Friday, April 24, 2015


They watched Toy Story 3 first thing in the morning, so Weston was mostly just ready to play with his Toy Story toys and trains.  I love how he says, "Dr. Evil Porkchop."

So cute the way she says, "Turtle."

Letter U was split between a couple of days.  We did this letter craft and then decided to go to the library and find U and V books.  We found some books on underwear, because U really stands for underwear!  Have you read Aliens Love Underpants or Underwear! or Arthur's Underwear or Pirates Love Underpants?

A couple of days later we made banana bread and read books under a blanket fort.  

Toddler Undressed Up on top of the dresser...
She climbs up there to get clothes out of the top drawer.

I attempted to make some homemade vanilla pudding, but it wasn't very good.  Savannah ate hers, but Weston took one bite and that was enough.  They loved the salad and carrots!

Volcanoes are a must with the letter V.  They love to watch them "erupt" (fizzle...)  Jared was home sick from school, so he got to participate too.

Balloon volleyball was a hit!  :)  Just for fun, I added a piggy face.  Best day ever.  (These piggy balloons might show up again for Weston's birthday.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Elder Holland's talk

I went ahead and embedded this talk, because it's so good.

Uncle Sam in the choir

It wouldn't let me embed more than one video in a post.  Here is the song where Sam can be seen at the 4:55 mark.

Consider the Lilies

This was another one of my favorite songs the choir sang.

Easter weekend

The Easter bunny left beach stuff - boogie boards, towels, hats, sand toys, ring stix, snacks and candy.  Weston actually ate the Smarties - the Easter bunny knows him well!  Savannah was lucky and also got a pair of sandals.  She already had them on by the time we took a picture!

It's funny how those towels and toys turned into weapons and capes... we lost the ring and one of the ring stix before they even played with them the right way.

Nathan informed me he was "too old for coloring Easter eggs" this year.  The rest of them had fun making a mess.

I didn't realize we had a breakfast tradition for Easter (or conference weekend?), but apparently it's crumb cake.  I must have made it the past couple of years, and the boys were looking forward to eating it again.  I was happy to comply with the request and happy that we have another Easter tradition.

I made scalloped potatoes, rolls, peas, and roast for dinner.  I was reminded why I don't do potatoes very often - they're a lot of work to make!  The crockpot roast was delicious!  We went all out with a "fancy" dinner by actually putting all the food on the table and serving from there... ha ha.  (Maybe some day we'll own fancy plates, but the plastic ones work for now.)

The kids decorated sugar cookies... well, most of them did.  Weston just wanted to eat the frosting out of the bowl.  He finally did put some on the cookie, but he never ate it.  He had to have "pink piggy frosting", of course!

General Conference, the broadcast from Salt Lake City, was on Easter weekend.  We enjoyed watching and listening to the messages from home.  A highlight was seeing my brother-in-law singing in the choir of the priesthood session.  Sam is the handsome guy with red hair and glasses on the right side of the second picture.  (I hope I'm not breaking a copyright law or anything - this is a snapshot of the I-pad screen.)  I particularly enjoyed the last song "Master the Tempest is Raging".   Sam can be spotted in that one at the 2:54 mark.  His close-up is at the 4:55 mark of "On This Day of Joy and Gladness."

One of my favorite conference talks of the conference was Elder Holland's talk on the Atonement.  He shared a great story of a boy pulling his brother to safety, and he compared it to how the Savior reaches out and pulls us to safety.

"My beloved brothers and sisters, today is Easter Sunday. Although we should always remember (we promise in our weekly sacramental prayers that we will), nevertheless this is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins. Against the background of this story reported by John and Jimmy’s family, I express my gratitude for the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledge events in the divine plan of God that led up to and give meaning to “the love Jesus offers [us].”

Here is the link to the entire conference.  Click "Show music" if you want to listen to the choir.  It's amazing!

