The Mercado Family

Monday, December 10, 2018

Music in the Air

We are surrounded by music and I love it! Not only do we get to listen to beautiful Christmas music, but I get to hear my children make it. Victoria and I convinced Karissa to join orchestra, now that she's in middle school. She plays the viola. She really likes it, especially because Olivia is in her class. We also convinced her to join the choir at her school She's an alto, which surprised me because her talking voice isn't that low, but she using her diaphragm that she has developed through cheer, so it comes out nice and low.
It's the smallest viola I've ever seen!

Her good friend Sarah.

Karissa being in orchestra makes our life a little easier. Jason takes both girls to the high school for orchestra and then they take their shuttle buses to their two different middle schools . Plus, we had only one orchestra concert to go to! However, we do have to go to two different choir concerts at Discovery and East. Discovery has 4 concerts a year, so they had one in October and will have another one on the 20, which is the night before we go to Colorado, so I won't post that one, but East had their December concert already.

Before the orchestra concert.

Victoria and Sabrina, violin buddies!

Karissa and Olivia, viola buddies.

Victoria right before the concert.

Victoria and Rayven. New members of Select Ensemble in choir this year!
A special, unplanned, professional event occurred over Thanksgiving weekend. Someone in our ward couldn't make it to the Nutcracker at the Detroit Opera House and Victoria and I got to go instead! We enjoyed the music, dancing, and decor there.

My ballerina!

I love all these chances to enjoy supporting the talents of my children and celebrating Christmas through music.

Here are some clips of the concerts.
(Victoria is halfway covered by the conductor;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Lucky Number 7

Erik's birthday was the day after Thanksgiving this year, which he was happy about. I honestly don't think it made much of a difference because the rest of us still ate Thanksgiving food for dinner on his birthday (leftovers) and he had whatever it is he eats for dinner. I really can't remember what he ate for dinner. It might have been noodles or bread with carrots, but really, all the white carbs are the same, so it doesn't matter what he actually ate. He did have a memorable day, though.

He started out with a pop tart for breakfast, with his warm white milk, per his request. We all went to see The Grinch  at the movie theater, on my mom. The kids had all decided they wanted to buy themselves drinks there, so they did, but I treated Erik for his birthday. We brought our own popcorn and candy. It was a great way to kick of the holiday season and enjoy something fun for his birthday. On the way home, we stopped by Jimmy John's  to pick up some day old bread, as I usually do when I'm in that area. Since the day before was Thanksgiving, they didn't have any day old, so they gave me fresh for the price of the day old! Jimmy John's bread has become a favorite of our family's lately. So, that's what we had for lunch- turkey sandwiches on JJ bread. Yum! We had planned on stopping by McDonald's for fries for the special day, so we did that as well and some of the kids ate those, but it was funny that Erik didn't finish his. He mostly ate the bread.

Something that our kids don't usually get to do on their birthdays is service. Due to rainy Saturdays, the yard of a widow in our ward needed to be done that day, so we went there after lunch and raked her leaves and cleaned up her yard. It was great to serve her and fun for the kids to be outside on a day that was less freezing and sunny.

Presents and cake (I was surprised he didn't ask about opening presents earlier in the day) happened pretty quickly so we could put the Nebraska game on. Erik happens to love Nebraska, so it was a nice end to his special day.

He loves playing using the cat tree as a place for his toys.

Austin and Grandpa Jim made this marble game and Erik just loves it!

Erik's biggest hobby right now is reading. He reads all afternoon and evening, just about, while I'm taking various children different places. It seems one of my girls is home each time I need to leave so I can leave him at home. Besides reading, he loves to play games, especially tag. He plays with his toys by himself or with Austin, here and there. Mostly imaginative games using his cars, animals, shop kins, or other character toys. I love seeing his growth in school. I volunteer once a week in his class and he's one of the "helpers" at the table he sits at. Others kids can ask him questions if they need help. It makes me proud!
He mostly reads graphic novels,  but he'll read anything he can get his hands on! He's great at reading the scriptures with us too!

We had his party a few weeks ago. I decided that earlier was better so it doesn't get in the way of holidays. We splurged this year and had his party at Jungle Java, an indoor play place with lots of slides, bouncy things, climbing, and other monkeying around. It included drinks and a table with balloons for when we had cake and ice cream. It was very fun for the kids, especially since my own kids have been wanting to go back there, even though it's for a younger crowd. Sure enough, the girls did get tired of it after a while and I thought it was way too loud. We were in between two other party tables, so there was a lot going on, but the kids played hard and were nice and sweaty!
Carrying his cake in.

Waiting to light the candles.

Logan happened to be in town that weekend- bonus!!

Happy Birthday to my baby!

Friday, November 23, 2018


This year for Thanksgiving my mom and Jim came for a visit. We had a very relaxing and fun day, full of delicious food and fun.

We were going to do our own turkey trot that morning, but with a real feel of 15, I worked out inside and my mom braved to cold for a walk. The rest slept in and then went for a walk later, even though it didn't get much warmer.
Twins in our workout clothes.
As usual, Jason did the turkey and didn't disappoint! He takes good care of our turkeys, massaging butter and herbs into them.
I'm always the assistant in these operations. 
The girls are helping me make some pillows for Christmas this year and Grandma helped with that project. It was nice to work together.
Austin is making a birthday card for Erik here while Victoria cut fabric.

Grandpa and the boys played with Legos and made some turkeys out of them.

I guess I didn't get any close-ups, but they were pretty clever!
Erik had his usual Thanksgiving food strike, including leaving the room during dinner. He didn't even want to smile for these pictures. Oh well. He ate a lot of food for breakfast (turkey bacon, milk, and bread) and for snack during our movie after dinner (cheese, grapes, and ginger cookies), so I think the hype of the meal makes him feel overwhelmed.

The night before Thanksgiving we went to the last place we could find Michigan dough nuts and cider, that was still open, The Red Shed. We wanted to take my mom and Jim for the ultimate Michigan autumn experience. One perk we didn't realize in going as late as we could was that everything was half off!!

Beautiful night!

Cozy shop.

Freezing outside!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Washington DC

Victoria went to Washington DC last month for the 8th grade field trip. Being that she was born just outside of  DC and made many trips there as a baby in my baby Bjorn, made it more special.  They shuttled a bus there on a Thursday, very early in the morning, stopping by Gettysburg, and came home over night on a Saturday to Sunday. She had a great time! Here's some pictures from her phone.

Just before leaving on the bus.

Misty Copeland's ballet slippers.