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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The kids had an early release day last Thursday so we'd planned on going to Gilbert after school since we'd got tickets for the Gilbert Temple Open House for Friday around noon.  Adelyn was too sick to go though so I called Kate, who we were staying with, to let her know we weren't coming that night, & that unless Adelyn had a huge improvement by the next morning we weren't going to come at all.  Fortunately Adelyn slept through the night (unlike the several previous nights) and was greatly improved in the morning.  We woke up at 7:30, debated for 20 minutes whether or not she was really okay to haul out of town, and finally decided we were going.  I was hoping to throw everything together in an hour, but 2 hours later we were on our way. 

We headed straight to the temple - we even had the kids wear their church clothes in the car.  Adelyn was a wreck at the temple.  First they have you sit in the adjacent chapel & watch a video presentation on temples.  She wouldn't sit still & was loud & difficult (probably because she was starving).  Then we walked across the lot to the temple & she refused to wear the booties they put on your feet to protect the carpet, so that meant I had to hold her the entire time.  Holding a 3 year old & wearing wedges meant that it was extremely difficult for me to bend down to the kids' level & talk in a whisper about the different rooms we were in.  I kept saying to Jeremiah, "did you tell them about this room?"  Mostly he hadn't.  And then Adelyn started squirming & wanted down.  They'd said when she refused the booties that she could get down if I took her shoes off, but at this point we were almost done with the tour.  And I was done.  Some rooms were nice & cool & some rooms were stifling so I was ready to get out of there.  Fortunately for me it wasn't my first experience in the temple so I hope our children got something out of it.  We went for them after all.  Jeremiah & I are really glad we took them, despite Adelyn's shenanigans. 

We ate a really late lunch then headed to the Porter's & I helped Kate finish putting dinner together.  The Elders joined us for dinner & Kate had made a great meal- flank steaks on skewers, strawberry/spinach salad, wild rice & breadsticks.  One of the Elders was an opera singer & a great pianist so he performed some music for us!  His companion was funny - he just stood back almost rolling his eyes.  I asked him if he'd had to listen to this a lot & he said yes, at every single house!  I asked if he was relieved when people didn't have pianos & he said he was.  Of course our husbands stayed in the kitchen - they weren't really interested in being culturally enriched.  Ellie & Addy made themselves comfortable in their first row seats. Callie was grinning from ear to ear.  She loved it.

On Saturday Kate made me go to a cycling class with her & a couple of her friends.  I'd never been to one before but I've heard that a lot of people love spin so it wasn't completely against my will that I went! ;)  I was totally proud of myself!  I was able to keep going the entire time without stopping!  I definitely wasn't able to keep up with Kate but I think I did pretty well (boot camp pays off again).  She gave me lots of pointers so it will be good if I ever decide to go to a spin class on my own.  I probably won't, but if I do I won't be so intimidated!  For now I'll stick to my early morning boot camp.  Kate had made one of my favorite breakfasts, French toast soufflĂ©, which I have learned from her is a million times better when it's made with actual French bread than with a loaf of sandwich bread. 

The kids had a great morning riding the 4-wheeler, going down the Porter's backyard zip line, & chasing their goats. 


We got ready & took the kids to see The LEGO Movie.  Jack had been dying to see it!  He was also really wanting to see his cousin (my cousin!) Hudson, so we invited Hudson to go with us.  Jack & Hudson had a good time together, & after the movie (totally funny & very clever, btw.  Great movie!) we all ate lunch at Kneaders with my uncle/aunt Troy, Stacy & Haley & Hunter.  Jack was so sad to say goodbye to Hudson, but we're going to visit them in a few weeks so I think that helped ease the pain. :) 

We were going to head to IKEA from there, but we ended up going to Bahama Buck's with the Porters first/instead.  My friends Miyeko & Katie have gone on & on about Bahama Buck's & how it's the best snow cones.  Bahama Buck's definitely didn't disappoint!  I didn't think it was any better than my fav place, Purple Penguin, in Henderson though.  It's equally great. 

By then it was 4:30 & we had a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of us & I had at least an hour or 2 of singing time to prepare so thanks to Kate's suggestion to order the stuff I wanted from IKEA online (when did they start selling stuff online?), we skipped that stop & headed home.  The kids were excited to see hot hair balloons on our drive.
It was a great weekend.  Thanks Porter family!!!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Oh Callie!

