Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night was our ward's Trunk-or-Treat party. This year, it was planned at our church building and it was a good thing! It was pouring rain! The actual 'trunk-or-treating' happened in the cultural hall. Parents sat in a HUGE circle on the floor and the kids just went around the circle. The parents got to visit and it was done a lot quicker. No one was complaining. For dinner there was lots of various types of chili to choose from, along with hot dogs, cornbread, and chips. It was great. The kids were very entertained with a spook house, carnival games, and just running around with their friends. I hardly saw J & B the whole night. We were able to find B just long enough to snap his picture at the Cake Walk. Oh, one member dressed as Santa w/o a beard. He thought that w/o the beard that it would be less confusing for the kids, but they didn't care. It was SO funny because T, and several other kids, kept stopping him and giving him their Christmas lists! T STILL thinks he's getting an iPod for Christmas. Yeah, right!!

N as an old man. He's got the gut and everything!

T used his favorite costume -- Superman! One of his friends was Batman and another was Spiderman. I couldn't get them all together at the same time for a picture.

Mr. Policeman JOkay, I don't know what possessed me to buy and then WEAR this, but it sure got a lot of laughs. I couldn't convince G to wear a costume. Maybe next year.
B the escaped convict.

My boys are SO excited that the rain has let up this evening. It wasn't looking too hopeful earlier today with the down pour. More candy ... here we come!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fandango Puppets for FHE

After reading more in St. Matthew, we made Fandango-type puppets for our FHE activity. It was fun to see the creativity of each family member. We dug through the craft bin and a stack of construction paper and went to work. Can I just say that we LOVE glue-dots!!

Here's a better look at our finished puppets.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Soccer

This morning, I took N & J to watch B's soccer game. T went on a bike ride with Dad. The score was tied for most of the game. Our team would have scored another goal, however, our attacker was considered 'off-sides' and the goal didn't count. Bummer. The other team played their defense really far back, so it was challenging to NOT be 'off-sides.' B did a great job at defense. He can stick his long legs into a huddle and poke the ball away. His team lost 1-3. The other team just had some lucky breaks. One of their goals was from a direct penalty kick. B has a really good coach who really works with them. She calls them to a huddle after each game and goes over the things they did well and things that they need to improve upon. Her biggest frustration is that not all of the boys consistently come to practice. They need to practice as a team so that they can PLAY as a team. Even though there are only 2 practices left, she expects everyone to be there. Can't say I blame her!

G went to J's game in the afternoon. We're SO glad that the games were moved back to our side of the town. The field they were on last week (all the way across town) was full of muddy pot-holes and bird droppings. It was awful. Anyway, J's team did well and won 2-1. J played goalie for a quarter of the game. He's definitely not afraid of going after the ball. He's become much more aggressive in his playing. I know he'll be sad when the season is over. There are only 3 more games ...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fandango Puppet Skit

B had pack meeting on Thursday night. He and his Webelos pack did a cute skit with puppets they made. They copied the Fandango idea.

B was hamming it up when he got another Webelos activity pin -- the Showman. He also earned 3 beltloops. He really enjoys cubs. He'll be moving up to Boy Scouts pretty soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Morning Bike Ride

After our big bike ride!
T & I went on quite a bike ride this morning. I have to admit that I wasn't jumping at the chance to go, however, once I decided that we should go I was enjoying myself. I've kind of been in a bit of a funk lately, and it would have been real easy to just slump around the house, but this bike ride felt great. The weather is gorgeous out here, and T can really get going on his bike ... so we were able to go quite far. We got to see B at recess at the school. We rode around the park & field adjacent to the school and wound around the neighborhood. When possible, I asked T which way he wanted to go. Then, we rode around in circles on our street until I got too dizzy. T was asking last night about doing a bike ride, and I'm so glad we did. It was fun, and I needed to get out. Now, back to playing Legos together. He's been following me around with Legos for the past couple of weeks. He built a house and wants to play every second, hence a huge pile of neglected clean laundry among other things.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Made My Day

Yesterday, while I was putting up art work from J's 2nd grade class in the office, a teacher that I knew walked past. She stopped to say 'hi'. She taught B when he was in 2nd grade. When I did Art in her class, sometimes J would tag along. She was a great teacher for B!! She asked about the boys (she also remembers N). We both agreed that we wouldn't want to do Middle School over again. Harsh times for many!! She then told me that she's always a little flabbergasted about how many of the kids are so worried about being 'cool', among other things, at such a young age -- she sees it in her 2nd grade class. She said my boys are so thoughtful, and focused on the right things. She topped off the compliment by saying that she'd want to have boys just like mine. Wow. That was one of the nicest things ever said to me. I know I have good boys, and I'm so grateful. It's nice to hear positive things about them ... especially that!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthday Shout-Out!

