Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Carvin' FHE

Dad helping B with the knife

J&N getting out the GOO

B attempting to light the candle

We FINALLY carved a pumpkin this year! It's about time. J suggested it for our activity for FHE last night. We tried to give each boy a turn doing some part of the job. The boys thought the inside of the pumpkin was gross and laughed about all of the goo. T took a bite of a cut out piece of pumpkin and liked it. Who knew?? B tried to light the tea light candle, but that will take some practice to not burn himself in the process. We saved the pumpkin seeds, and Dad roasted them in the oven later that evening. We put out our pumpkin for the evening, but Mom & Dad brought it in for the night. Too tempting for teenagers to smash up. It's happened before!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Starburst Dice

Did you know that Starburst double as dice? Apparently they do. I did not know this until T had a handful of them today and shook them in his hand and dropped them. Then he said, "Mom, your turn!" Okay. We took several turns rolling the starburst. He was such a good sport because he kept saying, "Good job!" What an imagination!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ward Trunk-r-Treat

Last night was our ward's annual Trunk-r-Treat party. We had hot dog & chips for dinner. The boys loved that. There was a bounce house, a bounce obstacle course, a cake walk, fishing booth, face painting, a costume parade, a small spook house, and a cool hay ride. It was fun to see everyone dressed up. I even dressed up this year. I figured it's been a few years since I dressed up and that it was time. Anyway, we are able to have the party at a member's home in our ward because they have a lot of property. It's fun to be outside. It gets pretty dark quickly, so I always bring glow sticks to put on my kids so they can be seen. T's glow stick was absolutely necessary because he has this habit of running off to the next adventure! It was like a green stick floating in the air when he ran around! Since G sprained his ankle racing B after Pack Meeting a few days ago, he got to sit in the car to hand out the candy later on. I had the pleasure of keeping track of the boys. They had a blast. They loved being with their friends, and loved all of the activities, especially filling up their bags with candy. Thanks, Raimi, for all your efforts in planning the activity! We had a great time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Soccer Saturday

"Captain" J right before his game

B taking a water break

Both J & B had soccer games today. It was such a beautiful day today. J was the team captain today and he just loved having the arm band on for everyone to see. J even played goalie for the last quarter of their game, which they won. His team had such good defense, so he only had to make 1 save. They had to work very hard to win, so the team was exhausted. B got to play forward today and has really been doing well there. He has such a long stride that he easily out runs many other players, which the coach loves. His team scored 2 goals, however, the other team scored 4. Darn! He still had fun.
We spent the morning doing household chores. Yeah, I know ... exciting. Everyone has to chip in around here, or Mom goes crazy. N helped me sort the laundry into piles for everyone. Just having 1 person help me there made such a HUGE difference. Now, I have to get on everyone to put away their pile. Not fun.
We are getting the kids ready for our Ward's Annual Trunk-r-Treating tonight. I don't know if T will actually wear a costume. We'll see. It should be really fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fluffy World

Love those Kool-aid smiles!

Our boys like to build forts, especially in the corner of our living room. They'll pull off all of the pillows to the couches and build "Fluffy World", a name they made up. Usually they can't all fit, so they have to take turns wiggling in. They will grab pillows & blankets from their beds and use those, too. Sometimes, the card table and kitchen chairs migrate to make "Fluffy World" bigger. My siblings and I used to make elaborate forts, especially in our backyard. So, I can really appreciate the fun it is to make forts and to play together. Yeah, my house is pulled apart, but they are playing together and building memories.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Banjo Dad & Pillow Kids

G played his banjo during our Primary Celebration today. The kids got a real kick out it. G even taught the kids how to sing "I'm a Child of God" in Italian. He wrote out the lyrics on the chalk board earlier so we all were able to follow along better. He later sang another fun song about a cat who just wouldn't go away, one of our boys' favorites. That got a lot of giggles. It's sure fun to have G in Primary. He likes to play his own Boogie versions of many of the songs. It definitely gets the kids' attention. We had a fun Celebration today. Organized chaos??? Yes, that's a good way of saying it! The teachers really needed a break and I hope they enjoyed re-connecting with the other adult members of the ward. We presidency members had our work cut out for us today, but I hope all of the kids remember this day. We watched a couple of short church videos, ate fruit, played a church trivia game, and had a fun, free sing time .. oh and enjoyed Rice Krispy Treats. I joked that we needed to practice more for the program, and I about got boo-ed off of the stage!! We all needed a break from routine today.

