Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas at School

All of the kids had programs this week at school.

The girls sang some songs with the rest of the kindergartners. It was cute to see them all dressed up in their pjs singing about Santa. Thankfully the word "Christmas" has not been changed to "Holiday" in the their school. The next day I came to help them "make" fudge. We actually filled in the blanks in a simple recipe book and pretended to measure out ingredients. At the end they were given a kit to make the real thing at home. Friday was a short 2 hour day. The teacher provided breakfast and they exchanged puzzles during their Christmas party.

Tyler's preschool does a more elaborate Christmas pageant. We've participated in the last three. Unfortunately this was the last year any of my kids will be in it. Tyler was given a speaking part as one of the shepherds. He did an excellent job. We had a potluck lunch afterward. Then we went to visit Santa. Tyler decided to change his mind on his gift and asked Santa for a skateboard with elbow and knee pads. (I believe he just wanted to copy Karena.) At least he's trying to be safe. There was no reasoning with him that it was a little late in the season to be changing his mind on what he wanted from Santa. We did a few crafts and headed home.

No more school for 2 more weeks. Let's see if I survive the next week as the kids impatiently await Christmas and I try yet again and again to explain to Karena and Tyler that they will not be getting skateboards for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If you can't make fun of yourself...

Another blog I read posted this. If you're offended, I'm sorry. I hope you're not because I found it freakin' funny. (Just had to through the freakin' in there to add to the Mormon humor.)


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

6th Birthday

In the past six years Karena and Hannah have gone from this,
and this,

to this!
Happy Birthday Karena and Hannah! We love you so much!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas reflections

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Its not just the decorations and the giving. To me Christmas brings with it a sense of peaceful reflection. I find my self reflecting on the past year. Remembering memories my family has shared together. Remembering people and friends that have come or gone from my life. I think to the future and ways I can improve myself as a mom, a wife, a daughter of God. I hope for a better year than the last no matter what happened in the past year. I think of the memories I may be a part of. A child entering school or a new grade. An upcoming vacation.

But mostly I reflect on a quiet night over two thousand years ago. I like to think of Mary and her thoughts and feelings as she made her choice to be a humble servant of God. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." I want to be more like Mary. To say to the Lord, "I am willing to do whatever Thou asks of me because I am Thy handmaid." Unfortunately I am more likely to put conditions on my service. "I'll do it but can it wait until..." What must it have been like to feel the Savior of the world growing inside of her? Did she know to what extent His life would effect hers? Do I know to what extent His life can effect mine?

As I start this Christmas month I hope I can keep these feelings in my heart always. I want my children to love this time of year for more than presents and Santa Clause. I want them to love it because of the Savior.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day

Thanksgiving day was a nice relaxing day here at our house. We had some friends come over for the afternoon.

The pre-dinner entertainment. The kids introduced Mel and Sunshine to the Wii.

I had made most of the food a day or two before. We had:

1. Sweet potato casserole with a pecan, butter, brown sugar and Honey Bunches of Oats topping.
2. Mashed potatoes made with sour cream and cream cheese. I made them the day before and baked them before the dinner. They tasted like twice baked potatoes!
3. Carrots in a brown sugar/butter glaze
4. Corn
5. Rolls, Pickles, Olives, and Cranberry Sauce. The four favorite kid foods on the table.
6. Dressing. This is from my hero The Pioneer Woman. Her website/blog has quickly become one of my favorites. (She recently came out with her first cookbook. I would love to own it. Hint, hint.) Its made with cornbread and french bread. I even made both of those myself. Lots of herbs and stock. It reminded me of the bread at Macaroni Grill. I liked it so much I had it for breakfast this morning.

7. And the highlight of the meal:

It looks a little charred. Okay, a lot charred. But underneath that rough exterior was a moist, tender and oh so delicious bird. It was one of my favorite turkey's I've ever eaten.

8. For dessert we had PIE! Apple, Mincemeat, and Pecan. Our friends brought the apple and mincemeat. I made the pecan. Again it was from The Pioneer Woman. John declared it delicious!!! It was incredibly easy to make. The kids enjoyed the mincemeat and the apple. The rest of us enjoyed, well, all of them.

We were able to talk to Mom, Dad, Amy and Justin and many of my cousins over skype. We all enjoyed talking and seeing everyone.


My kiddos are on the cutting edge of fashion and are trying to start a new trend.

Actually Tyler has been doing this almost daily. The girls decided to join in and came downstairs with their pj shirts backwards.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Chronicles of Halloween

Halloween is a year long event in our home. The next years Halloween costumes begin the design process as we are traipsing around collecting candy from strangers we would otherwise never let our children talk to.

This year the kids had all decided they would be a member of the Imagination Movers. Tyler wanted to be Smitty because he had a guitar. Karena was going to be Nina because their names rhymed. Hannah was going to be Warehouse Mouse. I figured Karena's and Hannah's costumes would be easy. I finally bought a pattern and fabric for Tyler's costume and cut it all out. After 3 mistakes and 3 sessions of seam ripping I set it aside for a breather.

