Monday, June 30, 2008

Raspberry Pickin' FHE

We had a great adventure for FHE tonight. The boys decided that they wanted to have dinner at Daddy's work. So we did and ate out on the patio. I love the picture of B sitting in the chair all crazy. He doesn't like to sit normal in any chair. After dinner, we walked on a trail nearby with a couple of bowls in hand to pick from the abundance of raspberries. They were SO good! G was able to get the most because he wasn't wearing Tevas like the rest of us. There were a lot of thorns. Still worth it. Right off of the trail, there was a Maidu Pounding Stone to see. So cool! Then we quickly dropped by Barnes & Noble to get a reading log for the boys, to encourage summer reading. I got the idea from my friend, Raimi. After reading any 8 books, we can bring back the completed reading log and receive a free book. Love the idea.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

N's Home!

Here's N just as he arrived home. It was SO good to see him. Let's get a closer look ...

... he's under all that dirt ... somewhere! I'm just enjoying the smile ...

Yuck!! I hosed off his shoes and threw away his socks ... a lost cause.

We sure missed N while he was gone to Scout Camp. He had a fun, successful, and a dirty time. He dropped his gear and his clothes and went right up to the shower. He completed 3 merit badges (environmental science, sculpture & painting) and got work started on 3 others. He didn't finish the swimming merit badge because the water was way too cold for him! We'll help him finish this and the other merit badges as soon as we can. I'm so glad that he had a great time. The assistant Scout Master was there the entire week with the boys and that was a comfort to me.

N gave his first talk in Sacrament meeting today. He was nervous, but he did great. He said that the chapel looks way bigger from the pulpit! We all know, huh!?!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yes, More Water!

Notice the smoky, gray sky? We haven't seen a blue sky in days!
"Rett" and T -- Best buddies!!
By 9 am yesterday morning, I realized that I didn't want to be stuck in the house all day. So, I called one of my dearest friends, Raimi, and asked if she was up for an outing at this great little water park ... and she was! Her hubby came, too. We spent about an hour and a half there and just let the boys run wild. T had a hard time with this concept: if I pour water on you, then you'll pour water on me. Nope, he liked pouring water on someone else, but would scream and cry if someone poured water on him. Yes, it was a little annoying, but he's also got to learn, right? Also, it was almost as if we didn't feed our boys before we came (which we DID) because they all just seemed to be starving! They just wanted to snack the entire time. Well ... anyway, the boys got to play with their friends AND water at the same time, I got to visit with Raimi & John, and we got out of the house for part of the day. The park was not crowded, thankfully. I think the smoky skies are still keeping a lot of people indoors. I felt really stir-crazy yesterday morning and knew I wouldn't last the day with my sanity intact if I didn't venture out for a bit.
Then the bonus of the afternoon: T fell asleep after we read some books, so I took a nice afternoon nap, too. The other two boys were very content to have a little alone time, too. B working on a Lego creation, and J played the Wii by himself.

We topped the evening off with our weekly movie night. We watched the first episode of Star Wars, and had no-bake cookies. This is absolutely one of our favorite desserts and it's so easy to make. I love how I don't have to turn on my oven to make these. I'll share the recipe, even though I think most of my friends already have it. I got this recipe from a college roommate back @ BYU.

No Bake Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup margarine

Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add:

3/4 cup chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter
2 ½ cups oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Let cool.
(I use one of my large melon-scoops to do this. It works great!)

Okay: one more thing! N comes home from Scout Camp this afternoon. Yeah!! We've really missed him. T has continually asked, "Where's Fanul?" That's what he calls N. I'm sure he's going to be exhausted and dirty when he comes home. I've got the washing machine ready!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Swimming and More Playdates

B really worked on stroke development in his class. He did really well. He got the flip-turns down really quick. I was impressed.
T is working on his "kickers" here. He loved his class and continually wanted to bring stuff each day to show his teachers. He even wanted to show her his pajamas. Go figure!
J also worked a lot of stroke development. They also went over water safety, which I think is awesome.
The boys all got suckers after their last class today along with a certificate with some feedback about how they did in class. I find these to be very helpful. I only signed them up for 1 session of swim lessons this year.
After swim lessons today, J & B both had a friend over for a play date. B and his friend spent a lot of time building Legos before they jumped into the pool. J & his friend had lunch and spent time coloring before they swam. I tossed coins into the pool for them to find. They really liked the challenge.

T joining in the fun. He's a fish!! He loves to swim and would swim all day if he could.

J and his friend had a blast together today. The time really did fly by. We had popcorn, juice boxes and cookies. No complaints there!

