Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Season

My second favorite time of the year!! :o)
Here are some pics from our Christmas photo shoot with Amy Jo!!

The pups were not very cooperative...
But the kids did great!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Picture Day

Yesterday was quite the day!! We piled into the car (Alabama and Mississippi included) and headed to Plaza Park, where the fabulous Amy Jo met us there to take Christmas pictures for our Christmas cards. As soon as we get out of the car, Mississippi starts to bark at this lady who is walking around selling cotton candy. I have to pull her back and tell her to shape up. By the way, she did get car sick... AGAIN!! Then we proceeded to take many family photos, in which NONE of them had both of the dogs looking at the camera at the same time. So, Christmas cards will more than likely have at least one profile of our pups. We took many amazing pictures! I was really happy with them.

So, when we were done, we were able to get our new Panasonic 42" Plasma. We loaded it up, stopped to pick up pizza, and headed home after a very productive day. We set up our new tv and I am not sure Rick will ever want to do anything else, other than sit in front of the tv, again. But, it is really nice and I love it!!

I am really excited to send out Christmas cards this year!! It should be a lot of fun!! Stay tuned, for I will post pictures of this outing of ours soon!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


So, I took Mississippi to get fixed this morning. I left the house around 6:30, went to get Starbucks, and was on my way. They open their doors at 7:15, so I wanted to be there early so that I could get in and out, and get to work on time. I got there around 6:45 and as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, she throws up! This dog has only been in the car 3 times in her life and she has thrown up every time. She gets herself all worked up. Only I would have a dog that gets car sick!!! Anyway, I get out and get in line, in back of this little Asian woman who is bringing her cat in. I talked to her for a while and when they finally opened the doors, we were the first two to be waited on. So after we drop off our animals, we cross paths in the parking lot. She asks me my name and I tell her. Then she asks what time I am coming to pick up Miss and I tell her around 2:00-2:30. Then she says (in the cutest Asian accent) "Amanda, would you like to have breakfast with me?" At that moment, I wished I didn't have a job. She was so cute!! I told her that I would love to, but I had to be at work. My grandma died when I was almost 7 and she was the cutest little Asian woman so my heart has a little soft spot for the woman I encountered today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exeter Monarchs

As funny as it may be, this Dinuba girl has come to cheer for the Blue and Gold. Ironically, the blue and gold boy she moved here for, does not.

Over the years, Rick has soured against rooting for his alma mater. Why? No one is quite sure. It has to do with different circumstances that have presented themselves over the years. Slowly but surely I am trying to bring him back. We went to our first Exeter football game last week (the first game that they were not playing Dinuba or Woodlake and Rick wasn't on the opposing sideline). It was fun, but some things still bug him. But as he tries to understand that I support the blue and gold wearing athletes, he is also beginning to realize that his son is not too far away from wearing those colors as well!! Thank God for Cameron... Who wouldn't root for the kid? He makes my life a little easier :o)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

English, English, English

Ahh, the end of summer and the beginning of fall... my second favorite time of the year...

Life is funny sometimes. I started off the year substitute teaching, but due to some unfortunate events, I am now teaching full time. I am teaching Honors classes at Exeter High and loving it here!! Whoever thought, as a Dinuba Emperor, I would ever be living, teaching and rooting for Exeter?! It's great here. I like the kids, colleagues, and just the entire atmosphere here.

Ricky is in the middle of his football season. First game of the year... INTERCEPTION!!! It was priceless!! It was such an awesome experience for him. He is incredibly humble and so when everyone was congratulating him, he was a little unsure of what to do. He was trying to hide his smile, but his eyes were beaming at their confirmation.

MOHawks have started off well. We had a nice win against Fresno Christian last week. We have a bye this week, but will be back in action next week when we return to Woodlake. It will be a fun game, getting to see everyone. Rick and the JV Head Coach have a good relationship, unstrained from the resignation, so it will be a good game.

