Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Day was brought to you by...

The Letter
and the Number
Today I had the pleasure of watching 4 kids that belong to dear friends of ours. In addition to my 3, this makes quite the bunch, but we sure did manage to have a fun time.
We had popcorn at snacktime, and pizza for dinner, hence the LETTER P and 7 kids total, hence the NUMBER 7. At dinner we were talking and laughing about our time together and the old Sesame Street line popped out.
Kids are funny people, especially when they have cool parents that pass on a sense of humor!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Egg Nog French Toast, A Christmas Breakfast Tradition

We received this loaf of bread (well, not THIS loaf, that would be gross and stale, but another one exactly like it) from our dear neighbor 4 years ago and it has been a tradition ever since. If you can find a Cinnamon Bread at a local bakery, you may want to give it a go while stores still have egg nog in stock. Yum yum!

Christmas Egg Nog French Toast

1 loaf sliced cinnamon bread
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups egg nog
2 Tbs vanilla

(We 1/2 the recipe for our little family)

Wishlists Granted

Santa brought movie cushions and a DVD for each child, and filled stockings with blow up punch balls, (2 of which popped promptly when punched into the tree), horns, bubble tape, arctic animal shaped chocolate, new undies (even Syd, Santa must know her Mom wants her to potty train this summer) and shapeable bath soap! The kids were beyond excited.
Savannah and her Cabbage Patch Kid. I was her age when I received my 1st one, and this year is the 25th Anniversary edition....she smells just like the ones I had as a child, it takes me back..and makes me feel OLD at the same time. She introduces her as "the newest member of the family, Dinah Carma, born on Nov 8th 2008." (who comes up with these names, anyway?) Another notable gift was the Hannah Montana Guitar...more on that in a later post. :)

Gunnar and his Speed Racer set. He and Dad set this up and he's spent many happy hours with it already. He also loves his "treasure box" from his sisters and his Operation game.

Sydney with her play makeup. This girl spends hours painting nails, putting on eyeshadow and blow-drying her (and her doll's) hair. The kit came with a battery operated dryer that makes noise and blows, ever so slightly. She also received her own baby along with a stroller, bassinett, diaper bag, and travel seat, and is busy being a little Mommy. I've never seen her play with any toys with such an attention span before now. WOW.
Mom received a new camera among other things, and is thrilled to have this new tool to document our many adventures. Dad received some new noise cancelling headphones, a ripstik, and some PC games (thanks to our EA hook up, love ya K!).
We are so blessed to have all that we do. We are especially grateful for each other and our family and friends near and far. We know that the greatest gift we have been given comes from Jesus Christ, and we are tremendously grateful for his birth and the time of year that we have to celebrate it so abundantly!
We hope you and yours are enjoying the season!

We Believe

The kids went all out to make sure Santa was welcomed and FED when he arrived at our house this year. Savi especially wanted to make sure that Santa knew she appreciated her gift from last year and was still using it (the art easel). Hence, the picture. We decorated some snowman faces for him and left the reindeers some yummy rainbow carrots. Sydney had to sample some of each to make sure they were OK. :)
Santa was sweet and left a nice long note and even signed his picture. The kids were glad that he mentioned that he noticed they'd made some bad choices this year, but he knew they were sorry so he kept them on the NICE list. Lucky them. Gunnar says he thinks some people who are cold would like to have coal to burn and keep warm though. Classic Gunnar.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa, Baby

Oh, the excitement of Christmas Eve-Eve, as we call it around here. It's palpable. The kids are home from school all over each other. Dad is home from work and we are having holiday fun, including the annual building of the gingerbread house and neighborhood gift delivery on Sunday afternoon...followed be jib-jabbing ourselves into dancing elves that evening. We laughed so hard we just about cried!

Yesterday we called a sitter and Mom and Dad escaped for Sushi lunch at Mikado (best I've ever had!), followed by a Matinee showing of Twilight (my 2nd time, Chris' 1st...am I the only one who didn't notice the author's cameo the first time around??)

