dadu (grandpa) and Lola (grandma) Baroi, Mr. Dick and Ms. Marianne Werschke, Ms. Kati and Chase Mitchell. We really appreciate you playing with us in the pool! Gianna was super excited because she was tall enough to ride the waterslide this year!

Daddy feeding us breakfast. Clockwise: Gianna, Cooper, Gabby, Emmy, Addy, and Riley

Pool time! Left: Gabby, John, Riley, Addy, Meryl
Front: Gianna, Cooper, and Emmy

First time ever we got to eat as a family! Clockwise: John, Emmy, Gabby,  Meryl (taking pic),  Addy, Gianna, Cooper, and Riley 

Big sis Gianna has been pretty active this summer as well! When she wasn't off to her ballet/tap dance class or playing soccer, she was designing "outfits" to wear and entertain us!

"Who is ready for Halloween, New Year's, or Mardi Gras?".....This girl is!!

Gianna's end of summer dance demonstration. They did a tap number. She is in middle.
Team Turbo warming up before a game!

 We took the kids to Disneyland for their 2nd birthday! It seemed like a HUGE undertaking, but Daddy and Mommy were pleasantly surprised how well it went and how much we enjoyed it (after crying the first minute of every ride). We got to wear our birthday buttons on our hats and hearing everyone wish us "Happy Birthday!" from ride to ride was pretty cool!!

Some of the rides we went on were Dumbo, Carousel, Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Winnie-the-Pooh. Not bad for only being there for 4hrs! But we ate the last hour so we got in 5 rides in 3 hours!! Daddy and Mommy brought us home and bathed us and put us to bed. Then they went back to the park with Gianna and rode the big people rides. We would like to give a GINORMOUS THANK YOU to everyone who made this day possible!! Grandpa and Grandma Ferraro, Mr. Javier and Ms. Arlene Lizarraga, Ms.Vicki Johns and granddaughter Lindsey, Mr. Steve and Ms. Karen Eckberg. Thank you so much for helping our Daddy and Mommy make this day such a fun one for us!

Left: (back): Riley, Emmy
Front: Cooper, Gabby, Gianna (as Belle), and Addy 

Small World (but nothing "small" about this entourage!)
1st Row: Meryl (forehead),  Riley, and Gianna (not seen)
2nd Row: Ms. Karen, Emmy, and Mr. Steve
3rd Row: Cooper, John, Lindsey
4th Row: Ms. Vicki, Addy, Grandma
Lol....finally bringing up the rear, 5th row: Grandpa and Gabby.
Need we mention that we took up the whole boat?!?

Riding ALL those rides sure makes us hungry and thirsty for pretzels, sippy cups, and frozen lemonades!!
Left: Riley, Gabby, Addy, Cooper, Emmy, and Gianna.

 Since we couldn't celebrate at Disneyland with everyone, Daddy and Mommy had a little birthday party for us. They even splurged a little and rented us a Sesame Street bounce house! We all went in it before the party with Daddy and Mommy to get warmed up (sorry no pics!). Emmy was NOT a fan at all!! Gianna, Addy, and Cooper had the most fun. But during the party, only Gianna went back in. We just wanted to eat at our picnic table!

"Happy Birthday to You...."

Cupcake time!!
Left: Addy, Cooper, and Emmy

Riley and Gabby loving the frosting!

Riley: "Why is everyone staring at me? Is there a booger in my nose?"

Addy: "I am the neatest eater here!"

Cooper: "Hey, don't'd look like this too if you only got to eat cupcakes on your birthday!!"

Finally....Daddy and Mommy wanted to give a little tribute about each of us even though it might be a little embarassing for us later! (The colored text represents our individual colors...aka "color coding").

Happy 2nd birthday Gabby! You are very mysterious and like to just hang out and do your own thing. You are very sweet with your sisters and brothers but have a very mischievous streak in you! And for some reason the most accident prone among your siblings!  We are still amazed how you helped Mommy by keeping all your brothers and sisters in utero as long as you did. We love you so much Gabs!

Happy 2nd birthday Riley! We can't believe how BIG you are! You are the friendliest of all your siblings always saying, "Hi!" to everyone and "Bye!" I know the trash truck, street sweeper, UPS truck, and FedEx truck drivers, and mailman appreciate your waves and greetings to them! We love you so much Bubbas!