Marina and I just kind of follow the boys around during football season, as I tote along my bag full of papers to grade. But we get a week off in the middle of October and are looking forward to getting away for a short family vacation, something that we have yet to do. We aren't sure if it will be North or South yet, so details will follow. We're thinking about heading to Sea World, but Marina mentioned that she wanted to go to San Francisco, so we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


We are taking a vacation this weekend!!

I am so excited to get away with some good friends, in the mountains, by the lake, no worries and tons of fun! I am currently on a three week vacation, before I go back to a teaching job in Exeter.

Life is good, but busy, as I am cleaning a bit around the house, doing laundry on a daily basis, dishes and keeping up with Alabama and or newest addition to our family, Mississippi. She's a 4 month old puppy (most likely a boxer mix) who is adjusting to Ruiz family life, suffering from beatings given to her by her sister and cousin, Oscar, who lives next door, but rolls under the fence for the better part of the day. She's totally adorable, pictures will come later.

We have 2 more weeks until we are in full fledge football season and life, once again, becomes hectic!! So much fun though. The MOHawks looked good during passing league, finally coming into their own after grueling practices. I'm looking forward to a fun season!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Leaving Woodlake...

Today was a VERY emotional day...

Rick and I decided to leave Woodlake. It was a very difficult decision, and after MUCH thought and consideration, we have decided that Rick will leave his Head Coaching position to be the new Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at Mission Oak High School (the new high school in Tulare). We are very excited for this new adventure, but it is all a little bittersweet right now, leaving the boys at Woodlake. These boys have become a part of our family. I would do anything for so many of them. We had to say goodbye to them today, which was a little more emotional than I expected...
But now, the pressure of Head Coaching responsibilities are gone, which will allow more time for him to be home and be there for Ricky & Marina, and the many activities and sports that they are now involved in. And he has the opportunity to build a brand new program, which is a rare opportunity.
So now we begin to cheer on the Mission Oak Hawks!! Sporting purple, black and gold. But we still root for those amazing boys in orange and black!!

Monday, May 5, 2008


was pretty wild this weekend!! It is the one of the few weekends each year that I plan and look forward to... A bunch of my friends gather to hit the park in Exeter for an abundance of beer and fun!! We had a great time. My brother, Gina Fabrizio and her brother, Kev and Julie, our friends from CIGNA, Dinuba High and everyone else came over to celebrate. Then we came to our house to BBQ and have some wampatoola!! I think that is our new drink of choice!! What is it you ask?? DON'T!!! Just drink it... Everyone loved it but they were cussing it by the end of the night! :o) Now, my birthday isn't until tomorrow, but let me tell you... that was quite a way to get started!!

Photobucket if only I could find my camera and keys...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

As most of you know, I went back to substitute teaching this spring. I love it, because I love being with kids and being able to get up and walk around and interact with others on a daily basis. However, the school year will come to an end and I will be without a job for the entire summer. So, I find myself contemplating whether I should go back to CIGNA and continue in the health insurance field, or if I should simply find a job for the summer. When I weight the pros and cons of this decision, I come up with the importance of job security. If I return to CIGNA, I know that I will have a job everyday. If I continue to substitute teach, there is no guarantee that I will work every single day and no set amount that I will see on my paycheck at the end of the month.

I guess I am really starting to see that I not only have to provide for myself anymore, but I have to help contribute to a household that is now my family and my responsibility. I think that I have always been pretty spoiled and I have never HAD to do anything for anyone but myself. Now, I can't put the entire pressure on Rick to pay bills and take care of the months when there is a shortcoming in my paycheck.