Callie was tearfully telling me last night about how everybody laughed at her yesterday.  She wasn't tearful just because of the reason she was laughed at - she was in trouble with Jeremiah & was mostly upset about that.  But anyway, she told me that her class was playing science jeopardy & she was up for her team.  Her teacher, Mrs. Perrine, showed a picture of a cloud on the projector & asked what kind of cloud it was.  Callie quickly buzzed in & said it was a puffy cloud.  I had a hard time not laughing when she told me this!  I asked her incredulously if she really said puffy cloud instead of cumulus.  She said yes she had & that everyone laughed.  I asked if her teacher had laughed & she said that she had & that she'd said, Callie! Are you kidding me?!" See the thing is Callie is pretty smart & has great grades most of the time, so it was a little surprising to me (& obvs Mrs. Perrine) that Callie would give that kind of answer! She lost the point & her team gave her a hard time, so that on top of being laughed at was a little too much for her.  I asked her if she honestly wouldn't laugh if she'd heard someone give the same answer.  She said she would & then we both laughed about it.


As I was wasting time this am browsing a blog I used to follow (when I used to blog) it talked about the "family history" (blog books) she's made.  It made me sad again that I don't blog any more.  I've made 2 blog books from the first 2 1/2 years of my blog & the kids LOVE to look through them.  They'll tell me a story about themselves from the book (as if I didn't know) or say "remember when..."  It's time for me to make more of an effort.  So in a pitiful tiny little pebble in the bottom of my blogging bucket attempt, here's my first post in 1 1/2 years! It would be crazy to think I could "catch up" at this point, especially since before said 1 1/2 years, I had been a sporadic blogger for a long time already.  I waste waaaay too much time on unimportant things on the computer/web.  Maybe I need to put my time into an important thing & rescue my blog/our family history.  It's nice to know that nobody looks at my blog any more & won't even know that I've posted so that if I end up still sucking it will be between me & blogger. :)  So onto a "post" - sort of.
Addy's been sick with a decent fever & cough for a few days.  She had a cold all last week, even on her birthday (maybe I'll get crazy & do a post later about her bday).  But yesterday & today she's been especially miserable.  Except for small bursts of energy, like when Jack & Ellie got home from school yesterday & she decided she needed her ballerina leotard on.  She pranced around for a few minutes then got her miserable eyes again.  This morning she brought in a basket of play food & started cooking me all kinds of snacks.  But now she's curled up in my lap trying to fall asleep.  You can't really see it in the pics, but her eyes are pretty bloodshot.  Even without the red she has sick looking eyes, but with them being bloodshot she looks absolutely pitiful.  Except in these pics of course! She's so so cute & sweet though.  I just love this girl! I told her she was pretty sick so she keeps saying to me & Jer that she's "so so sick."  She wanted to play with Taylor this am & was sad when I told her she was too sick.  She insisted she felt better & then had a little coughing fit & wanted to sit & watch Max & Ruby.  My poor girl.  Thankfully she slept all night last night - unless you count the part where she got up & needed medicine about 11:15.  But I was still up so it doesn't really count!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DIY Halloween Carnival

Every year I think about having a Halloween party for my kids & every year it doesn't happen.  Largely due to the fact that throwing one party (Jack's bday party) is a big enough job that it's too overwhelming to think about throwing a second party days later.  This year was going to be different.  But then when it came down to it - again - it was going to just be too much.

Enter my brilliant idea (I think so anyway).  A DIY Halloween Carnival!  I asked the friends who I or my kids hang out with on a regular basis to come & for each mom to be in charge of a game/activity.  They had to bring anything they needed for it, whether it was candy, prizes or a table to set up on or whatever else they could need.  It was so easy for me to plan!  And fairly stress-free too.  I told my friends to let me know as soon as they decided on a game/activity bc whoever called something first got first dibs.  My phone was blowing up! It was kinda fun! 

Our carnival included:
Bobbing for apples.  Gross. Unsanitary. I know! My kids were dying to try it though since they'd only ever seen it on tv or read about it.  And it is a classic!  My mom added a small amt of bleach to the water to help kill germs.

Face Painting.  After the booth "closed" the kids painted their own/each other's faces.  Callie especially loved it!

Spooky Bowling.  This was a hit.  The kids came back to it over & over again.

Doughnuts on a String Game  
Cupcake & Cookie Decorating
Pumpkin Toss.  Knocked over stacked Halloween cups.  I didn't get a picture. :(
Spider Craft.  Pony bead pipe cleaner spiders & webs on a paper plate.  I'm bummed I didn't get a picture of this, but here's where Jessica took the craft idea from.  Click on the pictures & it will take you to their different websites ;) :

Another Spider Craft.  Wish I had more pictures of this.  Katie was in charge & she gave the kids a black piece of construction paper, put it in an empty can flat, dropped some white paint on the paper, then gave the kids a marble to roll around in the box so that it made a "spider web" all over the paper.  After the papers had hung to dry for a little bit they glued plastic spiders (cut from rings) to their webs.  Both spider crafts were awesome!