This morning the kids had so much energy we decided it was time for some extreme sledding in Dimple Dell (for you non-locals we have a large ravine with horse trails about 1 block away that provides some excellent runs). We dragged our sleds out there all bundled up and went whooping down the trails. We all stayed warm despite the falling snow. Although we had a couple of close calls, none of us fell over the drops of the trails. A handy scrub oak saved our bacon a couple of times. So, we've dragged our tired out legs back up the hills and back home and are now in for some holiday relaxing.....together......(contented sigh)..

Happy Christmas Eve-Eve!!

Room Parent

Sadly I don't get to volunteer in the kids' classrooms as much as I would like, with the baby (toddler, now) around. I keep telling myself that when Sydney is in school, that will be my time to help out. This year I told the kids I would help with A party in each of their classes. I helped for Halloween in Gunnar's and the "Winter" Party in Savannah's.

I found a cute idea online at Betty Crocker to make Sugar Cookie Snowmen Faces. They looked pretty simple, and yummy! The kids loved them and were so excited. I was really glad I bought 2x the amount of Gummy Lifesavers that I thought I would need because they were gobbling them left and right. They are really yummy!

I was so tickled at all the creative ideas they came up with. I made a sample and told them they could copy that or come up with their own plan. One girl made an alien with 3 eyes, and licorice cords connecting them. Another boy just stacked mounds of mini M&Ms on his until they wouldn't stick anymore. One cute boy asked if he could make an extra one for his little sister....this melted my heart, so I let him....only he proceeded to eat that one too about 5 minutes later. Oh well!

I just loved getting a look at Savi's world and spending time with other kids her age. I think I really like 2nd graders, there is such a frank honestness about them that pulls you right in.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Holiday" Program

At Savi's school each year, the 2nd grade classes put on a "Holiday" Program. They used to call it a CHRISTMAS Program but apparantly that offended someone somewhere, so they changed it. Hey, at least it's not a "Winter" Program, it could be worse I guess!

They have been practicing these cute songs since September and she was SO excited. We did her hair "extra fancy" in anticipation! This girl is a performer I think. Between her dancing, church and school performances she's had a lot of practice.
Mistletoe was my favorite song, I'd never heard it before. Here are the lyrics:
In the doorway of my kitchen, you might get an awful itchin’
To give somebody a big holiday smooch
For if you would look above your head
You’d see the green and white and red and put that little plant to use
It’s a fearsome, old tradition in the doorway of my kitchen
And there’s hardly anyone who can escape
(Let me out of here!)
If you stand inside the doorway, someone’s bound to make it your way
And unless you duck real fast
Smack, Yuck, Too Late!

I want no part of this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s fine
When my uncle kissed his fiancée
I thought they would be there all day
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t want any part of mistletoe

Well, Aunt Bertha nearly drowned me when she put her arms around me
And said, “Fancy that! Why, there’s the mistletoe!”
It was most unpleasant, but I knew she had my present
So I let her kiss me while I held my nose!

I want no part of this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s fine
I don’t want a smooch or kiss or peck
Not on my cheek or on my neck
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t want any part of mistletoe

Get this!
Once the kid across the street came to our house for a treat
Hoping for a cookie or some pie
In the doorway he was standing when old Rover made a landing
And licked that kid until I thought he’d die

Everyone’s into this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s F-I-N-E fine
From Aunt Bertha to Rover when will kissing time be over?
I don’t want any part of mistle toe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t……..well maybe…..nah!
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! Smooch! Yuck!

Sweet and Sassy, just like my girl!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yo Queiro Enchiladas

My sister K loves this recipe. She's asked me for it on more than one occasion, including today. I've made it for my family countless times, taken it to church gatherings and even served it to friends from Sweden when they came to visit. They'd never had Mexican food before, but it was a hit!
I've never written it down before now, but I thought that for the sake of posterity, I'd better do it....and while I'm at it, I should share. It really is the season after all!

While this is a chicken enchilada recipe, I've mixed it up and done it with ground beef as well...the only change is to make it as though you were having tacos...season accordingly. Enjoy!

Nat's Blond Enchiladas
Serves 4-6

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
chili powder
6 flour tortillas (soft taco size, I use Mission)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (you can also use Pepper Jack, if you like it SpIcY!)


1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 small can diced green chilies

Preheat oven to 350.

Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with chili powder and sauté in pan sprayed with Olive Oil Pam, or something like it. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from heat. While chicken rests, combine all 4 ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl and blend well. Heating the sauce is not required. Spread some sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Also spread a small amount of sauce down the middle of each flour tortilla, then add chicken, some cheese, roll and place in dish . Once all tortillas are in the dish, spread remaining sauce over the top, making sure to cover all of the tortilla (or they will harden). Top all with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with Spanish rice or black beans....or both! Also delish with cut up fresh tomato and/or green onion garnish.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adolescent Humor

The kids and I took a quick trip to Wally's World the other night. On the way back to the kid's dept. you have to pass the Women's undergarments area. I noticed that my 2 older kids had slowed down and were whispering and giggling to each other. (we have passed this area many times, and they have NEVER had any reaction)

Me - What's so funny guys, did I miss the joke?

S&G - (pointing) - THAT's funny... hehehehhehehhhehehhe

Me - Why? It's just underwear.

S - EVERYONE knows underwear is FUNNY, Mom!!

Me - Oh, I thought it was JUST underwear, silly me....

S - It's FUNNY because if someone pulled off your clothes you would just be standing there in your UNDERWEAR!!! hehhehehhehehhehehhehe

Sigh....I guess they are really getting to that age.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parenting is FuN

...especially now that they're getting a little bit older. We have a lot of chaos still, but I'm starting to see the light on the horizon. Just this last week I had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with my oldest daughter who is becoming quite mature (with more emotionally charged melt-downs which I'm sure will only become more hormonally enhanced within the next few years, but I digress....) and increasingly fun to be around.

Last Tuesday night I was invited to a Lia Sophia party by a long time friend (we're talking San Jose days) that I hadn't seen in about 3 years. I jumped on the opportunity to shamelessly steal jewelry design ideas and catch up with my girlfriend....and it was a great time to spend with my girl too. She listened to the presentation, ohhhed and awwwed over all the jewelry and confirmed that yes, my friend, still HAS IT in the kitchen. She's a fabulous cook! (Suz, if you're reading this, I NEED your Artichoke Dip recipe! It's my own personal brand of heroin. ;P)

On Friday, we again had the chance to hang out together in honor of her friend's 8th birthday party, ice skating. Savannah has never done this, and I only have rarely, so I'm not the greatest.... Nonetheless, I told her I would do my best to keep her from bailing. We went around and around, she on the right hand (her other hand clutching the wall) and one of her other friends on my left. A few rounds in my poor arm sockets were getting a quite the workout! And by the end of 2 hours she was skating on her own, and even went out into the middle of the rink. We laughed, joked and got to know each other on different terms than the normal, "how's your homework?". I have to say, she is really growing up fast. I enjoyed talking to her with a group of her friends and getting the inside picture of her world and how she feels about what's going on. One of her BFFs was so funny, she was doing the "Bambi on ice" impersonation (not on purpose)....and I said, "Are you alright?, you look like you're about to do the splits"....says she, "That's OK, I'm CUTE when I fall!" And I have to admit, she was right!

Savi is turning 8 next month and already has plans to throw a movie night pj party for a FEW close friends. We only do a "big effort for Mom" party every other year but she talked her way into it...she takes after her Aunt Kasey that way, she's a great negotiator! She'd already made the invitations on her own, how could I refuse?

I've really been pondering how quickly it all goes lately and trying to absorb all of the fun and discovery of watching her become her own person. I think we're going to be great friends, and that's my fondest hope. I pray that I can be a good Mom AND a good friend to her.

This was her birthday last year....we did a dress up party, all the girls arrived with their favorite dress-ups in hand and I had a couple of other Moms to help me do hair, make-up and nails. It was a blast!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