After our Sunday Quiet-Time, B & J tried to see who could get the biggest with pillows and blankets stuffed in a huge T-shirt. Yes, they did a lot of Sumo wrestling, and belly bumping. It was hard for them to get up off of the floor when they fell down! Quite funny. Here's to making memories!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mom's Time Out

My good friend, Lisa & me before we leave for Time Out

Today, I went to TIME OUT for WOMEN & GIRLS with my good friend, Lisa. It was wonderful & so uplifting. I was really amazed at the women vocalists today. Hilary Weeks, Jenny Jordan Frogley, & Cherie Call were all there and their singing just blew me away. Not only do they sing, but write their own music AND play instruments. Wow! I bought a Hilary Weeks CD called "The Collection". Can't wait til I can enjoy it. She's was really quite witty as the hostess today. I really enjoyed her. The speakers were fabulous, and I took something personal away from each talk. That's the point, right?? Jane Clayson Johnson spoke and I was just gently reminded how important motherhood is and how I make a difference each day. Later, as Lisa and I left our bags of pamphlets/booklets on our seats as we left for lunch, Lisa remarked ..."what other venue could you just leave your things on your seat and not really worry about it? Or have so much merchandise out and not have security!" Good point. No one even took our tickets when we entered! Lots of trust and honesty. Anyway, there was such a great feeling of the Spirit today at the TOfW. I hope to be able to attend the TOfW when it returns next September. Should we just put it on our calendars now? It would be fun to get a small group to go together. Thanks, Lisa, for going. You're a great friend!

G took the boys to their soccer games today. He even had to deal with soccer snack for J's team. He didn't have to do much since I had it all ready before I left this morning. Our trade off was I got to go to Time Out, and he's going to sing in the Stake Choir at Stake Conference next month ... which means that he's gone for several LONG practices AND I get all 4 boys to myself during the whole 2 hours of Stake Conference! We joke about this, however, when it comes right down to it, we'd support each other regardless. I'm happy to see him using his singing talent. He supports me when I need it. I'm so lucky.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lack of Postage

I haven't completely forgotten about my blog. I've just been up to my eyeballs getting things prepared for the Primary Program, which will be this Sunday. I've been working on the certificates and the printed program for the congregation. After wanting to take a few swings with a hammer to my printer, I finished the certificates for the children. We are planning a "Celebration" for the primary kids after the program. It is a definite break from routine, AND it will give the teachers a much-needed break. Call us crazy, but we excused all of the teachers to go to Sunday School and RS/Priesthood. We'll have some extra help from a few other adults, and I asked the older kids to help out by buddying up with a smaller child. I'm already planning on being worn out after church, but it will be worth it. Oh, and this year, I get to watch the program. Since G is playing the piano and 3 of my boys will be IN the program, I will sit with T, instead of sitting on the stand.

J was SO excited to go on his field trip today to see a local play with the entire 1st grade. I'll have to get details from him after school. I'm sure he's having a great time. N & B were just glad that today's Friday. I'm secretly hoping it rains this afternoon so that B's soccer practice gets cancelled. Am I bad? I just really don't like practice on Fridays. But, his team really still needs the practice. Hopefully, they'll do better since all of the soccer teams were re-seeded for the 2nd half of the season.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Milk anyone??

Can you guess why T doesn't get milk & a straw very often?? He loves to blow a mountain of bubbles. Would you believe that I only poured about 3 ounces of milk in that cup! I know it's good for him to blow in a straw -- for his speech therapy, but c'mon! Then he attempted to count the bubbles. I guess you could say that there are opportunities to polish those counting skills where ever you look.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Field Trip to Pumpkin Patch

