Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An Impromtu Playdate

N and his good friend, A

J and his good friend, B

As we were driving home from piano lessons today, we drove past our friends' house as they were all outside getting ready to head over to the school to play. We stopped our van to say hello and chatted with them for a minute, and then we decided to go home, get our bikes, and then meet them over at the school. T was hoping his little friend would be there, too, but he was still at school. The three older boys couldn't get on their bikes fast enough to meet their friends. I let them go ahead, and I rode with T. A neighbor boy and his younger brother stopped by while I was getting ready to go with T, so they came with us to the school, too. Anyway, since homework was already all done (I know, miracles DO happen), it was no problem. It also gave G some time to work on his Institute lesson when he got home. The boys played wall ball, basketball, rode bikes, scooters, and played on the playground. We were able to stay for an hour. It was really fun, and such a nice break from routine.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Family Hike

On Saturday, after soccer sign-ups, we piled in our van and headed out to another hiking area within Tilden Park. It was quite hot out on Saturday. We first ate a picnic lunch, then explored a new area together. B had been wanting to find a small hill to climb and we found the perfect hill. It wasn't too steep, and yet it still gave us a spectacular view of the ocean. We ventured off to another side trail and enjoyed that as well. We were pretty worn out, especially because of the heat. J had originally had on a long-sleeved black T-shirt. I'm so glad that he changed out of that before we left. He would have just baked!! We went to one of our favorite restaurants in the town where we used to live. It hit the spot. N and I used to split a BCR burrito there all of the time. He's big enough to have his own extra large burrito now! Then we stopped by to see my sister for a quick "hello" before we headed home. We put the boys through "power-showers" and then all relaxed with a movie. We had a great family day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Last night we had a Girls' Night Out. We met at one of our favorite restaurants called Costa Vida. I tried one of their HUGE burritos that had sweet marinated pork, seasoned rice, black beans and all of the trimmings. It was SO good! The best part, was visiting with my dear friends. We all just enjoyed being out together. It was funny when our friend, Lisa, picked up some of us: she didn't have to come to the door to get us. We ALL were eagerly waiting for her and jumped into her car! Thanks for driving, Lisa!!

Next, most of us ventured over to this really cool store called Home Goods. They have so many nice things and the prices were low. It was fun to browse, giggle, and chat. Most of us "window shopped", but a few of my friends bought some things. Only about 3 of my friends had been to this store before and were eager to bring us all there.

Then, the 5 of us that drove together spent almost another hour in the car just visiting in front of Angie's house. Fun. Fun. Fun!!! I had a great time. Thanks for organizing this, Keri. It was so nice to come home and have the kids already in bed asleep. G and I stayed up and visited for a while & watched a couple of quick shows (we FW'd through all of the fluff on American Idol to see who was voted off. I thought Jason C. was going to be gone!). Anyway, I'm thankful that I have a very supportive husband and wonderful friends. I'm very lucky.

I like this quote from Chieko Okazaki: "Friendship is a gift, a special quality of relationship between people in which some of our social, emotional, and spiritual needs can be met." Amen to that!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Friend's Jewelry Giveway

A friend of mine, who used to live in my ward, has just opened up her own jewelry business. It's very cute! Take a look at her website. Also, she's having a giveaway.

Rules for the giveaway:

1. Visit Sassandsavvyjewelry and choose 3 items that you like.

2. Make a comment on her blog with the 3 items you like.

3. Make a post on your blog with these rules including the back links (if you don't have a blog then just follow rules 1 &2).

