Sunday, April 4, 2010


Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter. We enjoyed having Mike's mom and sisters over, and even had a little easter egg hunt in the front yard (Gabriel didn't understand why he had to give 4 year old Jackson a 'head start')
We were enjoying some post-egg-hunt relaxing and visiting when everything started to shake, rattle, and roll - LITERALLY. 7.2 quake centered near Mexicali, probably 80 or 100 miles away from us (felt like a 4.0 here, but lasted for a full minute, maybe longer?)
So, it was an egg-citing Easter!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

catching up (sort of)

OK I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog in a whole YEAR! So, lets see, quick updates - lost my Preschool Director job in April 2009, went to The Price Is Right at least a dozen times (still haven't gotten onstage). Got pregnant with baby #4 the same week that Mike got his orders for Afghanistan, so the job search thing is more of a side thing for awhile. Kids are growing like weeds! Erinn (19) still won't talk to me, Chad(15) is now taller than everyone else in the family, and Gabriel(10) is turning into a real basketball star.
I'm probably not going to post as much on this page for now, but a friend suggested I create separate blogs, one to talk about pregnancy and one about deployment - look for links to them on my profile, and feel free to follow any that interest you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gabriel is nine!

Gabriel's 'block party' was a BLAST! The lego challenge was even more fun than I thought it would be, and the lego cake was incredible - not quite on par with the R2-D2 cake from 2 years ago, but still pretty cool. See the cake blog (linked through my profile on here) for photos of the cake.
The rain cleared up before the party, and there was still daylight as the party ended, allowing Gabriel to try out his new 'ripstick' skateboard (he fell more than anything else)
Gabriel's friends from school, church, basketball, and soccer were at the party, as well as several aunts, uncles, cousins, and all four grandparents - quite the crowd!
I'm still hoping we'll have some kind of patio in the backyard in time for next year's party, so we can better accommodate a large group.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I am REALLY going to try to write something here at least once a month - sorry the previous entries have been so sporadic!

Gabriel's party this weekend will be the 2nd hottest party of the month (Anthony's party the next day will probably overshadow, if for no other reason than his incredible cuteness!) :)

Work is.....well, work. The pregnancy epidemic at my preschool may finally be coming to an end (Heidi had her baby yesterday, and Cruz is due in 2 weeks - and so far our newlywed Mayra has nothing to announce). This will be the first time in my entire two-year history with QCS that no one at my center is pregnant. Unless Mayra succeeds in getting pregnant, like, yesterday. (it's possible)

I still can't get Erinn to come to any family events, but I am not giving up hope that she will mature enough to someday WANT to be part of our family again.

Oh, next week I get to go to another taping of The Price Is Right....who knows, maybe I will have something really EXCITING to report next week! If i don't get onstage this time, I hope that one of the military wives going with me gets up there and wins BIG. :)

Mike and the boys are doing well, and for now there are no deployment plans in our immediate future. If you can spare a prayer or two, please send some good thoughts toward Mike being home with us for at least another year or two before the next deployment (all of my prayers are that his recent deployment was his LAST ever, but I am not so sure that prayer will be answered...)

I told Mike on New Year's Eve that I had a feeling that 2009 will be our best year yet, and the feeling is getting stronger; will keep you all posted, and hope your new year is going GREAT!

Monday, December 29, 2008


OK we're looking at doing Gabriel's 9th birthday party on Saturday, January 24 2008, at our house. Make sure you clear your calendar, this is going to be a MAJOR BLOCK PARTY (legos, not the whole neighborhood) :)
Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


by special request, I have posted a new blog showing several of my cakes, with a description of each underneath. You can view the cakes at

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Family Newsletter

OK, normally you'd get this in a Christmas Card, but it was waaaaaay too long for that. So, imagine you've just opened the homemade card I would normally send you, and you pull out the old dreaded family newsletter. Now unfold your imaginary paper and read on.....

Gonzales Family Newsletter
WOW, another year has come and gone…..
2008 was marked by Mike’s safe return from his 2nd tour in Iraq. Chad finished Middle School & started High School, and Gabriel tried a couple of new sports, while Gaile tried desperately to keep all those crazy plates spinning. Here’s a brief month-by-month recap of our ‘exciting’ year! (Hey, I saw that yawn – you can put this down, you know. Someone else will read it. Later. Maybe. Or not.)

Gabriel turned 8, and signed up for his first (and maybe last) ever season of Soccer. Chad got a ‘Student of the Month’ award at school. Gaile worked, and prayed almost constantly for Mike’s safe return. As for Mike, well we can’t tell you exactly what he was up to in Iraq – or we would have to kill you. Just kidding. Maybe. Not to be outdone, Chica dug a hole next to the house.

Gabriel’s soccer practices finally got underway, prompting him to call his mother a “Soccer Mom”. (insert fits of laughter here) Chad continued to impress his teachers with his progress, most notably with math & science. Gaile continued to work and pray, and tried unsuccessfully to teach Chica to ‘Shake’ her hand/paw on command. Mike kept doing the hero thing (not to trivialize this, but seriously – if we go into detail, then we have to kill you….) Chica celebrated her 2nd birthday and kept digging, aided by the wet weather. She almost reached the foundation of the house.

