Saturday, December 31, 2011

hoppin' December

Here's a few more events from this past month...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Nathan and Jared sang this song, "Baby in a Manger" by Sally Deford in church today.  They did a great job!  Everyone thought they sounded like angels.  I was really proud of them for singing in front of everyone.  (We've been having some technical issues with the camera, so hopefully the picture and sound match up.  We had to do each verse separately because of the 100 mb limitation for video.)  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house, every creature was stirring, even the mouse rats.  The stockings aren't hung yet by the chimney full of cobwebs, and hoping that cousin Nicholas is having fun in Spain!  (Okay, so my brain is a bit fried at this point, but there's always some kind of drama going on.  It's not the peaceful day/evening I'd hoped for.  I actually think the rats in our garage are gone, but we had to deal with those recently.  We worked on cleaning mold off a couple of walls today - didn't think I'd be doing that today.  Yuck!  Because of that, the boys are all in Weston's room tonight.  The stockings really aren't out yet, nor are the presents wrapped.  We're working on that.  And cousin Nicholas really is in Spain for Christmas.  Have fun you guys!)  
So the boys got to open one present tonight - some clothes and pajamas.  Here they are in them, sitting on these boxes that are perfect for taking pictures in front of the tree!  We'll take the presents out of the boxes tonight, but we wanted to make sure they didn't get opened before Christmas.  The boys are ready!  I think I'll sleep good tomorrow night.  This is a lot of work.  It's worth it though.  Just look at these boys!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Buzz "wightyear" party

We celebrated Owen's 3rd birthday last week.  He requested a Buzz "wightyear" party (although the previous requests were Curious George and then Winnie the Pooh).  Owen's l's come out as w's, so it's so cute to hear him talk about his buzz "wightyear" party.  He couldn't stop talking about it, and really couldn't understand the concept of waiting until his birthday.  When we'd look at cakes or something on-line, he'd say, "Go make my cake."  I tried to explain that he had to wait, but that didn't register.  The morning of his birthday, we had bacon, eggs, and pancakes, followed by opening his presents from family.  Later, he had his friend party with 4 little friends.  We got him a stomp rocket, which I had planned on the kids playing with, but it was a little too muddy and they kept losing the rockets in the tree or over the fence.  I didn't have a chance to come up with any other games, but they had fun just playing with toys. I got some little finger lights that the kids loved playing with.  We also had dinner for the kids - pigs in a blanket, cantaloupe, chips, and lime green Hawaiian punch.  And of course we had cake!  My mom sent a little Buzz toy that was perfect for the cake topper.  I wasn't sure how I was going to put together an acceptable Buzz cake, but I snatched his toy and it all came together.  One of Owen's favorite presents was a toy laser gun that I got from Michael's for $3 - it lights up and makes sounds.  Annoying toy, but well worth seeing his amusement over it. 

(I have a couple more cute pictures, but I can't find the camera's computer cord.  They'll have to wait.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2-0h-11 Christmas tree!

ever had one?


Jared was recognized for his artwork.  Most of the kindergartener's pictures were similar, but the sentences were different.  So Jared's was selected on what he said for "I am special because..."  He is very proud that he can ride his bike to school.  I'd add to it that he also knows his own lock combination.  There's many reasons why Jared is special though!  It was interesting to see what he came up with for why he's special.  Jared may turn out to be our artsy kid.  He seems to enjoy doing artwork, and he is very meticulous and likes to take his time and do it well.  

rockin' runners

Nathan and Jared had a fundraiser jog-a-thon at school, and they both did really awesome.   They had to run as many mini laps as they could in 30 minutes.  I'm not sure what the distance was, but Nathan did 50 laps (filled the card) and Jared did 35 laps.  Nathan got 1st place out of all the 2nd graders (about 70?) and Jared got 3rd out of the kindergarteners (about 65?). I didn't imagine how proud I would feel at their determination and endurance.  They both just kept running.  Many puttered out after about 10 minutes, but Nathan and Jared kept going.  After the first 10 minutes, they let the kids get water.  Jared took a new cup after just about every lap, took a sip, and then chucked it over his shoulder.  I was getting a kick out of that.  He was just having fun out there.  Nathan never even stopped for water.  He and his friend took off at the beginning, slowed a little, and then kept a pretty steady pace.  When they had the award ceremony later, I noticed that none of the girls in the school ran more laps than Nathan and only about 5 or 6 boys ran more laps (about 51-53 laps).  One of the 5th (?) graders ran 61 laps.  They did a great job - my rockin' runners!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We didn't go anywhere for Thanksgiving this year.  It was just us - which means I did all the cooking while the boys played.  I sent them out so they wouldn't get in the way.  Alex took them to their favorite hiking place and then played at the beach until the food was done.  