Today is my dear friend, Raimi's birthday. She's pictured above on the right alongside our friend, Lisa. She's such a great example and an awesome friend. It's a bonus that our boys are friends, too. She's so thoughtful of others and is always lending a helping hand. Raimi, you are a wonderful friend and I really appreciate you!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY =)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Farm Field Trip

This morning, T & I went to this huge pumpkin farm with his preschool for a field trip. We rode the train, saw a pig race, and then got to ride the hay truck way out to the field to pick out our own pumpkins. I wish I could say that T was FULL of smiles today, but this is what I got a lot of today .....
.... the grumpies!!! He just was not a happy-camper today. Then it occurred to me: he didn't eat any breakfast. Not a good thing. But things turned around a little when he finally decided which pumpkin he wanted.

Here is T with his pal, Garrett. I had to bribe them both to get this picture. Hey, whatever works!! Later, we got to visit a while and have lunch at the picnic tables. The boys played on huge slides and in an old railroad car. We topped off the field trip with an ice cream cone from good ol' McD's on the way home. Thanks for the company, the ride & ice cream, Raimi! =)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cotton Ball Hockey for FHE

For our FHE activity last week, we played hockey with straws and a cotton ball. We used Legos to mark the goals. You had to blow the cotton ball through the goal. Here's another CHEAP, yet FUN activity. We got the idea from T's speech activities. Our activity from our last FHE was a few rounds of "Aye, Aye, Nephi!" It's a fun, simple card game. Family Night just wouldn't be Family Night in our house without activities!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Apple Hill

Yesterday, I took the boys to Apple Hill. We met my brother and his family there early. My younger brother and girlfriend came, too. Our sister met us later. It was chilly and a little more crowded this year. We still enjoyed ourselves and the boys had a blast with their cousins. Lots of pumpkins, hay, apples, more apples and treats. We enjoyed a couple of bowls of sliced apples with carmel dip. Oh, so good! I packed a cooler to bring lunch and to then bring home an apple/berry pie for G, and some freshly pressed apple juice.

Our version of some silly faces!

The boys had to wait in a line for this tire swing, but it was so worth it. It went pretty high.
At one of the farms, the boys got to feed some goats. They loved this and T got the belly-laughs from it. The goats really DO eat everything. They ate the paper cups & seemed pretty happy about it!
We enjoyed looking at the many shops/vendors. Lots of crafts, paintings, knick-knacks. The boys each brought some of their own money and got to spend it how they wished. T was pretty happy with his $1.00 surprise bag.
N and his cousin, M. They didn't get to see much of each other yesterday, but had a nice time catching up at the fishing pond. We didn't get to meet up with my sister until close to 3:15 and we were feeling ready to go home. We didn't get any fudge this year because the lines were too long. I guess it's better that way, otherwise it would end up on MY hips.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Random Things ...

During the 2 hours between General Conference Sessions on Sunday, they boys built "Fluffy Hotel" in the corner of our living room. Yes, Tammy, we still have the green couch!! They kept themselves very entertained. I had to lie down for a while because a horrible headache set in. The boys were SO good, and I really appreciated it. Later, we got out a couple of bowls to put cornstarch & water in. They LOVE playing with cornstarch. It's quite fascinating actually. B played with it at preschool when he was 4 and has always remembered it. We also filled a water bottle with part water and part oil for them to play with. Easy, cheap stuff to do.

T came home from preschool yesterday with this pig snout. Too cute!

B has been working on a report on the spice Saffron. All of the work has been done in class. He just brought in the poster board and the actual spice to show what it really looks like. Many people aren't familiar with saffron, but we use it whenever we make risotto, a family favorite. We're fortunate enough to get it at quite a deal because my parents are able to get it in the Middle East. Last night, B & I made up a small batch of risotto together. I re-heated it this morning, and walked it over to B's class (while T was on his bike). They had a big 'tasting' party. Every student brought in something made with their spice. It was quite the spread.

N took this picture from the car in Nevada on their way back home. I think this is a GREAT picture. I love the composition of it. N was sad to get back from his adventure with Dad, and back to the real world. I can't say I blame him.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

General Conference with Dad

G & N left for quite the adventure on Friday afternoon. It rained most of Friday and Saturday. They drove to Utah so that they could attend the Priesthood session of General Conference together. They spent a little time with family Saturday and then drove down to Salt Lake for Conference.