We usually decorate the 1st Saturday in December. But did you know there are only 4 of them left this year?....Saturdays, that is!
Super bonus, the earlier you buy your tree, the better selection you have! I know first-hand. Remember the year Dad thought it would be a good idea to wait until Christmas Eve to buy the tree??? We ended up with 3 table top trees tied together, top to bottom! Ahhh, the memories.
This year our tree is so fresh, and smells SOOOOO good. Chris said the guy at the lot said they just came in on Wednesday. I'm not one who could ever do the artificial tree route, I love the smell of a real tree way too much. Not as convenient, I know, but worth it to me.
It takes all day to clean, straighten, move furniture and set everything up. When it is done, we REALLY enjoy relaxing and enjoying the tree. One of the traditions on my side of the family that we really enjoy is the ornament exchange. Each year every one of my siblings' families (7 of us) and my parents send an ornament (sometimes homemade, othertimes not, depending on how busy the family happens to be that year). It is so wonderful to remember the loved ones who sent the ornaments as we decorate the tree, and the memories associated. Hey Clines, remember the Davises' Big Ash Crack of 2003? LOL! We love ya!
We are so glad the holiday season is here. Hope all of you are enjoying the sweet feelings that wash over us as we remember Christ. Merry Christmas!

My Foray into Black Friday

Wow, a whole world has been existing under my nose that I never knew about. The crazy, I'll get up at 3:30 am to get a deal, world. I am not one who would camp outside for a deal, but I was ready for a new experience, and was up to an early morning.

My friend Liz is more experienced and told me that we must have a game plan. She came over TG night and we mapped out the plan over ads and made our lists. One thing we knew, to be successful you have to work as a team. Someone to wait in the line, someone to grab the hot deals. We knew our chances of success depended on timing and sheer luck....and on most counts we were dang lucky! We were at WalMart at 4am and finished up our shopping marathon around 11am after visting about 8 stores.

I'm all set for Christmas AND both of my girl's birthdays now. I even scored super hot gongas on some items I'd already purchased for Christmas, that will be returned with old receipts next week. Cha-ching!

It did take a couple of nights but I'm caught back up on sleep with no napping required, and I think I might just attempt this next year too....if I find a willing partner, that is :)...

Stuffed like a Turkey

Check out these distended bellies. I'd say they've had enough to eat! As we went around the table we heard lots of, "I'm thankful for good food to eat!"
We had a nice Thanksgiving with our little family and "one big fat turkey" that Gunnar helped me pick out. His one stipulation? "It has to be bigger than Dad's head." I don't know where he came up with that one. The other must for TG from Gunnar was Grandpa Cline's green jello with pears and marashino cherries! He's got some really specific ideas, this one.
Sydney loved all the hoopla, her favorite part of the whole day? You guess.....yep, the olives!
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and spent some time counting your blessings! I did, and I ran out of fingers and toes!!

At the carwash, yeah

I happened to have my camera in the car late one night after the grocery store, when we decided to run through the carwash. It is ridiculous how much enjoyment my kids get out of a visit to the carwash. It is so worth it on so many levels. Just had to share these cute expressions.

A Tale of Two Parties

It was the best of times, it was the best of times!! Gunnar had the occasion to attend 2 birthday parties back to back! He has never been invited to a friend's party before, and I guess, when it rains, it pours.
The first was a rock climbing party, and a parent was needed to belee each climber. Dad was away at the Stanford/Cal game that weekend, so the girls were left with a sitter and Gunnar and Mom had some one on one time. Always a good thing! We had a great time and learned alot about a sport neither of us had been exposed to. His friend, the birthday boy, was SO excited when he got there, it made him feel great. We are both quite fond of Indiana Erik! He's a great friend and we had such a good time at his birthday.
Once we were done climbing the walls, we headed home to relieve the sitter (who had done hair and mani/pedis on the girls :) ) and take Savannah to dance. Directly after that, we ran Gunnar to party #2 with Sam, where he would enter Jedi training. His cute Mom had her hair done Princess Leah style (I'm bummed I didn't have my camera on me for that one) and 7-8 cute little Jedis-in-training in outfits she had sewn herself. I don't know how I'm ever going to compete with these creative parties come March, I'm telling you!!
Gunnar had a great time, and came home on a sugar high from all the cake and treats! I'm so glad he's making good friends at school, we have been a bit concerned about how girl-heavy our little neighborhood is and we're relieved that his world is expanding. He is great at being a friend and it's nice to see the results of that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Savi post

Some of Savannah's recent creative products. Earrings for her teacher's birthday, and play-doh guy.
Savannah is such a great kid! She is happy, responsible, helpful, obedient, and only occasionally does she like to terrorize her brother and sister. Her teachers would never believe that last part, because at school she is all about being quiet and doing her work.