4. All entries must be received by Saturday April 26, 2008 midnight MST. The winner will be announced and will receive one of the items of their choice! Also as an opening special she will include FREE SHIPPING with every order until Saturday April 26, 2008!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Enlightening Conversation

Something today reminded me of a funny conversation we had a dinner last week. We were talking about how B and his friends were taping all of that black fabric all over to mimic body hair. So, being the dutiful parents, we talked a little bit about how that's really going to happen soon to the boys, even mentioning the word puberty. N just kinda rolled his eyes (he HATES these conversations). B then said, "First you get hair, then sweat a lot, then you get a girlfriend." Ummm ... I think we skipped several steps!! After we laughed a little, I really wanted to know if B has heard that word (puberty) before, and if he knew what it meant. He told me that he's heard it before, but wasn't sure what it meant. Me: "Do you know what it means?" B: "Humiliation?" I think B just might be on to something!!! I've always appreciated B's openness and candor. He's inquisitive and thoughtful. He helps keep things interesting around here.

Yummy Nutella

Last week, when I couldn't really scrape anymore nutella out of the container, I saved if for J to lick clean. He was SO happy! He took his sweet time getting nutella out of every nook of the container. He savored every lick. It was entertaining to see him in his own little "nutella" world. He was delightfully humming while he was eating, unaware of his surroundings. He'd eat nutella for every meal if he could.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Outside Adventures

N on top of the play structure, setting up the hose for the water slide
You can't really tell, however, T has a mouth full of strawberries. He LOVES any and all fruit. Here, T takes an inaugural slip down the "water slide". The boys brought the hose up to the top of the slide. It was pretty chilly!

J & T waiting to get sprayed with the hose. It really wasn't THAT hot on Saturday. I was a little surprised that they wanted to get their swimming suits on at all. There has been a pretty constant breeze/wind that chills yah down to the bone. Despite that, I was glad to see them playing together outside and having a blast. It won't be long before their "farmer's tans" are gone.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Look What's Peekin' in our Flowers ...

We bought lots of lady bugs for our roses to protect them from aphids. We were distributing them as we were pruning some stems & smelling some flowers when we noticed ....

... a furry black spider lying-in-wait in this white rose. It kept moving in and out of it's little hiding place. When we'd get closer, it would slip deeper into the pedals.

Friday, April 18, 2008

T's World

Typically, you can find T in one of a few places: Either he's playing teeter-totter on a kitchen chair (which drives most of us crazy because of the continually clanking sound and the bumping of the couch) OR ....

... he's playing the Wii. Yesterday, I noticed that nothing was happenin' on the TV screen. So I peeked around the couch and this is what I found! T was konked out.

He LOVES playing the Wii. He will tell me "No brothers!" , meaning that he doesn't want to share with his brothers. I usually give him some time alone on the Wii when his brothers are away at school. He'll change things around and it will drive his older brothers crazy! Yes, he's had many fits when I say it's time to turn the Wii off. Oh well. I don't want him to become a video game junkie. He's quite good at many of the games, and just LOVES playing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Good Helper

Yesterday, T helped me plant a couple dozen little flowers in our front yard. I dug the small hole, and he dropped the flower in. He really liked picking out which flower to plant in what spot. We need to do more work in our yard, but it's coming along. Isn't it always a work in progress?? At least our lawn is healthy (it DOES need to be edged, badly) and there are very few weeds. The weather has been absolutely beautiful here. I enjoyed a long, therapeutic walk with a good friend this morning. It feels great to be outside. I'm savoring every day of spring because I know we will be hit with that blast of heat in no time come summer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Crazy Art Docent Day

I went into B's class today to do Art Docent. We talked about how artists use texture and patterns. Our project focused on using texture. We added fabric, wallpaper, foil, netting or other things to our drawings. B and lots of his friends thought of another use of some thick, black fabric: to add facial hair! One boy taped some to his armpits! Yes, we're talking about 9 and 10 year old boys. They had fun. I had my camera in my purse so I snapped a few pictures of B being a little crazy.

9 years old going on 50!

Kinda looks like the "Three Stooges"!!