Here, they are standing outside of the Conference Center. G had to leave the camera in the car because he was told that there were no cameras allowed in the Center.

So, he whipped out his cell phone to take this picture of N inside the Conference Center before the session began. One of the memorable things for both G & N was the 20,000 men singing "Praise to the Man". That's one of MY favorite hymns. I would have loved to hear that, too.

Our brother in-in-law drove up from Las Vegas to take our nephew, who's also 12, to the same session (they sat on opposite sides during conference). So, they arranged to meet after conference for pie. Another brother-in-law, his 2 boys and Grandpa came for pie, too. I didn't even have to ask what kind of pie G & N each ordered. N = Pumpkin Pie and G = Key Lime Pie.

These 3 boys are all less than 6 months apart. They get a long great and enjoy being together. Even though this was a very quick visit, it was very memorable. N misses his cousins a lot.

On the way home, G & N were able to stop and see some great friends of ours (who we don't see often enough! We NEED to get together soon, guys! Maybe we can meet in Tahoe??)

Another stop on the way home was at the Reno Temple. They didn't stay too long. Just long enough to walk around and enjoy the sight. They returned home around 6:30pm on Sunday. We were so glad to have them home safe and sound. We got to hear the hightlights of the trip during our FHE on Monday night. It was a quick trip, but one that we know that N won't ever forget.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I found this recipe on another blog. I tried it last night because I needed something super easy. Not only was it easy, it tasted great. I didn't get a picture of any of them because they were gone so fast. That's a good sign! I just added some vegetables and some cheddar cheese for quick sides and they were very happy. I plan on making double next time so that I can toss some into the freezer for a quick meal later. I used 3 chicken breasts. I also added seasoned salt to my mixture.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

chicken breast cut into "nugget sizes"
melted butter
Italian bread crumbs (plain works fine, too)
Parmsean cheese
any extra seasoning you like
gallon ziploc bag

Put bread crumbs, cheese, and seasoning in a ziploc bag. I don't measure, I just throw it all together. Dip nuggets in the melted butter then throw into the Ziploc bag, shake around and get it nicely covered. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes (every oven is different, but cook until nicely browned and cooked through the center)

If you want to freeze some for later, put the uncooked nuggets on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place nuggets in the freezer for 1 hour to flash freeze. After they are frozen, you can split them up into quart or gallon sized bags.

*blog source "Hey, Mom, What's for dinner?"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekend Recap ... So Far

Yesterday, I took N up to G's work so that they could leave right from there for their Father/Son Adventure. They are having a great time. More to come on that ....

This morning, I had to take the younger 3 boys to the soccer games. The planets were aligned! Their games were only 1 hour apart, however, their fields were as close as they can get. So, it worked out great. J's game was first. They won 5-0. J played great! He dribbled and passed the ball like a pro. Below, he's holding the team's Goal Jar.
B's game didn't go so well. He still had some awesome defensive moves near the goal. He's fearless!! His team struggled and despite their best efforts, they lost their game. B wasn't feeling well, but insisted on playing. It's not what you think. He didn't have a fever or stomach ache. His left arm was still bugging him from when he tripped over a back pack last night. Oh, and he's left-handed. Since one of my really good friends was at the game (we had a great time visiting, by the way), she said she could take J & T for the afternoon so that I could take B to the ER. That was a HUGE relief. Thanks, Kristin.
I've been really spoiled because G usually takes the boys to the ER if needed because he knows most of the staff there and he can usually get them right in. He did make a phone call for me, and a very familiar staff member greeted us. From the time we signed in until the time we walked out the doors, it was a little less than 2 hours. Not complaining. So, after the Dr. examined the X-ray, it was determined that he fractured his growth plate at his elbow. He needs to wear the sling for a while and he needs to go see his primary Dr. this week. He can move his arm around, but certain positions hurt. It also hurts him to grab/carry things with his left hand.
As we were waiting for his prescriptions to be filled, we wandered around Target ... and, of course, ended up in the Lego aisle. He had enough of his own money to spend, and it took him almost the entire time to decide what to buy. There's nothing like Lego's to lift his spirits. Notice, he took the sling off to build. He still hurt, but couldn't move around that much. Uh, that's the point of the sling!! He put it back on quickly, realizing that it really did help.