Says her teacher at our recent parent teacher conference, as we're looking at her PERFECT report card..."So, are you aware that she is the perfect child, or are all your kids like this?" No, really, I'm aware.
So, Wednesday night when Savi was complaining that her tummy didn't feel good and she didn't think she'd be going to school in the morning, I should've seen the red flag. I didn't though, I just said, "Let's see how you're doing in the morning."

Fast forward 2 hours, Savi comes into my room just as I've settled into bed. "Mom, I threw up." Ughhhhhhh. Thinking to myself, WHY didn't I just give her a bowl, just in case? There's a lot of it. It's chunky, and smelly. It's on her jammies, and blankets, and sheets, and CARPET!!! Yuck. Best plan of attack? Get her changed, on the couch with a clean blanket AND A BOWL. Gather dirty linens and start washer. Metal spatula all gook off carpet into plastic bag. Steam clean carpet FOREVER. New linens, Savi back in bed WITH BOWL. She puked 2 more times, and got it all in the bowl. Yay, so much easier that way.
Can you believe Sydney slept through ALL of this in the same room?? Angel baby.
So Savi DID stay home from school. She actually stayed on the couch until 4pm where she colored and watched the new American Girl movie, drank gingerale and nibbled crackers. She's a pretty good sick kid.
But I'm SO GLAD she is better today and back to her happy, creative, playful self!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's My Life

25 Years ago I:*loved babies and couldn't be in a room with a real live one for 2 minutes before it was in my arms*played Pioneers in the Pogue's backyard every Saturday, where we picked berries and mushed them and added sugar and water before we slurped them all up*played GI Joe and Smurfs with the boy across the street*thought break dancing was THE coolest thing ever*played centipede and ms pacman on the atari*really wanted to skateboard on that half pipe with all the older boys*was almost kidnapped for the 2nd time in Kmart

20 Years ago I:*started babysitting and fell in love with a newborn Austin Hunter when I got to feed him his first bottle, seriously, I felt honored when the kid spit up on me, he was THAT precious*went to girl's camp for the first time and got a white mouse from my secret sister, my Mom was thrilled when it died within 12 hours - we never had to take it home*started middle school and was flummuxed by all the hand-holding and going-around couples...weirdos*was thrilled when my brothers went in on a Nintendo so we could all play Mario Bros*was stalked by a flasher (with my BFF) when walking to the bus stop or drug store for candy runs...I must've had a sign on my forehead that said, please, kidnap me!

15 Years ago I:*went to EFY and hung out with my big sister K at BYU and really began our friendship*was so excited to finally get my drivers license, all my friends remember my silver VW bug and listening to Beastie Boys because the tape got stuck in the player*worked for my BFFs parents at their yogurt shop AND mexican restaurant*attended 6 am seminary training every weekday, I think I'm still catching up on the sleep I missed

13 Years ago I:*bought a pager*went to The Edge to dance with my friends on Friday nights*worked at the Gap, as a Bank Teller and as a photographer AND went to school at the same time*almost gave my parents a heart attack with all the worrying they were doing about where I might be at 3am*moved out of my parents house because I had their car but only came home to shower and change, and interestingly enough, that wasn't working out for them*met and became best friends with the man that would become my husband within the next 16 months

8 Years ago I:*became a Mom when Savannah joined our family*lived in a Condo that I loved, right across the street was TJ Maxx ...dangerous!*worked as a Sales Recruiter at XO Communications and had a wonderful boss who finally appreciated me and made me feel exceptionally good at what I did

5 years ago I: *moved into a big suburban house to accomodate a growing family*gave birth to my 1 and only son*quit my paying job and became a full fledged SAHM to 2 rowdy munchkins

3 years ago I: *obtained a passport and actually used it!*traveled to Costa Rica for 9 days with my sweetheart for celebrate our 10 year anniversary (albeit a few months early)*discovered all the things we fell in love with about each other are still there, much to our delight and relief*became pregnant with our 3rd child, a daughter*finally caved and traded in the Outback for a Minivan*joined a book club and rediscoved the joy of literature

1 year ago I: *went to Disneyland for the first time with all the kids*became a soccer Mom*had 1 child in preschool and 1 in first grade, and some free time with my baby*started beading, one of my only full fledged hobbies*had my parents join us for Christmas at our house, it was wonderful

5 months ago I*drove to CA by myself with the kids to visit my parents and siblings, so they can get to know their cousins better....this was actually our 3rd annual trip* went camping 2x

3 months ago I: *spent time with my parents and siblings in SoCal, first time in years both of my sisters and I have been in the same place at the same time, yes, we took pictures!