Happy 2nd birthday Addy! Your spunk and athleticism totally rocks! We appreciate when you tell us who hit who. It really melts our hearts when we hear you sing to your sisters in your room. We still can't believe how you went from smallest to tallest and heaviest girl! We love you so much Ads!

Happy 2nd birthday Cooper! It is so humbling to see how much of a servant you are to your brothers and sisters! I think you've picked up as many "lovies" and sippy cups as Mommy has for your brothers and sisters! You are such a cuddler too! It's fun to watch cooking shows with you at night when you can't sleep. We love you so much Coop Coop!

Happy 2nd birthday Emmy! You are such a jokester and have an infectious laugh! Even though you are a "lap potato", you somehow are a dare devil and love furniture acrobatics! And the fact that you like to walk on your tip toes shows that you will love ballet/tap as much as your big sister Gianna does! We love you so much Ems!

Gianna, congratulations surviving the last 2 years with Daddy and Mommy! Although it's not your birthday, we would like to include you in our tribute. You are growing into quite the young lady we are so proud of and a great role model for your siblings...(most of the time!) We wanna list a few traits that we have come to love and appreciate about you!

THOUGHTFULNESS: For a 4yr old, you think about others a lot. Your concern for people's happiness and well-being astounds us! The pep talks, you give Daddy when he's had a hard day at work, are so sweet!

PERSERVERANCE: There are times Mommy has seen you in a situation where she would've given up but you just get back up and "shake it off". Whether it's sports, trying to make friends, or life in general.

MATURITY: You were dealt a very unique hand 2 years ago. And since then, you've just taken everything in stride. You take charge of the situation when no one's around. For example, when a sibling gets hurt and Mommy isn't in the room,  your ability to assess the situation is pretty awesome! I can hear you open the freezer door, get Elmo "boo boo" out, rush to your sibling, put it on them, and hug them while saying, " you're ok!" You would make an awesome Trauma doctor or O.R nurse (no!

HUMOR: The things that go on in that mind of yours is beyond funny! We feel so bad that we haven't been consistently documenting all your "sayings" and thoughts! We hope you never lose your gift to entertain and help us stay young at heart!

And lastly, the way you let your light shine for Jesus is more than we could ever hope or ask for! We pray that you will continue your walk with the Lord and grow up to be the woman He has intended for you to be! We love you so much G!

Because our 18 mos check up was 3 months late, we don't go back to the Dr for our 2yr well visit until December. So look out for our updated Ht/Wt stats then! We will definitely get on Mommy to update the blog before then so you can keep up with our rapid growth!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"18" month check up and 4th of July

We didn't get to go to the doctor until now (21 mos) because Daddy forgot to make our appt at our  1 yr check up and by the time Mommy called to double check it was too late to get us in to see our doctor until the end of June. So here are the stats you all have been waiting for!

Gabby- Ht: 32 1/4 inches Wt: 21 lb 1 oz. Gabby has a little tear in her bottom towards the top of the "crack" (anal fissure). Dr said it wasn't serious unless it started having pus coming out, which it hasn't. She loves to run around, play "Ring around the rosie...", and drink other siblings sippy cups =) She also loves pasta!

Riley- Ht: 35.5 inches (96%) Wt: 26 lbs 4 oz (not accurate cause he wouldn't keep still. Mommy thinks he's heavier!) His allergies to eggs and milk are better. But he doesn't drink milk yet, just eats by-products of milk. His peanut allergy is severe. Daddy was eating peanut butter filled pretzels and gave Riley some "zerberts" on his neck and he started getting red and itchy. He loves to read books, play with Mega Bloks, and dance!!

Addison- Ht: 33.5 inches. Wt: 21 lbs 9 oz. Our "peanut" is continuing to be the tallest and heaviest girl. Which is hard to believe considering that she was the smallest all around in utero because of her cord-flow issues. She is a firecracker and speaks the most of the girls. Addy loves to jump up and down/dance, wrestle with the boys and Gianna, and loves to eat her protein!

Cooper- Ht: 34.5 inches Wt: 27 lbs (don't think is accurate either). This little guy has the most words compared to his brother and sisters. He says "Yesh", No, Truck, all his siblings names...even Gianna's, and 2-word sentences. Crazy! Mommy thought for sure that the girls would be way more verbal. He is Mommy's little helper by using his toy vacuum to clean up the living room and also by collecting all his siblings sippy cups before meals.