B & his friend filled up a bunch of water balloons to play around with. They had almost as much fun filling them up as they did playing with them. The balloons are fun to put into the pool because they just float around under the surface of the water. You can toss them around the pool and the don't pop. But, yes, they did have fun tossing them at each other. Isn't summer great??!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Racetracks, crayons, & wrestling ....

"Rett" and T ready to launch matchbox cars down the track

The best view in the house of the track

T had one of his best friends over for a play date this morning. We set up the race track where we shoot cars down the track from our landing. We add pillows under the track towards the bottom so that the track slants back up and the cars 'take-air' near the finish line. It's fun to see the cars fly at the end! When my friends came over, we couldn't open the front door because of the pile of cars. I have to admit that I like to do this almost as much as the boys do. Two other friends were over today, too, for B & J. Legos were scattered upstairs, there were wrestling matches, and we dusted off the crayons to draw different kinds of bugs. Yes, I even let B & his friend play the Wii for a bit. I hesitate with the video games sometimes if someone is being excluded or they are not interacting with each other. Otherwise, what's the point of a play date?! We didn't really play outside today and it's not because of it being too hot. Actually, the temperatures have been pleasant, but the air is still choked with smoke from all of the wildfires out here in CA. It's awful. They did play on the swing-set for about 15 - 20 minutes, but that was it. Then, by the time that my friend came to pick up her son, I told her to "climb in"! I guess after roughly 3 hours of manic playing that's what happens. The boys had a great time, but do you know what J asked me the second their friends left? "Can my friend 'so-n-so' come over?"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Scout Camp ... Here I Come!

Umm, are you serious?! I have to carry this thing?!

Yesterday, we got N's pack ready for Scout Camp. He left at "O-dark-thirty" this morning, as my Mom would say. The boys had to be at one of the leader's home @ 3:55 AM. Yes, you read that right: AM!! G & I got up with him and G drove him over to the meeting place. B came downstairs and gave N a HUGE hug. It was so sweet. The troop had about a 2 hour drive and then a mile and a half hike into camp. Luckily, their sleeping bags, bed rolls and tents etc. would be brought into camp via boat, but the boys would have to carry in their packs. Camp activities begin around 8:30 AM today. N was very emotional about going. He was excited, yes, but already a little homesick. I don't blame him. He hasn't been away from home for more than 2 days. He will be a tent-mate to one of his closest friends, and that should be a blast. He'll be back on Saturday. We know he'll have fun and that he's in good hands. It's just hard to believe that he's old enough to go away to Scout Camp!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


J was SO excited about this huge lollipop. It topped off his "Daddy Day" this afternoon

It's HOT today. We all cooled off in our pool and it felt great.

I'm so glad we have our little pool. We can cool off and have fun together. Yeah, sometimes it's a tight squeeze with all 6 of us in the pool, but it's really fun & refreshing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Swimmer's Hair

J has been living in his swimming suit this whole week. He has swim lessons in the morning, and then we usually get in our pool at least once during the day. I LOVE how his hair stands on end after it dries from rubbing it with his beach towel. It makes me giggle. I had to get a picture of his 'do'. He looked a little surprised at this picture because I don't think he had any idea his hair was doing this!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Twilight Camp

Yesterday, B & I attended Cub Scout Twilight Camp. I was stationed at our Troop's Table for the craft, a journal that the boys had to bind. B went around with his Webelos group to various stations throughout the evening. He later told me that he didn't get to do any hands-on things and was pretty bored, and it was pretty hot. We're hoping that he has a better time tonight, Thursday & Friday. He didn't like coming home empty-handed. The past two years he's come home each night with something he's made, and just loved it. I think that the Webelos do a lot of the more fun stuff on Saturday morning when it's only the Webelos left at camp. We'll see!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

1st Day of Swim Lessons

J moved up a level to the Marlin class in the big pool. J is a really good swimmer, and commented about doing the swim team like N next year.
N observed his brothers' lessons. Since we signed him up for swim team, he's not taking lessons with his brothers.
B taking a break in the bright sun during his swim lessons. He moved up to the Shark class.
Here's T after his swim lesson. He's in the Duck class. He cried for the first 1/2 of the class, so I couldn't get close enough to take a picture for fear he'd see me and want out! He seemed to enjoy the 2nd half of the class, though. We've had really good instructors here. They were able to get an assistant to help T one-on-one to calm down. I really appreciated that. I want my boys to be great swimmers because I honestly believe it is an important life skill. I don't want to be worrying night and day when I send them off to Scout Camp, for example, because they don't know how to swim! Not going to happen. Swimming is great exercise, it's refreshing, and it gets us out of the house. Plus, it's just a lot of fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Striking a pose