As I was taking the art supplies back to the storage room, J's class was walking to the multi-purpose room for lunch. I came in and chatted with J and his classmates. I've gotten to know most of them pretty well. I will be coming in next week for another Science lesson in J's class. J's first question to me was, "Can I have some nutella on toast when I get home?" Nutella is his absolute favorite thing. Yeah, nice to see you too! Regardless, it was nice to see my boys at school today. And I'm glad that they still want me around. I'll hang on to that for as long as I can.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Big Day For N

Today, N was called up to the pulpit by the Bishop in Sacrament Meeting today to receive his Primary Advancement Certificate AND to was sustained to receive the Priesthood. Then, during Deacon's Quorum, G conferred the Priesthood to N. J & B came to witness the blessing. Yes, we left T in his Sunbeam class. No need to explain that, right?!! THEN, at the very end of church, N came back into Primary to receive his "Faith in God" Certificate from the Bishop. The Bishop put him on the spot to recite his favorite Article of Faith. N rattled off the 13th quickly and correctly. It was very impressive! I quipped to N that we just got rid of him from Primary, so what was he doing back there?!! He thought that was pretty funny. Since we have Stake Conference next week, he'll have to wait another week to pass the Sacrament for the first time. He already had to wait an extra week to be sustained due to General Conference. G went to Priesthood with N today, and he plans on passing the Sacrament with him on his 1st Sunday as a Deacon. N seemed really happy being in the Deacon's Quorum today. He raised the average height in the Quorum by 3 inches!! And, yes, we need to buy him a new suit. I've let the hem out twice already and there's no more fabric left! Anyway, we are so proud of him and the choices he has made. He is a great example to his younger brothers. He definitely shined today, and I think he appreciated the recognition. Way to go, N!!

Quarterly Primary Activity

Yesterday morning we had our Quarterly Primary Activity. We centered the entire event around the Book of Mormon. We started out with a brief lesson on "Feasting on the Word". Then we broke into 2 groups to rotate through 2 stations.

The 1st station was "Lehi's Dream Obstacle Course". After a brief recap of Lehi's dream, the kids worked in groups of 3 and took turns being blindfolded, being a guide, or being the "mist of darkness"/distraction. So the guide had to get the blind-folded child to the end of the obstacle course safely while the 'distractor' tried to complicate things. The kids really had a blast doing this. In this picture, J just came out of the obstacle course as a guide. We recapped at the end and related this to listening to the Holy Ghost. There may be bumps in the road, but if you keep listening to the Holy Ghost, He will not lead you astray.

Here, B (on the right) starts his work as a guide through the obstacle course with his friends. Once you started in the course, the guide and the distractor were not allowed to touch the blind-folded person. They had to use their voices! Kinda tricky.
The other station was "Moroni's Title of Liberty". Again, after a brief recap of this story, the kids then were given a special piece of cardstock to write their OWN 'Title of Liberty', things that are very important to them. They wrote things like: family, friends, temples, gospel etc., and some drew pictures, too. We are going to laminate them for the kids so that they can keep these in their scriptures. Oh, and we are going to burn the edges to make it look really cool! (thanks, Jamie!!)

Here, T sits with Dad feasting on fruit .. as in the 'tree of life'. We finished the activity with several types of fruit. The kids could pick what they wanted and so they all were delighted. We had strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, grapes, bananas, and apples. We had plenty of fruit, however, we didn't have any left over! Overall, it was an awesome activity. The kids (and adults) had fun and there was a deeper purpose to it. We missed several of our friends due to baseball and a scout camp-out, but we did have a great turn-out. It seems like no matter when we would have planned the activity, it wouldn't work for everyone. But that's okay. We had a great time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Has anybody seen my wife? Usually I can find her on the blog, but she hasn't been around for a week which is a little unusual for her. There is a lady that looks and acts like her in my house, but it couldn't be S, since this lady hasn't been on the computer for a while.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

N's 1st Priesthood Session

G took N to his very 1st Priesthood session of General Conference last night. Afterwards, they went out to dinner together to Daphne's (a Greek restaurant). N said he really enjoyed the meeting and that it went fast. It's hard to believe that he's old enough to go! He said he really liked how loud everyone sang the hymns in the chapel. He shared some talk highlights with me, and I was very impressed. I think G has been really looking forward to bringing his sons to the Priesthood Session.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Our Hike Around a Quarry

We took advantage of the beautiful weather today and went on a family hike. We really enjoy hiking and exploring together. We found an old quarry with hiking trails. It was perfect! We saw lizards, butterflies, and tons of wildflowers. There was a lot of sour grass to chew on, too. J picked so much we teased him he could make a salad with it all!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Oh, to be a kid again ...