Mummy Dogs.  I think this was the kids' favorite.  Stacie helped the kids wrap hot dogs with dough like mummies & they got to roast them over our fire pit.  Even after they were done with their mummy dogs the kids went back to the fire pit over & over again just to hang out.
It was a fun afternoon.  We did the carnival after school on Thursday & since our kids were basically fed :) most of us moms went out to dinner afterwards!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Ninja Party (Ninjago Style)

Jack LOVES all things Ninjago right now- and has for a while.  He told me AT HIS PARTY last year that he wanted a Ninjago party for his next birthday! Jeesh! So when I saw little Ninjago sets that were on sale or clearance in JANUARY I bought 14, knowing we'd have a Ninjago party come October.  And Jack never changed his mind. 
I'll have to come back later & add the links to the sites I got my inspiration from. 
The party was from 4-6:30 (the longest party I've done - usually they're 2 hours).  Since it was basically right after school for most of the boys we started with a snack.
"Burning Snake"
Fushi (fake sushi)
After a snack the boys went outside & Jeremiah timed them going through his "ninja" obstacle course.  Okay, there wasn't anything that ninja about it, but kids love obstacle courses.
After their obstacle course they came in for the Fortune Cookie Toss game.  The winner was the ninja who had the most points.  They each got 3 fortune cookies to toss into take-out boxes that were worth 3, 5 or 7 points.
Next up: Pin the Beard on Sensai Wu.  Jack really wanted Pin the Sword on Kai's Hand, but since I'd decided on the pin the _ while he was at school & had already spent a bit of time photoshopping Sensai Wu to get rid of the beard, I told him he had to be happy with it.  And he was.   Jack walked right up to it & put it right where it belonged.  I'd double wrapped the scarf & checked under their cheeks to see if they could see & he couldn't.  He is just a true pin the __ ninja!
The game that Jack was most excited about was the Throwing Star Game.  I ordered rubber throwing stars from Amazon that they threw into this foam insulation board that we already had.   
Hard to see but that's Ellie in front of Jack taking a turn.  She was better than a lot of the boys!  
Jack's 2nd turn.  He didn't do so hot on his first one so he had to redeem himself! ;)  
While we waited for my dad to bring our food the boys went crazy outside with dollar store ninja swords I gave them all.  I was really really hoping to find foam ones but I couldn't so they were flexible plastic.  I bought a couple blow up punch bags from Kmart & they had one of them popped in seconds.  What a waste of $7!  If they weren't attacking the punch bag they were attacking each other.  I had to take one boy's sword away because he just couldn't seem to remember to not hit PEOPLE with it.  Poor Ellie got a big welt on her arm from him!   Here's a few pics of party stuff:
Food's here!
For dinner we had non-spicy orange chicken from Panda Express with fried rice.  We also bought frozen pot stickers & egg rolls that they ate.  So I've thrown quite a few kid parties now & I couldn't think of a single one that the kids had eaten much.  So when I was ordering the orange chicken I thought 1 pan would definitely be enough for the boys (12 of them!) plus the rest of the family, including Grandpa & Grandma, Papa & Nana, and Uncle Jonny & Aunt Ann & Taylor.  The boys LOVED the orange chicken and almost every one of them had seconds.  By the time I got a chance to eat there were 2 puny pieces left.  And Jeremiah & his mom didn't get any!  I guess I should have made sure the rest of us had our food before I gave all the boys seconds.  It's not like I would have been starving them if they couldn't have seconds! :) I was shocked but glad it was a hit!
After dinner we let Jack open his presents.  Our friends are all overly generous! He got lots of Ninjago stuff.  He was thrilled!  
For his cake, I'd seen on another blog a cake the mom made that was simply rectangle cakes & a paper pagoda on top.  The paper pagoda is a free printable from HP that I printed.  So on the assembly directions it says it will take about 2 hours to assemble.  But I have a paper trimmer and I've done a lot of paper crafting so I knew it wouldn't take me 2 hours to assemble.  WRONG! It took me 2 1/2!  That put me behind schedule on the morning of the party!  I'm SOOO thankful that Jeremiah's mom had offered to make cupcakes for Jack's class & that my mom picked them up from her & delived them!  Even with that I was still behind schedule (an absolutely regular thing for me)!  When Jeremiah's mom got to my house to help me finish getting ready she made the frosting for the birthday cake & frosted it for me!  I have to say, the paper pagoda was very impressive looking!  Jack couldn't find any of his Ninjagos to put on the cake so he found one of his skeletons (enemies on Ninjago) and stuck it on!
As the boys were eating/finishing their cake & ice cream the parents showed up to get them.  It was a great party but it was great that it was over too! :)  We sent each boy home with a take-out box that had their name on it (I can't believe I forgot to take a picture).  Inside was a little Ninjago set (the sets I'd bought in January), a mini rubber ninja (like the ones in the quarter machines), and a fortune cookie along with a pair of chopsticks & the chopstick helpers they'd used to eat their dinner with.  They also got to take home their ninja swords and a ninja mask that we were working on even as the boys were arriving!   
After all of Jack's friends left he got to open presents from us, the grandparents, & aunts/uncles.    Jack had an awesome party!  I'm so grateful that Jeremiah's mom & my mom both saved the day again & helped me with his party!  Jack's very sweet & has thanked me several times & he likes to tell people that his mom throws the best parties ever!  (Not true, but I'm not too shabby!)   Happy Birthday Jack!