The boys gave G a hat and T-shirt today for Father's Day. They both say "World's Greatest Dad." Also, we hid a bag of Reese's Pieces in the living room for him to find this morning. It was difficult for T to not show G where to find the loot! The concept of a secret is still beyond him at this point. The boys have written G some heart-felt notes today, and J also gave him a little booklet he made at school with many kind and neat things said about G. The booklet looked like a men's shirt and tie. So cute!! I am so grateful for G. He is an awesome Dad to our 4 boys and they look up to him. He's a great example and a wonderful leader & role model our family. He spends quality time with each of our boys. They love to wrestle with G and love to get tickled,too. They look forward to and LOVE their set "Daddy Day". G will take each boy out, usually on a Saturday morning of afternoon, and do some type of activity with them of their choosing (within reason, of course). They've done hikes, movies, lunch, ice cream to name a few. G, I love you very much and couldn't have asked for a better husband, and father to our boys!!! Happy Father's Day!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

11 Things You Would Never Hear Me Say

No, child, you didn’t use ENOUGH toilet paper. I need to see a pile of t.p. floating in the water.

No, of course not. Why would I expect you to get up and throw that garbage away when you could just conveniently stuff it down the side of the couch.

I think pedicures are a waste of time and money. And massages are overrated.

Chocolate? Nah, I'll pass.

No, I don’t mind answering the same question again since your brother just asked that exact thing in those exact words.

If you whine I promise you will get out of being in trouble.

No, I’m not pregnant, but I’m so pleased you thought I was.

Of course your 2-year-old and 28 of his best friends are welcome to have the birthday party in my living room. Be sure to give them chocolate ice cream and red punch.

Go on, keep fighting with your brother–it’s music to my ears!

Of course I did all the laundry and put it away today. Who takes more than one day? Or worse, who never puts the laundry away but instead just dresses their children out of the laundry pile in the hallway? Certainly not me.

No, please park as close as you can to my car. Ding up the doors while you’re at it. But leave me a can-opener so that I can squeeze back into my car! (This happened to me TODAY. Luckily, I didn't see any dings, but it was a VERY tight squeeze)

What is on your list of things you'd never say??! I have more ... maybe I'll share them later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Surprise Lunchdate & Trip to Library

Today, finally, I surprised J by picking him up from school @ lunchtime and took him over to McDonald's. When he first saw me in the office, he asked me if he was going to the dentist. Then, when I told him we were going on a lunch date, he was so happy! He chowed down on a Mighty Kids' Meal, and enjoyed playing on the equipment. He made quick friends with another boy there and had a blast. T enjoyed seeing his brother for lunch and was really sad when we took J back to school. Little does T know that his brothers will be out of school starting Friday and that he'll have competition for the TV and Wii!!!
J playing in the robot
Later, I took J & T over to one of our libraries while N had swim team.
T found a shopping cart with a doll and a rabbit to push around the library. He loaded his books in there, too. This was perfect for him to keep him occupied! Now if he can just remember to use his "inside voice" -- we'll be good!
N is really excited to polish his swimming abilities. He's got this LONG body with LONG arms and legs that's just perfect for swimming. The city finally added another swim team because of the demand. This year, the city had to turn away more than 65 qualified swimmers due to lack of space. So, they opened another team, a pre-competitive team. Perfect for N. He's always been comfortable in the water. Even in warm-ups, he out-strokes many of the kids. Even though he's got the height for basketball, he's always been more comfortable in the water. Oh, and while I was at the library, I ran into a friend who is a campus supervisor at N's middle school. She said that N is the tallest 6th grader. He's as tall as me now and I'm 5'8". Crazy!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

All About Me

I lifted this off of my friend Raimi’s blog. I enjoyed reading her answers so I thought I would do my own. Kind of fun!

*of course my boys - they make me proud - most days!
*A husband who likes to cook – and does it well. Also, he often brings me flowers “just for because” – Yes, I’m a lucky girl.
*Taking a nap, especially after church – love that!

*losing a loved one
*letting someone, whom I am close to, down
*the price of gas going higher – we’ve already modified our summer plans due to the high price of gas

* to raise happy, productive, respectful, and independent boys
* to exercise regularly
* to finish my degree … I’m SO close!

*Being on time
*A clean floor. I hate having to watch my step AND I can’t stand it when my feet are dirty. A clean floor is a huge step to a clean house, right?
* This blog!