Last month I: *wore a skeleton shirt with a beating heart as my Halloween costume*joined facebook and reconnected with my long lost BFF from high school

Last week I: *spent the weekend in St George and hiking in Zion National park

Yesterday I:*raked and bagged mucho leaves, planted pansies, sliced my finger deeply on a garden tool and am still nursing it*did laundry so Chris would be ready to travel*made Hungarian Goulash and Spaetzle for dinner in a crock-pot that turned out DIVINE

Today I: *enjoyed my children singing during their Primary Program in Sacrament meeting*dressed all the kids extra cute and astonished myself at just how beautiful they are (really!)*talked to my hubby on the phone*made play dough for Savi's 2nd grade class so they can make Indian Bead necklaces this week*made home made pizza for dinner*survived a day that Sydney didn't take a nap

Tomorrow I will: *call my partner to set up visiting teaching*take my kids to the library*vacuum the house*make sure Sydney takes a nap

Next year I will: *watch Savannah be baptized and get her ears pierced*go to CA for a Cline family reunion*have 2 kids in school ALL DAY and really be productive with only 1 sidekick*visit my sister's family in AZ if it kills me.

Now I tag:

Girly Girly Girl

This Sydney of mine is so funny! Her personality is in Full Speed Ahead mode.
Last night about 10:30 as I am feeling ready for bed, SHE, decidedly, is not, and brings me some shiny pink nail polish and asks, "Pretty Toes?"
I figure I may as well, since I'm not getting anything else done.. So we paint the toenails and blow on them for a minute so the carpet doesn't end up that pretty pepto shade. THEN, she asks, "Pretty Fingers?" Oh, I guess so.
I don't know, but it seems she's pretty young for all this, not quite 2. Yet, she sits still, so why not? THIS I do know. She is going to be one high maintenance young lady when she is a teenager. I can feel it coming on, and it's freakin' me out.
Look at how she hams it up for the camera. Dangerous.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Snapfish extension!

Due to the amazing popularity of our free book offer, we've extended the time you have to create your free book to 11:59pm PST on Saturday, November 22nd.
The site is experiencing intermittent slowness and customer service wait times are very long. We apologize for this inconvenience.
The best time to create your book is on weekdays in the morning or early afternoon.

More time to perfect the book, sweet!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Freebie Alert!!

Get a free Snapfish Custom Photobook here. It's worth $30, but YOU have to cover shipping costs. Totally worth it in IMO.
I think I may do an art book of Savannah's best pieces....or maybe a "year in pictures"...or a book full of pics of my kids as babies....oh, so many options!!

Offer only good until 11:59 pm TOMORROW NIGHT, Friday! They will give you until Sunday at 11:59 pm to complete your book though.

Gunnar's Hero

...is his Kindergarten teacher. Anyone who has had the misfortune to give my kids Play-Doh as a gift, or mention what a great toy it is, knows that I DETEST the stuff. Early on in the child rearing process, I too, was sucked in. Kids have to have Play-Doh, it's a classic toy! Until it became ground into my carpets and tracked across my floors. My friends would tell me, just buy a dollar store shower curtain and put that on the floor and they can go to town. Not so, my kids do not contain their play well....so about a year ago, I declared, "THERE WILL BE NO PLAY DOH IN MY HOUSE!"
Enter, Parent Teacher Conferences. Gunnar loves school. He is learning to write. He recognizes most of the letters but is having a hard time writing them the correct size, you know, between the dotted lines.
Mrs. H tells me that G can work on this by increasing his fine motor skills.
Me - Oh really? How could I help him to do that?
Mrs. H - Play-Doh.
Mrs. H - Have him roll a certain number of balls for you, that will also help with counting. Or have him roll it into snakes, etc. The more he does it the better his writing will become.
Me - Oh, is that all I need to do? (Screaming inside)
So, as we rolled back into town from our trip to Zion, I dutifully gathered my troops and took them to the local Wally's World to pick out 3 colors each at .62 a pop. Not bad, but I'm still dreading what lies ahead.
The rules were laid out. No leaving the table! Only plastic Ikea knives are to be used for cutting....only on plastic placemats! No mixing colors!
I was pleasantly surprised. The kids played for hours, happily, peacefully. They did not mix colors. The did not even drop much of it on the floors. They were content....and careful. They do not want Play-Doh rights stripped again. Let's see if it REALLY helps the handwriting. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gobble gobble!!