Gabriel’s first few soccer games turned out to be disappointing for him and his team, but still allowed him to shine. His natural athletic ability made him one of the best players on the team, even though he was a brand new soccer player. Chad beat his own record for speed-solving the Rubik’s Cube. Gaile became almost frantic with efforts to get everything ‘ready’ for Mike’s homecoming. Mike prepared to hand over his duties to his replacement in Iraq (um, yeah, still no details for you on that one, but thanks for reading this far!) Chica tried in vain to dig a new hole when her old one was covered up with rocks.

Gabriel played the final games of his 0-8 soccer season (yes, you read that right, they lost every game, but not for lack of effort!) Chad worked out some kinks in his Master Plan to take over the world, and Gaile welcomed Mike home from Iraq. Mike spent endless hours just trying to get used to civilian life and family life. Chica found a way to move many of the rocks covering the hole next to the house, and dug some more.

Gabriel relieved Gaile of her ‘soccer mom’ title and announced that he wanted to play basketball. Chad fell deeper into his Rubik’s Cube obsession, customizing his cube to allow him to essentially make two moves at the same time. He memorized algorithms to help him solve the cube even faster. Gaile celebrated yet another birthday (and somehow turned thirty again……) Mike picked up old routines and created new ones to help him fit back into family life; we’re pretty sure that this was when the whole ‘going green’ thing got serious. Chica found her hard-dug hole filled in and covered by a 12 x 12 paving stone. She promply started digging a new hole a foot away.

Gabriel finished 2nd grade, Chad graduated from middle school, and Gaile worked. Mike used his remaining leave time to finish several projects around the house, leading to the inevitable discovery of the need for many new projects (it’s like when you place your hand on a dusty car, then see your ‘clean’ handprint and notice how dirty the car is… not to touch a dirty car, right?) Chica’s new hole came dangerously close to the fence around her kennel, but the hard clay in the ground slowed her down.

Thanks to “Operation Purple”, Gabriel & Chad both got to go to a week of Summer Camp in the mountains above Santa Barbara. All of the kids at the camp shared the common experience of having a parent deployed in the previous year. Gaile and Mike went on a road trip during the week of summer camp – visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas. Mike returned to work for the Sheriff’s department. Chica’s digging efforts were finally permanently thwarted by a whole row of paving stones next to the house.

Gabriel started 3rd grade (yes, it was a very short summer!) Chad started high school and beat his best time solving the Rubik’s Cube (new record 30.08 seconds). He even joined a Ribik’s Club at school. Gaile grumbled and complained about her job, but still worked hard. Mike adjusted quickly to his night work schedule and still managed to make it to Gabriel’s first basketball practice. Chica took up eating grass and the occasional mushroom.

Gabriel played his first game for the Valley Wide Rec. District’s Division II Spurs. A mouthful, but lots of fun! The first game went into double overtime, with the Spurs finally winning by one point. Chad enrolled in a guitar class at school, finding that his self-taught skills placed him well ahead of most of the other students. Due to a historically long State budget impasse in CA, Gaile’s state-funded preschool was forced to close for a few weeks, giving her a chance to look for other (non-existent) jobs during the temporary layoff. Mike got a composter AND solar PV panels for the house (continuing to ‘go green). Chica got tired of eating grass and mushrooms, and started working on her howl-bark combination.

Gabriel still vied for the MVP title on his basketball team, and became an expert at three different Wii games. Chad helped with projects around the house, and got a GREAT progress report at school. Gaile learned to appreciate her job for what it is (a JOB, when many people can’t find one) as she re-opened the preschool after the state budget was finally signed. Mike kept working for the Sheriff’s Department, and worked harder to get us all to ‘go green’. His new cordless electric lawn mower (powered by the solar panels, of course) arrived, and he began the search for containers to collect rain water for the lawn. Chica gave up on the howl-bark (thankfully) and was rewarded with more time inside the house.

Gabriel’s basketball team finished in 3rd place in the league, and he made plans to play basketball again in the Spring. Chad turned 14, was baptized, and joined the JROTC at his school (all in one week!) Gaile worked hard to host Chad’s birthday party and Thanksgiving, while working 50+ hours a week. Mike finally had the same weekends as the rest of the family, so he got to help out more with the kids and be involved in all of the above activities. Chica had an uneventful month.

Gabriel re-discovered how cool art can be (*whew!*) and worked on his public speaking abilities – future president in the making! Chad enjoyed marching in his first parade with the JROTC. It was extremely cold (for CA) but several thousand local residents showed up for the City of Temecula’s “Santa’s Electric Light Parade”, all cheering just for Chad. Or so we told him. Gaile wrote this ridiculously long narrative, and ran around like crazy to get ready for Christmas. Mike handled the majority of the Christmas shopping, while still working in LA and making it to as many family events as possible. Chica was woefully neglected, but still managed to be the best dog ever. (sometimes she sits on top of her dog house, just like Snoopy!)

Gabriel, Chad, Gaile, Mike, & Chica ALL wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!