Emerson- Ht: 31.5 inches Wt: 20lb. The heaviest girl at birth is now the smallest all around. That doesn't stop her from getting her point across (short screams) when she wants something or her toy was taken away. Both of her eyes have weak muscles (lazy eyes), so our next step is to go see a Pediatric Opthalmalogist. She is such a cuddle bug and always ready to sit in someone's lap!

Here is our usual Dr's office visit picture. It takes an army to keep us in place for the picture...haha

(Left: Ms. Cheryl, Riley, Gabby, Grandma, Addy, Cooper, Ms. Robin, Emmy, and Ms. Sheila)
We've recently started taking walks with just two strollers now. "The Beast" and a 2-seater stroller. It is quite a workout for Daddy and Mommy, but we sure love going to the park in it!

Hope everyone had a great 4th! We celebrated Independence Day by going to a park to have a picnic with our immediate and extended family! It was a lot easier this year for Daddy and Mommy because they didn't have to pack so much baby gear like last year. We had fun playing on the play ground, eating all sorts of goodies, and Mommy kept us hydrated with Gatorade cause it was super hot that day! We also had fun watching Daddy and Gianna play in the annual family softball game.
Cooper and his Dino

Emmy loving being able to sit in Mommy's chair!

Gabby trying to sneak a drink out of someone else's cooler.

Riley enjoying hanging out with Daddy.

Addy hydrating with Gatorade.

Gianna having fun on the playground.

Gianna helping Daddy play first base.

When we got home from the park, we were so pooped we just drank our milk, took a bath, and went to bed. Gianna got to stay up and watch fireworks from the end of our street and then our neighbors had their own fireworks show after. It was a long day for Gianna, but she had a ton of fun!!

Sparkler fun!

                                                           Stay tuned for our next blog!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Praise God - Gianna put her trust in Jesus tonight!!

Today, June 8th, was a special day that I (John) wanted to celebrate and post on our family blog.  Tonight around 8:30pm before going to bed, Gianna put her faith/trust in Jesus to be her Lord and Protector.

Recently, she has been memorizing some Bible Verses that have prompted a lot of questions from her about Heaven, Hell, Jesus, Salvation, etc.   Over the past few months, as we review her Bible verses, she often ask lots of questions of me when we are having a nightly talk and prayer/worship time together after bath time and reading books.  We will just sit in a chair together and talk in the dark.  Tonight, she asked me to pray with her and ask Jesus to be her Savior, Lord, and Protector.   She committed herself to being His Bond-Servant (a servant who serves someone because they have a deep love for them) for her life on earth as well.    Here was her prayer she repeated after me.   After her prayer, Gianna thanked me for sharing about Heaven and Hell with her.  I told her she is now a child of God forever.  He will always love you and He will always protect you.  He is always faithful to His children.  Then, she went to sleep.  Praise God.

Gianna's Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for creating me in Your Image.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know my purpose on this earth is to glorify You and get to know You and help others know You as well.  Please forgive me for my sins.  Please forgive me for when I do what I want and I am not a good listener to what You want from me.  I know I will never been good enough to get to Heaven without Your help, and there is no other way to get to Heaven except by trusting you to help me.  Please come into my heart Jesus and be my friend and protect me.  One day, when I die, please take me to Heaven with You.  I put my trust and faith in You alone.  I want to be your bondservant for the rest of my life.  Help me to be a good listener and to know you more everyday.  I want to be like You.  I love you Jesus.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Gianna's Memory Verses
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life with I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

Philippians 4:6,7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Gianna's Favorite Praise Songs
1. As the Deer Panteth for the waters, so my soul Longeth after Thee.  You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship Thee.  You alone are my strength, my shield.  To You alone may my spirit yield.  You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship Thee.

2. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy Presence, O Lord.  Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation, and renew a right spirit within me. 

3. Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord.  Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord.  And He shall lift you up, higher and higher.  And, He shall lift you up, up into Heaven.  And He shall lift you up.

Angels in Heaven and Mom and Dad (John & Meryl) are celebrating as another child of God is born again tonight!!  Tonight is Gianna's spiritual birthday (her 2nd birthday). 
Thank you Lord for loving my little girl like You loved me.  Thank you for giving her a heart to ask questions and want to know about You and how to be saved.  Thank you for helping her understand and trust in You, and for pursuing her.   I know she would never have responded how she did without you first pursuing her.  I am reminded of when you came to see Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they sinned against you and felt shame and guilt for the first time.  You came to the Garden and simply asked, "Where are you?".  You are faithful to pursue those you love.   None of us would come to You without you first loving us.  No words can express how grateful I am that You loved us first, and gave Your only Son to die in our place on the cross so that we may have eternal life as a free gift if we believe and trust in Him.  All Praise and Glory belongs to You.  I love you Jesus. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy belated Easter and Mother's Day!

