The Mercado Family

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend

Remember when I said times we're going to get crazy busy soon? Well, they have, but we're enjoying all these opportunities while we can.

Here are some of my favorite pics of Victoria from her dance photo session. (These were actually from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to save them for when it was her recital weekend.)

Her favorite costume was this blue one for lyrical.

She didn't like this orange tap costume, but I think it does look pretty with her white skin. 

She now does her own her for any event and it's flawless!

Here's her recital dances. She was amazing and the owner of the studio told me she is very pleased with how much Victoria has improved this year. Her cecchetti ballet teacher said she was her most improved student this year!  As in years past, these are just at the dress rehearsals, so the background is not up and at one point a girl with a different costume pops in for part of the dance. I'm not sure what that was all about! It didn't happen at the recital.

In addition, she had her first track meet, which she participated in the 400 meter run in. She did well for her first time. It was fun to watch.
She's in the gray shirt.

Meanwhile... Karissa had her 5th grade talent show. She and Olivia choreographed a short cheer dance for it. They did a good job for how little they practiced! We enjoyed being at the talent show.

The best part of all these activities, was that my mom was here to enjoy the experiences as well! She followed me and my busy schedule around and we enjoyed celebrating Mother's Day together!

The day my mom left was Jason's birthday. We squeezed in a quick celebratory dinner of pizza and lemon poppy seed cake. Tuesdays are extremely busy with 3 piano lessons, tennis class for Austin right now, and picking up Victoria from track. Add to that Karissa's 5th grade music concert on Jason's birthday, and you have a real mix! Luckily, I was able to take Jason out to some good Lebanese food on Friday while my mom stayed with the kids. We enjoyed Karissa's concert, though, and made everyone go as a family outing.

Happy Birthday to Jason!!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

New Activities

The past few months, Karissa has been taking a tumbling class to help her get stronger for cheer leading and improve on some basic tumbling skills for cheer as well. She is doing it with her best friend, Olivia, which makes it extra fun for her. It's also nice for me because we can carpool!

Austin and Erik recently started playing flag football. Of course Dallin had to join as well, Austin's best friend, for the same reasons above. Erik surprised me by wanting to try it out too. Dallin's little brother Victor signed up, so he and Erik are on the same team and Austin and Dallin are on the same team. How convenient!

Austin's in the shorts, on this cold day!

Erik likes being the fastest on the team;)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Did You Know?

Almost a year ago we bought a new car. I never blogged about because it was such a busy time and I had so many other things to blog about. Before the busy-ness picks up again, let me tell you about it.

Jason and I are big planners. We had planned on replacing our mini van in a year or so, last year. Well, his Ford Fusion suddenly bit the dust. The transmission went out and we were going to have replace that for around $2000. We decided to buy a family car that would eventually replace the van and then purchase a car for Jason when we get rid of the van in a few years.

Jason found a Ford Explorer Sport, only 1 year old, last year. It had a fair amount of miles on it, but otherwise was in perfect condition and was 1/3 of the price (I think, though I can't remember that exact detail, Jason will correct me in the comments if I'm way off :) We loved it and the kids thought it was a really "cool" car, which it is. The only thing I had to complain about, and still sometimes do, is that it's for older kids. No sliding doors to keep from hitting other cars around you (though luckily they haven't done that yet), the sliding doors are also good for convenience. To get to the very back, which is very roomy, you have to put the seat down, so no just walking back there. Sometimes the kids fight about who has to sit in the back. The way we solve some of the problems is I threaten that we would just drive the van again (Trusty is what we named him long ago). As soon as I say that, they all shut their mouths and are happy to ride in our smooth Explorer. I 've gotten many compliments about it, so it must be a nice ride if perfect strangers are complimenting me on it!

(I realized as I just went to post pics that we didn't take many when we bought it. Luckily, I took one a couple months ago becasue I can't take one now, it needs to be washed!!)

When we first got Big Red, 12 years ago in Utah. This is outside my sister's old home in SLC.

Last year, when we traded in Big Red for Cinnamon. Here's our two vehicles now.

Cinnamon this winter

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spring Break

Spring break was very low-key, for which I'm very grateful. It will be a very busy summer and these last 10 weeks of school are already full!

We didn't have any plans to go anywhere and I was needed at Red Bell, so my kids came with me every day to help out and have fun, except for Monday, when Jason had off and I let them hang with him at home. That will be the last holiday break that I will have to go in. Next year, the kids who go to Red Bell for preschool, and not child care, will not be permitted to attend on days when there is no public school, so the lead teacher will not be there either. It makes sense, but I was happy to go in when we didn't have plans. My kids will miss not going there as much. They have so much fun and it's a good opportunity for them to help me out with assignments, like helping with bulletin boards and reading stories, and seeing me in the "teacher" role.