Happy 7th Birthday, Jack!

(with his requested birthday breakfast of crepes with strawberries & whipped cream)
I can't believe Jack's 7! (Oct 17) He's such a sweet boy & also tough.  Except for where feelings are concerned.  He's pretty sensitive.  Could be that he's outnumbered by girls, but it's probably just who he is. 

Jack had an awesome birthday this year.  Besides his birthday breakfast, my dad took him Del Taco for lunch & ate with him at school.  Jeremiah's mom made cupcakes for his class birthday treat & my mom took them in to him.  He had a pretty great birthday party & he got lots of awesome presents!  I don't think his birthday could have been any better for him!

Jack loves LEGOs, Ninjago (I know they're LEGOs but they get their own category), pizza & pasta carbonara, Eggo waffles for breakfast, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, video games - esp. Mario Bros., gymnastics, reading, drawing, hunting, camping, going to the lake, cooking, and spending alone time with Jeremiah and/or me (and grandparents). 

Things I love about Jack:
His voice/the way he talks.  He's always had this adorable, lilting way of talking.  I love that he hasn't completely outgrown it!
His wit.  He's very smart and also very funny.  His mind amazes us!
His drawings.  I just love them.  He's a really great artist & I want to save every one of his little drawings.
His sweet personality.  He is SO sweet with Adelyn (usually) and other toddlers/babies.  He talks to her in a higher than usual voice and wants to help her & make her happy.
His craftiness.  A little more than a year ago he got a hot glue gun burn while he was using the glue gun that he decided all on his own he needed for a craft he was making for me.  He was sitting on the ground with it & somehow got hot glue all over the top of his foot.  It was a 2nd degree burn! But he still wants to use the glue gun.  And tape & staples & regular glue.  He once made me what I like to call an Anthro inspired necklace out of paper, jute & staples.  He's pretty amazing!
His love of good food.  He's usually very willing to try food & he can sometimes be a little picky.  I'm sure part of this is that he's used to food/treats that I make, but sometimes he tells me that other cookies or other foods aren't as good as what I make. :)  One thing that made me laugh was that he wanted spaghetti & meatballs for his birthday dinner.  I thought that was sort of funny on its own because I MAYBE have made spaghetti & meatballs once ever.  Maybe.  I might not have at all.  But since we were having Chinese food for his birthday party dinner (on his actual birthday), I surprised him & made him spaghetti & meatballs the next night.  He didn't seem that excited when he saw me making the meatballs & said we should have sloppy joes.  He only ate the meatballs okay when we had dinner.  We were having leftovers for lunch the next day & he said he didn't want any meatballs with his spaghetti.  And in fact he doesn't really like meatballs!  LOL!

I love my Jackson boy SOOO much!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Traditions: Halloween Pajamas 2012

This is the best picture I could get.  But this is on September 30th & the kids are ready for bed in their new Halloween pj's so they can wake up in them on October 1st!  I love Halloween! Sadly enough, this is probably the last year I'll be able to get matching pj's for the girls from Carter's (my go-to pj place), since Callie will outgrow their largest size.  Boo.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Do you know the muffin girl?

For some reason Callie had got it in her head that I was going to be making good homemade breakfasts this weekend.  Callie was really annoyed with me for not making breakfast on Friday, so on Saturday she asked if she could make muffins all by herself.  This was her first solo flight!  I supervised but really was totally hands-off other than putting the muffins in the oven & taking them out - her arms just aren't that long yet!  I was SO impressed that she was able to make muffins completely by herself, and she was extremely proud of herself! And I was really proud of her too!