The last few months have been super busy for our family! Our big sister Gianna turned 4 in April. She is becoming quite a responsible little girl. She already does a few "jobs" around the house. She is really good at making her bed and there are certain toys that she has to clean up if they are played with. We try to help her sometimes, but she gets upset with us because it's her "job"!

We finally got a picture with Mommy! Gianna was at Dadu and Lola's house that day and Auntie Stephanie took our picture. Mommy hates taking pictures so we finally trapped her in the chair and forced her to take one with us! We haven't taken a picture with all of us in it and Mommy since our birthday last year.
From left back: Riley, Gabby, Meryl, Cooper
Front left: Emmy, Addy

Gianna turned 4 on April 22. Our family got together to celebrate with her. Here is a picture of Gianna having a cupcake after she came home from school on her birthday. She is such a great BIG sister and is always trying to give us hugs even if we are playing and don't want one at the moment. She likes to dance for us, play tag with us, and sometimes tells Mommy when we are doing something we shouldn't. She is wrapping up her first year of pre-school. She is in the Caterpillar class at her school.

Gianna having a cupcake after she got home from school.

Easter this year was fun for everyone!  The Saturday before Easter, our cousins came over for an Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, Mommy didn't get a chance to get any pictures because she was busy trouble shooting everyone running around since Daddy had to work that day.

On Sunday, our church had an Easter service at the local highschool football field which is close to our house so Daddy, Mommy, Grandpa, and Grandma pushed us in our strollers to church while Gianna got to ride in Daddy's backpack. Then we came home and played for a little while before lunch.

The family getting ready to walk to church.

GRACE plus Gianna

We love to swing! (Left: Addy, Gabby, Riley)

Gianna and Emmy going for a joy ride.

Cooper thinks the little house is pretty cool!

Now that Daddy trimmed the bushes outside our front window, we love to look at the people, cars, and trucks that come by. We scramble to the sofa to say "bye bye" to Daddy when he goes to work and also when Gianna goes to school. Every Monday morning we are eagerly awaiting for the trash trucks to come.

Riley and Cooper - See the garbage truck Mom!

Mommy, Gianna and Gabby had a fun little outing. First they went to Mommy's work for a breakfast baby shower for one of Mommy's co-workers. Mommy says that everytime she sees a pregnant lady, her pelvis hurts. We have no idea what she is talking about but nod our heads to show sympathy. After the baby shower, Mommy took Gianna and Gabby to the mall to ride the carousel ride. This is one of Gianna's favorite things to do! Lucky for Gabby, she was next in the rotation to go out for one-on-one time, so she was Gianna's carousel buddy that day.

This is pretty cool!
Are you having fun Gabby?

Best... day... EVER!

 We like to act silly a lot! But Daddy and Mommy aren't always fast enough to capture us on video or camera. But this time, Mommy was able to catch Cooper wearing Gianna's play sunglasses while sucking on his "Dino". He was waving to Mommy, but by the time the camera snapped the pic, it looks like he's pointing at his head.
How ya doin' ?
Daddy thought it would be fun (or absolutely nuts! - Mommy) to take us to the park near our house. It went way better than Mommy thought it would. Uncle Donny came with us and there were three stations for them. Uncle Donny was at the stairs to the slide, Daddy was at the top of the slide, and Mommy was at the bottom of the slide. After awhile, we didn't want to slide anymore and we wanted to climb up the slide, as evidenced by Emmy in the purple top. We didn't try running away......THIS time. But there is always a next time!

Left slide: Gabby and Addy
Right slide: Emmy
Top: Cooper and Riley
Riley enjoying his freedom!

We hope everyone had a fantastic Mother's Day and you did something really nice for your Mommy. Lola and Dadu came over and we ordered lunch and ate at home. Then we played outside after our nap. Once again, Mommy is sorry she didn't take any pictures with us that day!

Our "18 month" wellness check-up got moved again to end of June. We will be 21 mos. by then. And the next thing you know....we'll be back in 3 mos. for our 2 yr check-up! Where did the time go?!? 

Mommy will post our ht/wt stats next month after we go to the Dr.

We would also like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day! We appreciate all the men and women who help protect this country of ours and keep us safe!  God bless you all  =)