I went with T to a pumpkin patch today for his preschool fieldtrip. We got to ride the train, see a chicken show, pig races, and took a hay ride way out to the pumpkin patch. T liked looking around for a pumpkin and was a little surprised when I told him he got to keep one! Of course, he picked a pretty heavy one, and it made his day. He enjoyed palling around with his friend, Garrett. Those two boys are SO much alike. Yes, we had to chase them more than once -- no surprise there. Thanks, Raimi, for the company today and the yummy sandwich! I really appreciate it. It was hard to get T to leave the pumpkin farm. He enjoyed it very much, especially the animals.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

General Conference

N & J finding the edge pieces

Mom lending a hand

We really enjoyed listening to General Conference on Sunday. Dad made a huge breakfast of biscuits and gravy. B was particularly in heaven! We worked on a puzzle together throughout most of the day. The boys got out their "Conference Bingo" boards and a bowl of M&M's to play during the 2nd session of Conference. This has actually helped them pay more attention to what the speakers are saying. Of course, they love to eat their bingo pieces. I've found that my boys listen better if their hands are busy with a word search, maze, or puzzle. Our primary handed out Conference Packets to each child filled with conference activities. They enjoyed working on those on Sunday as well, and G & I appreciated the relative quiet. I enjoyed the talks and appreciated the topics. I also appreciated spending the day at home with my family. Since we were gone all day Saturday, we watched part of the 1st session of Conference for FHE, so that we could sustain our leaders. We talked about how important that is and why. I look forward to receiving the Ensign to read through the talks. We finished off the day with a great Pasta al Forno and homemade bread. We didn't finish the puzzle on Sunday, but it was sure fun to start it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday Mornings

Okay, this picture pretty much sums up our morning. I'm just glad that I could find a right and a left shoe of SOME type. The missing shoes must be in that dark abyss that swallows up the odd socks and keys. At least some good came out of this shoe "problem" today: another Mom just needed to know that she wasn't alone in this crazy thing called parenthood. T's teacher had a good chuckle, as did the other Moms. The other good thing is that T could care less. Oh, to be in the mind of a child ...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Apple Hill

Yesterday, N, T & I met up with my sister and her family up at Apple Hill. (G took B & J to their soccer games, which they both won! Yeah!!) We all had a great day. We went to 3 different farms and just enjoyed seeing everything (except the lines, of course!) G was very happy with the pies I brought home. It's nice because you can even buy frozen pies to cook later. B looked forward to the freshly pressed apple juice. That's one of our family-favorites. N enjoy hanging out with his cousins for the afternoon. The boys enjoyed a maze made out of hay, a train ride, caramel apples, and seeing all of the crafts. T took his first horse ride, and he just loved it. We got back home in time for G to go to Conference. We invited my brother's family over and we made a yummy dinner for everyone at my house. The men joined us after conference. The kids ran all over the place and had so much fun together. We got to catch-up and we laughed a lot. They all didn't head home til pretty late because we had such a good time visiting. We'll have to do this again next year, guys!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reading at Bedtime

J has become quite the reader. He loves to read every night, and T usually sits next to J to enjoy the story. Last night, T crawled into bed next to J. I thought this was so cute. J let T count the apples on most pages, which made T so happy. This was just one of those timeless moments ... and I'm glad I captured it on film.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Making Cookies for FHE

We made some DELICIOUS Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for FHE last night. The best part for the boys was that they all got to help. We likened the recipe to our family. We are all necessary ingredients in our family, just like the ingredients in the cookie recipe. You leave out one thing and it just isn't the same. We talked about our similarities and differences and how that makes our family special and unique. The boys then tried to figure out who was the baking soda and who was the sugar!! At least they got the concept we were trying to teach!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 tsp. hot water
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter until fluffy (with mixer). Add sugars; cream well. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla & hot water. Add remaining ingredients. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 375 for 10-12 minutes. (We put some bar chocolate in the blender and used that instead of chocolate chips and it was SO good!)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fruit of his labors

G very happy with his first pick

The first thing G did when we moved into our home 5 years ago was plant several fruit trees. We were literally in our home for 3 or 4 days when he came home with several plants and trees. Citrus are his favorite, and they are doing really well. But, this year, he finally got his pomegranate bush to produce. Many of the branches are held up with rope because of the heavy fruit. T thought these were perfect balls to throw into the pool during the summer. G was not happy about that!!! Luckily, the bush has produced a lot, and he finally picked the first one on Saturday. He was a happy camper.