During that breather Hannah and Tyler changed their mind. Never mind that they had discussed these costumes for exactly 49 weeks of the past year. I also convinced Karena to change her costume, too. (Truthfully I was very nervous no one would know who she was and it would hurt her feelings.) After several trips to the store to determine that yes, indeed, Halloween costumes are extremely over-priced I decided to make the costumes.

Hannah wanted to be a Disney princess. After several of her choices were nixed by me we settled on Snow White. I really enjoyed making her dress. It was nice to see her wearing it and know I made it. I also liked knowing it might actually last more than 2 or 3 wearings before seams start coming apart as so many other of our previously store bought costumes.

Karena's second choice was a My Little Pony. Unfortunately her very uncool Mommy does not pay attention to the different colors of the ponies. Which began an hour long battle over what I was willing to spend on her costume to make her look like the BLUE one. After a trip to Wal-mart (my least favorite place to take kids or myself) we finally settled on a $5 cat costume.

Tyler wanted to be Batman. It didn't matter that he had no idea who or what Batman was. He had a Batman toy and wanted to be Batman. After consulting with my sewing guru (Thanks Mom!) I decided to make/buy his costume. I luckily found a Batman t-shirt at Old Navy that he can wear for a while. I got an adult vampire cape from CVS for free!!! (My love affair with CVS is a story for another post.) I bought a black toboggan for the hat. After resizing the cape I took the leftover material and made ears for the hat.

Now that you have heard the complicated and long winded story of the costumes please enjoy some pictures of the many Halloween parties and events we attended.

Ward Trunk or Treat

Collecting candy after playing the games

A few good action shots

Tyler didn't know the games were over. He saw his favorite game unmanned and decided he was going to be in charge!

Tyler and his friend held hands the entire time they went "Hallway treating." It was raining too hard to go trunk-or-treating.

Enjoying the fruits of their labors!

Girl Scout activity

Trick or Treating

It was 40 degrees outside. Bundling up was required.
(Tyler has on his warm clothes under his costume. It added a few "muscles" for Batman.)

I have really no idea what he's doing here. Actually I rarely know what the boy is doing.

I have lipstick on my nose!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My past few days

I've struggled for various reasons with the past few days. I've wanted to post about Halloween and our new floors. But to be quite honest I was too tired and worn out to do much of anything. So I thought I would just leave you with this:

I may be wrong but I think this is from her visit to Nashville's Time Out for Women.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Crazy Love

I'm getting this CD today! I can't wait to hear it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A New Word for Webster

The background: A friend of ours gave the kids a goody box of fun stuff for Halloween. Some of it included a toy brush and mirror.

Tyler and Karena are playing barbershop.

Tyler to Karena: Come over here and I will barble you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pay It Forward

My first roommate from college participated in a pay it forward project. It sounded like so much fun and since I've been trying my hand at more homemade things here recently I decided to join in. I was lucky enough to write one of the first comments so sometime in the next year I'll be getting something exciting in the mail.

Would you like to join me in the anticipation? Here are the rules:

I promise to send the first 3 persons who comment in this post something hand made within a years time. (Thank you to whoever came up with that rule!). Maybe something edible, maybe something sewn, or who knows? But definitely hand made! And received before this time next year. Oh the mystery! What will it be?

Here’s the rub: If you sign up to receive a hand made gift you need to “pay it forward” on your own blog. That is, you’ll make a post similar to this and then promise and hand make a gift for three other bloggers. The gift that you send to your 3 friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember it’s the spirit and the thought that count! C’mon, an-y-thing home made by you within the year! You can do this! How fun!

So o.k. comment away!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm smarter than you

Apparently Tyler and Hannah were arguing yesterday about who was smarter. During her bath, Hannah was complaining to John that Tyler thought he was smarter but she knew she was because she was in school. John tried to explain to her that just because she was in school didn't mean she was smarter. He tried to explain that people are smarter in different ways and used several examples but everything kept falling on deaf ears. Finally he said, "You know Tyler's smarter than you in riding bikes because he can ride without training wheels." She thought for a minute and said, "Daddy, tomorrow can you take the training wheels off my bike?"

Here's a little video of Tyler riding without training wheels.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Month of Firsts - Part 3

Part 3 - Tyler's First Day of School

Tyler started back to preschool again this year. We've been really pleased with the school the past 2 years and we were excited to send Tyler back again this year. Tyler was a little hesitant to go as usual. He even told us he didn't want to go to school. He tends to get nervous when anything changes or is different. But he went. John and I both took him and walked him into school.

Outside the school looking a little shaggy. He was looking forward to his haircut after school.

Sitting in his chair at school.

So far we've had Ms. Julie, Ms. Brandi, Ms. Darlene, and now Ms. Lori. Every single teacher has been perfect for our children in the year they were with them. I'm excited to see how much Tyler will grow in Ms. Lori's class. He's already brought home school work that I've been amazed at. He's working on writing his name and not just his "T." He's got T's down pat. This last week the class worked on writing I's. He even remembered how to write upper and lower case at home. (My kids tend to forget what they learned in school that day by the time they walk out of the school doors.) Those I's are now prominently displayed on the fridge.