So, I now find myself contemplating the decisions that I have made and need to make. I wish there was an easier way...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Great Grandmother

Today is Sunday, February 24, 2008. On April 3, 2008, my great grandmother would have been 90 years old. She died yesterday, February 23.
Her life was full of joy, that is one thing I am sure.
I remember when I was little... my great grandma and grandpa lived in Utah. They would travel in their motor home in the summer to come see us. They would pull their motor home up in our back yard and stay for a while. One summer, my grandpa even built me a playhouse. It was the coolest thing ever!!! And every Christmas I waited for the homemade caramels (made with no nuts for me) in the mail. They were incredible!!
Then they came to live in California. I remember house shopping with them. When my parents went out of town, they left us with them a few times. I remember eating the best fried chicken in the world with, without a doubt, the best homemade noodles and mashed potatoes ever!! mmm... what I would give for that meal right now...
She was an amazing woman. Strong and determined, yet loving and compassionate.
Beyond that, she was my mom's rock and right now, it is incredibly difficult for her. She is comforted in the fact that my great grandmother is in a much better place and she is with people she loves. She is with my grandpa, my uncle, ginger and all those who went before her. Her life is free from Alzheimer's and has every wonderful and precious memory that filled her life.
My mom is an amazing woman because of my great grandmother. She had the most influence on my mom's life. There will never be anyone who replaces her. So during this time, my mom needs her time to mourn. She needs to be able to sit and recount every single memory for none other than her very own sanity. She will be fine and life will go on, but right now, at this moment, she is not okay.
So this week will be a long one. We will say our final goodbye and have our closure. As a family, there is much left to be dealt with. I am thankful that she is free.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine's Day

February 14, 2008

I hope everyone had a Valentine's Day as good as mine...
I LOVE Valentine's Day!!!
I love that it is the holiday, for me anyway, that is focused on the little things and just appreciating love in your life, whether it is the love of a significant other, a family member, a child, or simply your friends, who are cherished in your life.
Rick got up and went to work at four o'clock in the morning, so aside from the quick peck on the cheek in the morning, I didn't see him until after work. He brought me orange tulips home on Tuesday and they just happened to open beautifully on Thursday. They are soo beautiful! We both happened to pick each other up a Greatest Hits CD of different artists and a favorite chocolate, accompanied by a humorous, but strangely appropriate, card of choice.
I made linguini and clams and garlic cheese biscuits for dinner and a chocolate cream pie for dessert. We had the kids, Rick's mom and grandmother over for dinner as well. It was just a fun evening.
Now we have a weekend to ourselves. Life is good. I love being HAPPY!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Beginning

Well, here goes nothing!!! It seems as if this is the new thing to do... BLOG!!! As I begin 2008, I have reflected on life and where it has placed me. I find myself in a place in which I am content and makes me happy each and every day. Here is a little catch up on me...
At the beginning of the year I was living in an apartment with Angelica, substitute teaching and coaching swimming at Dinuba High AND dating Rick for the second time around.
As we enter 2008, I am living in Exeter with Rick and his kids, working at CIGNA, and for the first time in 13 years, I am not coaching...
But I do support WOODLAKE FOOTBALL!!!!
Life changing year? I do believe so...
I decided that I do not want to teach anymore. I am planning to go back to school and get my counseling credential so that I can go into high school counseling. For the time being, I am working as a Customer Service Rep for CIGNA International. I love the people I work with for the most part. Is it a life-long job for me? Definitely not. But fine for now... I am not coaching... A decision that was pretty difficult, but one that I was content with... It's a little wierd... I didn't miss water polo too much, just the kids... Once swim season is on its way, I'm sure it will tug at the heart strings a little more...
I moved in with Rick and the kiddos in a three bedroom house in Exeter. We added Alabama to our family. She's the adorable Husky in my pics. Rick is the head coach at Woodlake so I get to wear my favorite color (orange) and cheer on those boys that I have grown to love! In the off season, we are catching basketball and soccer games, cheering them on in their "other" sports. So I am staying involved in atheltics, something that will no doubt, never lack.
Ricky and Marina started basketball, so we will stay busy.
Life is good! I'm completely content right now at this point in my life. Life is fun... The way it should be... And I have no regrets. I'm living life the same as I always have... Spontaneously and by the heart. So now we end 2007.
The goals for 2008?
Start working out.
Go back to school.
Keep in better touch with a few people.
Perfect spanish rice.
Win the Lotto (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?)