* I hate lipstick. Lipgloss -- ok. I think I’m too addicted to lip balm. So lipstick would just get in the way.
*After I learn someone’s birthday, I can usually recall it @ 99% of the time. That includes all of the primary children. Crazy, huh!? I’m the one to remind G to call a family member on his side of the family for their birthday.
*I can be quite a home-body. But once I’m out and about, I’m happy too.

*the middle school
*Sam’s Club

*The gals in the Primary Presidency with me
*Mom & Dad

*Costa Vida
*Claim Jumper (LOVE the Citrus Chicken Salad sans blue cheese)
*In and Out

*Getting a massage and pedicure
*Traveling all over Europe with unlimited cash and free babysitting
*Visiting Washington D.C. – I’ve always wanted to see the Smithsonian and all of the history in and around D.C. One day!!
*Lake Tahoe relaxing with family and friends (Wanna go again this summer, Raimi?!)

*my kids
*My hubby
*Raimi - I will miss our preschool chats, too! But the summer will probably just FLY by!

*The Soup
*Survivor (I'll watch a new season, but not re-runs. I just really enjoy this show)

*The Bourne Series
*The Lord of the Ring Series
*Harry Potter
*The original 3 Star Wars movies (my boys LOVE these and it's fun to watch them watching the movies!)
Now it's your turn! Have fun!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bubble Buddies

Let's just say that the bigger the bubbles, the happier they are! I've found that the best bubbles are the cheap WalMart bubbles. They last forever! Like J's bubble beard & mustache?!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Piano Recital

N & B performed at their piano recital last night. They did great! B didn't want to bring his music because he had his two songs memorized, but he later told me that he was so glad to have it because he was very nervous. N didn't use his music for one of his songs, which impressed many. N even added a little variation of his own at the end of his Boogie song. It's hard to believe that another year of piano lessons is over. Thanks, Cynthia for being a great teacher!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Rest of B's Birthday Celebrations ...

B wanted to take oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to share with his class for his birthday Monday
B helping with the cookie pizza for his special dessert. He's dropping on the candy bar bits.

B requested deep fried corn tacos for his birthday dinner. He was excited to use the birthday plate, too.

Here, B is blowing out all of the miss-matched candles on the cookie pizza. We only had 7 regular candles. We used a broken number candle (still have no idea what # it was originally) and 2 tea light candles. No complaints from B. He was just happy to get his favorite dessert. It's a really easy recipe.

B with his birthday loot. Can't go wrong with LEGO's with him. He said his birthday was great even though he had to go to school.

Our birthday marathon is over for now. The boys have birthdays in March, April, May & June. Fhew!! We can take a breather. I do admit that it is very nice for each of us to have a special day to ourselves to shine, where we are shown love and appreciation. B went to bed with a huge smile on his face. Love that!

Here's my recipe:

Candy Shop Pizza

Chocolate chip cookie dough
Chocolate chips
Peanut butter
2 –4 assorted candy bars

Press or spread cookie dough evenly onto greased 12 to 15 inch pizza pan. Bake according to dough recipe. Bake until edges are set and center is still slightly soft. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crust; drop peanut butter by spoonfuls onto crust. Let stand for 5 minutes or until morsels become shiny and soft. Gently spread chocolate and peanut butter evenly over crust. Sprinkle chopped-up candy bar pieces in single layer over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges. Serve.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Girlfriends' Retreat @ Tahoe

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the weekend at beautiful Lake Tahoe with my dear friends. I drove two friends up with me on Friday morning to Tahoe. That drive went by SO fast because we just talked and talked. The accommodations were amazing. I had my own master suite to myself. Everyone had their own room and bathroom for at least 1 of the nights. We wandered the Northstar village, went to dinner together, and chatted the night away on the first night. It was so wonderful to be able to not be on a schedule. I woke up when I wanted the next morning and just took my time. We all went on what we thought would be a mile and a half hike, but we started on the wrong trail, and then went back to the correct trail and then missed the switchback to the summit. So, we figured that we hiked around 7 or 8 miles. But, when we did make it to the summit, it was gorgeous!!! We relaxed in the hot tub, rode the stinky gondola due to all of the sweaty mountain bikers, roasted marshmallows at the fire pits, watched a chick-flick, and laughed & laughed & laughed. I am so lucky to have such great friends. Thanks SO much, Kristin, for organizing this and for the use of your condos. I am so blessed with a wonderful husband who supported me on this weekend. The boys went to the school carnival, camped in the backyard on Friday after a movie, went to church w/o me while picking up two other boys for church, and managed to get some chores done on Saturday, too. When I arrived home Sunday night, G was busy making cookies for B to take to school for his birthday Monday. How awesome is that?!!! Thanks, G!!!