A friend and J just chillin'

We spent part of the afternoon at the park by our school with some friends. The kids had popcicles and played their little hearts out. I got to visit with a few of my friends. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and it felt so wonderful to be outside.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Field Trip to the Grocery Store

T and his friends watching a machine smash cardboard in the back room of the grocery store

"Rett" and T making a train during the field trip

All of the kids and their siblings received a "goody-bag" at the end of the tour

T's preschool took a field trip through the local grocery store this morning. They loved seeing the back room with the refrigerator, freezer, storage, etc. They got to go into the back room of the meat department, too. They got samples of salami, cheese & bread along the way. We had a very friendly tour-guide. I got a kick out of a comment she made at the end of the tour when she tried to get the kids to form a line to no avail. She said, "Okay, a blob will do!" After the tour, which took about an hour, we walked over to the Round Table Pizza and had lunch together in the banquet room. We got a deal on the personal pizzas and drinks. The kids colored and ran around. It was quite a pleasant, low-key field trip.

N's Birthday, Part 2

The boys and I sent Nathaniel on a treasure hunt for his gifts. It sent him all over the house! He's been enjoying reading the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, so Mom & Dad bought him a couple of books from the series

N had to really hunt for this gift from his brothers. Let me tell you, B & J were salivating over this gift! Anyone who knows our family knows that Legos are a serious business here!!

All of the boys dug in to help build the huge Batman Tank. N was very gracious in sharing the joy of building his project. Problems arose when T wanted to "help"!

Even though Dad wasn't able to be here for N's birthday, we still brought out the special glasses, Martinelli's sparkling cider, and the Birthday Plate. We all shared something we appreciate about N. The boys liked clinking their glasses ... probably a little too much!

We HAD to have cake!! N's not a big fan of chocolate (I know!! Are we related??!??!!) so I made a yummy vanilla cake. He blew out the candles SO fast that I didn't get a picture of it. Oh well, it was more fun to eat the cake.

So, Dad came home around midnight on N's birthday because he was in Memphis at a very important (and successful!!) conference. The next morning, while N was at school, G and I went shopping for our gift to N. He really hasn't even asked for much and is very content with what he has. We decided to buy him an iPod Nano. We know he loves listening to music, especially classical. We gave him G's iPod clock and put the iPod nano in it on N's headboard. Oh, and G & I had fun putting on the music & pictures we knew he'd like. When N came home from school, he didn't go into his room for quite a while. G had to make up a reason to get N to go into his room. N was SO shocked! He loves it and was so grateful for it. He and B were listening to it WAY too late last night, though. Now J wants one. He got out his allowance jar and started counting! He's 7!!

Pumpkin pie is N's favorite dessert. After a dinner out with the whole family to celebrate, we came home to have pumpkin pie. Even though N didn't like how Dad was gone on his birthday, he knows that his birthday was G's good-luck charm (@ the conference), AND we celebrated his birthday over 2 days!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy 12th Birthday, N!!

N @ 6 months. He'd happily spend hours in the jumper. This is one of my favorite pictures of him at this age

N @ 15 months -- another favorite picture of mine

N @ 11 1/2 years old. Where did the time go????

Mom surprised N with a new shirt early this morning

Happy 12th Birthday, N! We cannot believe that 12 years have gone by since you were born. It just feels crazy to think that much time has whizzed by! We are so grateful for your wonderful example to your younger brothers. You are thoughtful, loyal, empathetic, helpful, and compasionate ... just to name a few. We hope you enjoy your day (even though you had to go to school). We love you!!