Oh, by the way, Tyler whispered to me in the car on the way home that first day, "Mommy, I had fun."

A Month of Firsts - Part 2

Part 2 - The First School Project

The first project was to make a poster all about their family. I sat down with both of the girls and picked out and printed pictures of our family. John bought poster board. After cutting out all the
pictures and the mats I gave the girls each a glue stick and set them to work.

Is this really where I wanted everything?

They eagerly glued all the pictures to the mats and then after arranging them on the poster board themselves they glued those.

I wrote the names of everyone on post-its and had them copy them onto their posters.

Hannah's ready to work with her pencil behind her ear!

Even Tyler had to have a project to do.

Karena tracing over her pencil lines with crayon.

I was so proud of them for sticking with it and finishing the whole thing. Karena was actually sick while we made the posters.

Later when I came to visit the girls in their classroom I had a chance to look at the other kids posters. The other ones were great and I enjoyed seeing everyone's families. I noticed though that Karena's and Hannah's posters were the only ones that actually had their own handwriting on it. All the others had the parent's "help." I was even more proud of the girls for putting so much effort into their posters.

A Month of Firsts - Part 1

I'm going to start another series called "A Month of Firsts." I promise I will get back to my previous series. As usual I like to tackle as many things as I possibly can at the same time.

Part One: Kindergarten

Karena and Hannah finally started kindergarten. They were so excited! They'd been talking about kindergarten for about a year now. Every time we'd drive by there school they'd make a comment about how that was their school and they were going to be going there someday.

Well the big day finally came.

Tyler is just as excited as his sisters!

Amazingly enough we got out the door in time. School starts here at 7:30. Thankfully the school is less than a mile from our house so we don't have to go far. John took the day off and we all drove to school.

We walked them into their classroom

and showed them their seats.

We introduced them to their teacher.

Showed them their playground that is only for kindergartners and then it was time to say goodbye.

Karena was a little nervous.

Hannah's ready to start school!

We left and ran some errands. Their first day was only a half day so we picked them up after lunch. They were ready to go back the next day.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Karena quote

Karena, my kindergartner of two weeks, just said to me, "Mom, I wish it was the last day of college and it was all over forever."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Its broken

Hannah told me the other day and then said it again at dinner today: "My rememberer is broken and my forgetter is fixed."

Our Three Week Adventure - Part 2

Pioneer Day is a big holiday in Utah. It celebrates the day that Brigham Young and the first pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Before I start the travelouge I just have to say how much I love hearing stories about the pioneers and how much courage and strength they have. It makes me so grateful for the things I take for granted every day. I am amazed at the number of women who bore children along the trail, buried children and husbands along the trail and still kept on walking. They knew the blessings of heaven far out weighed the trials they were facing right then. I wish I could be more like them.

Pioneer Day is held on the 24th of July and in some parts of Utah is as big a celebration as the 4th of July. But in Washington, UT (where my parents live) its not but it was still a lot of fun. The morning started off with a parade. The kids had never been to a parade before and were so excited to see their first one. Their excitement grew as they learned people would be throwing CANDY to them. Hannah was the first one to get any - at the envy of her brother and sister.

Tyler loved the tractors. The girls loved the cheerleaders and other dancers. I took this picture for John since he couldn't be there with us. After the parade we went to the park behind us for a carnival. They had games, food and music. We all stood in line for 20 minutes to buy shaved ice. The kids each ran a foot race. They did really well and all won a participation prize. They got their faces painted.

Tyler usually doesn't go for stuff like face painting but decided that since his sister's were getting in on the action that he would too. I thought Hannah would go for the lizard since she's the "Lizard queen." (She got that name from Uncle Brady after chasing a lizard around at the Clark County museum for 30 minutes.) She went for the rainbow instead. Karena and Tyler decided a lizard would be cool.

In one corner of the park was a dunking booth. You could pay to be dunked or do the dunking. The kids chose the dunking and did quite well. They enjoyed it so much that we went back a second time.

If you heard the guy in the video say "I thought they were trying to rip me off" let me explain. Karena and Hannah were both in line. Karena was first. She completed her turn and then came to stand by me. The guy working the dunking line was looking around for the next person when I said,"She's next," and pointed at Hannah. He looked at Hannah and said, "Didn't you just go?" I called out to him, "They're twins!" He looked back at me and with a look of incredulity he saw Karena and then looked back at Hannah. I have had people mix them up before but I have never had someone mistake them for the same person before. It was a very funny moment that even the girls found very funny.

After lunch and naps we went to a local splash pad.

We had the place to ourselves for most of the time we were there. Another family showed up at the end. We decided it was time to leave when two teenage boys showed up to cool off in the water. One of them had stripped down to his tighty whiteys and borrowing his friend's shirt put it on like some huge orange diaper. I knew that this was going a bad idea because as every mom knows the wetter a diaper gets the saggier and droupier it gets. Sure enough he got it wet and it started to slip. Dad and I promptly rounded up the kids and home we went. Thankfully we were looking for a good excuse to leave anyway.

This concludes the end of Part 2. Stay tuned for Part 3 - The Taxidermy Capital of the WORLD!