I'm going to go out and get my supplies for this cute craft tomorrow. What a fun idea to get your kids thinking about all they have been blessed with.
We have so much to be grateful for!

If you want to craft a cute gratitude turkey for your house too, see here.

Time in Zion

The kids had Parent Teacher Conferences last week. Which meant, no school Friday....and Chris had Tuesday off for Veteran's Day, being a government employee :)... So we took the opportunity as an excuse to cruise south to St George and Zion National Park. Chris and I have been, of course. The kids have not. Perfect opportunity. It was a fun weekend of hiking, picnicing, playing, eating dinner out (I'm sure this was the highlight for the kids, as much as they love an excuse to eat out) and being together.
They had a blast on the trails, and the backdrop was absolutely breathtaking. We took alot of scenic shots. It was also a great time of year to go! In the past we have been in May and July and the temps were very warm to say the least. This time we had a gorgeous day the 1st day, temps in the 60s and drizzle and 40-50s the next. But it was wonderful hiking and exploring weather. We're thinking when the kids are a bit older we'll brave the Narrows again. Chris and I did that PK (pre-kids) and it was incredible. Another hike that we'll have to wait on for LATER ON (when the kids aren't bound to run off an edge) is Angel's Landing. It's pretty strenuous and has a segment where there are steep cliffs on both sides of the trail. Folks have fallen and died from that trail in the past. I hear it's pretty amazing though. Maybe a few trips down the road!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Miss Chevious

I had a bad feeling as I was getting out of the shower this morning. Once a few weeks back, I had the same feeling and as I was drying off. I listened closely to what was happening in the house and I heard Sydney crying through what sounded like a closed door. So, I wrapped the towel around me and hurried downstairs to look for her. She was in the office, behind the closed door and looked like she had been crying for at least 10 minutes....she was pretty hysterical because she couldn't get the door opened from the inside and she was trapped with nobody coming to her rescue. So, thinking that maybe this happened again, I hurried down the stairs, in my towel.

She was in the office, all right. But she was far from hysterical, she was happy as a clam. She was standing on the desk, and this is what was next to her...

She had plucked quite a few keys from her Daddy's laptop, and I'm sure she would've continued to do so until they were all taken off. She had no idea that this was a bad thing, I think she thought it was some kind of puzzle. I gave her a swat on her bottom and told her it was naughty and she needed to say sorry. She got really sad once she figured it out, she doesn't like when Mommy is disappointed with her. She kisses me and says the sweetest little sorry you can imagine.

She is really getting to the age where she is making all kinds of trouble though. Last week she shampooed my carpets and the couch with sunblock, before that she took a red marker to the downstairs loveseat (it was washable, thank goodness!). I think I may have to start a regular thread called "The Adventures of Miss Chevious".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leaves, glorious leaves!

The last week or two the kids have been spending the majority of their free time in the yard....raking leaves.
It seemed insane to me, but then I started spying on them. They would rake them into a pile and then jump in them, roll in them, toss them over their heads and then start over again! It's been nice and warm, so it's been the perfect past time.
This weekend we raked all the leaves that were on the grass, the trees were only half way done dropping them and we knew we would have to do it again in a few weeks. We bagged up about 10 jumbo sized leaf bags, so there were no more leaves to jump in. Lo and behold, a nice big front moved in that very night preceeded by monster winds that split one of our neighbor's beautiful pear trees down the middle. (Sorry, Liz!)
Whaaaa-laaa, more leaves to rake, except now they're under rain and snow...maybe they'll get some more play in after a few days once things dry out a little.
I never guessed that something I used to look at as a necessary annual chore day would become weeks of much anticipated play! Always a silver lining, I tell ya!