The food turned out okay.  I'm blaming the less-than-stellar results on our ancient Wedgewood Futura gas oven.  The turkey was overdone on one side - I should have turned it midway through cooking.  The green bean casserole also overcooked.  The sweet potatoes were too soft and the pie filling bubbled out through the sides.  It still tasted pretty good.  The rolls and real mashed potatoes were great, as well as the fried chicken.  I think next time I won't do turkey at all!  We all liked the fried chicken drumsticks so much, and they were MUCH EASIER than the turkey.  The boys wouldn't eat the sweet potato apple casserole, but I liked it (even though it was more like sweet potato applesauce).  Jared and Owen loved the jello.  I would have preferred cranberry sauce, but I knew they wouldn't eat that so jello seemed like a good alternative.  So, there it is.  A full day's work for a 20 minute meal.

Nothing fancy.  You can see that we had a very casual feast, complete with Spiderman in attendance.  :)

 The day after Thanksgiving, we took the boys to a local park, which was packed.  We forgot that our city is the place people want to come for Thanksgiving.  I didn't take any pictures at the park, but we enjoyed playing tag amidst the crowd.  We also stopped to see the turtles and ducks nearby.  In the evening, we did a mini hike at the beach to watch the sunset.  Beautiful place!  Sure missed seeing family though.

We loved seeing Weston carry around the seaweed.  Some kids carry blankets or toys around for security...  Weston carries seaweed.  :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November activity days

I'm still in charge of activities for the 8-11 year old girls.  Besides not being able to relate to them very well, I'm enjoying the calling.  This month, we made the "Give Thanks" frames using the $1 wooden frames from Michael's.  We covered them with decorative paper and modpodge.  I found the "thanks" sparkly letters on clearance at Michael's and printed out the "give" on the computer.  I brought some buttons and other little embellishments, thinking they might like to put 2-3 of them on the frame.  I'm pretty simplistic I guess.  I forget that they like to put things all over.  They also got pretty crazy with the distressing ink for the edges.  Oh well. They also got gratitude journals which they were supposed to write in daily for November.

Our 2nd activity:  We talked about the 13th article of faith -
"We believe in being honest, true, chastebenevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuouslovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

We focused on the "seek after these things" and did a scavenger hunt for some of the good things we seek after.  They were given a clue and had to look by an item that went with that, such as seeking after good music (piano), seeking good friends (phone), seeking good books (bookshelf), seeking to keep our bodies healthy (fruit), etc.  They had fun with it.  When they found all their clues, they put it together to reveal where the treasure was, which was a gold treasure box with beads in it.  They used the beads to make simple bracelets on memory wire.  The wire was so easy to work with.  We just bent one end of it with pliers, strung the beads on, and bent the other side.  So easy.  Not fancy, but simple.

We did a 3rd activity this month.  We made advent calendar wreaths using clothespins.  I pre-painted 25 clothespins for each wreath.  We used a fake pine garland and cut off pieces (with wire cutters) to hot glue on each clothespin.  Prior to that, we wrapped some little red and gold glitter balls around the pine piece (the balls were already on a wire and part of a decorative stem).  We arranged the clothespins around a circular piece of covered cardboard (I used a cereal box and glued some scrapbook paper on).  Then we stuck 1-25 under each of the clothespins - each day has a little service or activity to do to countdown the days until Christmas.  Another pretty simple, but cute activity.  

Weston is usually with Owen!

The answer to the previous post is usually "with Owen."  Weston and Owen are partners in crime, best buddies, and sometimes worst enemies.  I think someone coined that "best frienemies" or something like that.  It's fun to see their relationship grow.

Where's Waldo?

 Where's Waldo Weston?

He likes to get in and on anything and everything.  I don't have a picture of him on the top bunk, but if we leave the ladder on, he loves to climb up there.  He also likes to get on the table.  In one of the pictures, you can see that he has only one shoe on (red plaid shirt picture).  We call him "peg leg" sometimes because we can hear him clomping around with one shoe.  Usually the question is, "Where is your other shoe?"  He doesn't have any words yet, but we're not concerned about that.  We're actually enjoying his silence for now, since his brothers talk non-stop. He does point and grunt "uhn" when he wants something.  He will bring us Nutrigrain bars or boxes of pasta or whatever he can get in the cupboard when he's hungry.  He really is a funny kid!  He makes us laugh.  I had to include the picture of him sleeping with his pants down!

What else did we do on Halloween?

The boys didn't have school on Halloween, so we went to the zoo.  I sometimes think the boys would get bored seeing the same animals again, but they always seem to be fascinated by something.  They particularly enjoyed watching the otters.

I should mention that we went to the zoo after our annual trip to the doctor's office.  We got to see all the nurses and doctors dressed up again.  We were there last year on Halloween as well.  I'm not sure nurses in costumes helps at all (aren't they already scared of them?)   :)