Spring Break

We had a very low-key spring break, which was okay with me.  I enjoyed just hanging out at home, playing games, movies & popcorn, and not having to worry about traveling anywhere.  Alex wasn't available most of the week, so we just opted to stay home most of it.  We got out one day to the park.  We had friends over one day, and we went to a friend's house one afternoon for slip 'n slide.  I think we played Ticket to Ride maybe 50 times!  That's our latest game addiction.  

It was surprisingly one of the best spring breaks ever (for me at least)... and cheap too.  We didn't spend any money on anything.  

Checking out all the turtles at the park...

This probably saved Spring Break for the kids - the best afternoon ever!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


This was a favorite activity - painting with shaving cream (mixed with tempera paint) in the bathtub.  They ended up in a tub full of murky green water!  I was surprised that they didn't want to touch the shaving cream with their hands or rub it on their body.  They mostly just used the brushes on the wall.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Happy Easter!

Easter Sunday this year falls on General Conference weekend for us.  General Conference is the semi-annual broadcast from Salt Lake City, which we can watch on-line at home.  We aren't having the regular church services on Sunday, so we wore our nice Easter clothes this past Sunday.  Well, really Savannah wore her pretty Easter dress and the boys put on whatever tie they could find.  :)   She's our rose among thorns...

I got video of her singing "I am a Child of God".  She has been singing along with me lately at bedtime.  It's SO cute - really melts my heart!

Happy Easter!!

Easter egg-travaganza

 We hosted our 2nd annual Easter egg hunt and brunch last Saturday.  The primary organization in our church provided muffins, fruit, popcorn, and Easter bags to decorate.  We just provided our home and yard and the invites.  Everyone brought a dozen filled eggs to contribute to the egg hunt.  I wasn't sure how many would actually be able to make it since it was the beginning of spring break, but we had maybe 30 kids and several adults here.  Alex counted about 55 people at one point.

We had brunch first, then decorated Easter bags while eggs were being hidden.  And then it was on to the hunt, followed by popcorn and candy consumption!  And of course, there was lots of playing going on.  The weather was perfect, and I think everyone had a good time.

Do your best every day!

Nathan's Arrow of Light ceremony was a couple weeks ago.  He shared the honor with his good friend Shawn.  The Arrow of Light award is cub scouting's highest rank.  

"The Arrow of Light award displays a universal symbol for the sun, and below it, an arrow.  The seven rays of the sun stand for each day of the week.  They remind you to do your best every day as you follow the arrow that leads to Boy Scouting."  

Nathan had to earn the Webelos badge first, which included 3 of the 8 badges required for the Arrow of Light Award.  Thanks mostly to Nathan's good leaders and his hard work, he was able to complete all his requirements.  Good job Nathan!

He is officially done with cub scouts and on to boy scouts.  Nathan has really enjoyed participating in scouts, and I think he has learned and grown from his experiences.  I was looking back and reading about the purposes of cub scouting:

1.  Character Development
2.  Spiritual Growth
3.  Good Citizenship
4.  Sportsmanship and Fitness
5.  Family Understanding
6.  Respectful Relationships
7.  Personal Achievement
8.  Friendly Service
9.  Fun and Adventure
10.  Preparation for Boy Scouts

I think he was successful in growing in these areas.  He's ready for boy scouts!

Just a little bit of luck around here...

I didn't put much effort into St. Patrick's Day this year, but we did spice up our breakfast with a little green milk and green sugar sprinkles.  And I made shamrock cookies to put in the boys' lunches.  They actually were complaining that the school was serving shamrock cookies with the hot lunch, but they didn't want the rest of the lunch.  So I agreed to make them their own cookies for cold lunch.  Turns out the school's cookies weren't very good, according to their classmates. Lucky for our boys they got yummy homemade cookies!  

Jared's New Year's Resolutions

I know it's a bit past the new year, but I came across this recently and wanted to post it.  The "idiot box" around here is the I-Pad since we don't have cable TV.  Or maybe he was talking about watching movies.  Anyway, I thought it was funny.  "Throwing the stick more"...??   I'm guessing that's playing with the dog.  

I think he's got the right idea though.  More outside time.  More reading.  Better use of time.  More efficient.  More kindness.  And smarter.    :) 

Good goals Jared!