Besides Red Bell, we went roller skating (Erik made great progress there), to Sky Zone where the kids got to jump on trampolines and play dodge ball for an hour with friends, and have play dates.

We felt well-rested for Monday and ready to start back again for the final push. Until this happened....

Luckily, we found out today that it's not broken, just swollen and bruised. She knocked it into something on Sunday when we were playing capture the flag. I didn't even know about it. I think she mentioned it one time in passing that evening. Monday when she returned from school she said it hurt, but it didn't look too swollen or discolored to me. We iced it, but I encouraged her to go to dance class, since the recital is coming up along with cecchetti exams. I told her to not do anything that would aggravate it. Well, she danced on it the entire 2 1/2 hours, even though it hurt, and came back with it looking swollen and slightly purple. I sent out a Facebook notification to our ward members and was able to borrow crutches for her since it seemed she could barely walk.

We finally made it to the doctor today. No fracture, but she has to stay off it for a week. She was disappointed, but at least it's only a week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter Weekend

General Conference being over Easter weekend allowed us to have a more quiet and less busy holiday. I debated whether or not to have someone over for an Easter meal, but decided against it since the second session of General Conference ends at 6 pm here and the first sessions starts at lunchtime. Everything in between is either conference or chaos. I did recruit my girls in helping me prepare a fruit salad and a pasta salad for a funeral that was held Saturday morning. That was a nice opportunity to serve with them and I was glad they were up to the task. Looks like Victoria will get to help me with more "ministering" when she turns 14, in 6 months, with our new program in ministering. Speaking of which, President Nelson is on fire- whew! It was such an amazing and meaningful General Conference! Since it was Easter weekend, there were no other activities, like dance, to attend. We got to fully participate in everything with conference. The food was tasty and the spirit was strong!

Years ago, when Jason and I were returning from LA after attending my brother's mission farewell, we ran into Elder Utchdorf (before he was a member of the 12) and President Nelson. We shook their hands and had a quick chat. If you remember, President Nelson came with his wife to Michigan in the fall. I feel a special connection with him and know he is called of God.

On Good Friday, we all had off. We finally made it to the movie theater to watch The Greatest Showman for my birthday celebration. Yesterday, we watched a movie with the kids called Risen. A Christian movie about Christ's resurrection from the perspective of a Roman solider. It provoked a lot of questions from the kids and we even got out the Bible after wards to look at the maps in the back to see the layout of where Jesus lived.

It's been meaningful and special and I'm so grateful for this Easter season!

We love to decorate Easter eggs!

My birthday flowers were a nice addition to the Easter decor.

Fooling around with my new camera!

He was excited about the Easter fruit snacks. His main gift were the black rain boots he's wearing.

Austin got a wireless mouse for his chrome book. He said this was the best Easter ever! 

Karissa really wanted some cat ears with some bling to them, She wears them all the time!

Wool felting kit for Victoria. Now both girls can wool felt together.

Travel pillow for Jason for when he goes to the Nebraska spring game in a few weeks. Tea tree oil for me!

We made Resurrection rolls. The kids really enjoyed the meaning behind them and the flavor, too!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Pinewood Derby Surprise

Austin got his pinewood derby supplies a month ago at the Blue and Gold dinner. Two weeks after that was when I got strep throat, the second time, so Jason was busy with extra tasks and they didn't start working on the car when they normally would have. One week before the event, they went to get started on the car, but discovered that it was lost. So, they had to go buy one, which was inconvenient, since the store they sell them at isn't exactly that close to our house and getting there and back took out precious car-making time. They worked on it a little each evening that week. Luckily, Austin had done it last year with the school pack, so he knew a little about what to expect, but I felt like they didn't work as long on it and wondered how it would turn out. It looked great, though, and my friend even complimented its appearance before the race. 

Austin started his racing in one of the first heats of the whole event. Each car got a turn in each lane. He won 3 races out of the 4, mostly because one lane had some bumps and most every car performed poorly in that lane. We thought he did a pretty good job and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. When they announced the winners of the whole event; however, I was totally surprised that he came in first! Actually, Jason and Austin were too. It turns out that during his runs, he was racing against the 2nd and 3rd place winners, as well as some other faster cars, so even though he was barely winning his heats his times were the fastest. 
The Speedster
His first heat.

Going up for the final award.

I love the look on his face when he found out he won. Priceless!

Meanwhile, that very same day, Victoria's choir came in first at the choir festival, even over the eighth graders there. It was a day of firsts! (Here's the songs they sang at the festival, performed at the concert a few weeks prior).