Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Reading Program

We participated in the Summer Reading Program at our library again this summer. At first, I wasn't too thrilled about it. For one, the rewards were stickers.


Okay, stickers aren't bad. But, they seemed lame to the kids compared to last year's prizes.

Secondly, to get the grand prize (which was the SAME medal as last summer) you had to read/be read to for 20 hours total in about 60 days. Adam reads more than an hour a day, but Grace has a hard enough time sitting for 15 minutes. 1,200 minutes total was a lot for her. Mike pointed out, though,that we have family scripture reading every night, and that with our "learning time" reading every day, she would be fine.

So, we decided to do it.

They both earned their stickers and medals. Yay!

The library held a party today, ending the program. If the kids wore their medals they earned, they got a FREE pass to the science museum here! We've been wanting to go for awhile, but it's a little pricey. But free passes? Score!

We made book bags, ate cake, and played games.

Oh, and got our free passes!

Can you tell I'm excited about the free science pass factor?

I am.

We had a lot of fun today!

We are still working on the Barnes and Noble summer reading program (kids in 1st through 6th grade get a FREE book if they read any 8 books) and The Book of Mormon Reading Challenge (kids ages 2-17 get a $5 or $10 gift code for Deseret Book - sweet! - for reading The Book of Mormon for 30 or 60 days) .

I LOVE summer reading programs! Adam, Grace, and Josh LOVE reading/being read to anyways, but it's always fun to be rewarded for hard work!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Caught Up (Again)

I'm all caught up with this blog for July... so if you don't have a feed, you may want to scroll down.

Next month I'm going to stay caught up and load my pictures every day to my camera so that I can post things shortly after they occur.

Or that's the plan.

We'll see how it goes. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Itty Bitty Chefs & Basketball Classes

Adam's been taking "Basketball Skills" at the community center these past few weeks. He loves basketball (especially 'Kobe'), and has been bummed that it's been way too hot to play basketball outside here this summer. His coach is a retired basketball coach and is GREAT! Adam always leaves class sore and tired, but determined to get better!

Grace is old enough now to be in the Itty Bitty Chefs class at the community center. It seems like Adam was just taking these classes, while I pushed Grace in the baby swings outside. She's getting too big! Grace LOVES cooking, and she has had so much fun cooking with her new friends. I love how absolutely proud she is when she makes us her creations at home, too.

As for Josh, he sticks with me during the classes. It's way too hot for the swings, so we stay inside. But speaking of skills and talents, look what he can do now:

He won't drink formula out of it (can't blame him... that stuff smells nasty!), but he will drink a little juice from it.

And he didn't even have to take "Sippy Cup Skills" to figure it out. A-maz-ing. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And So The Messes Begin...

Josh's favorite thing to do is play in the refrigerator. He loves all of the bottles and containers and the cold factor.

Tonight he had already eaten his dinner, so I cleared anything that could potentially be messy away, and let him play while in there we ate.

A few minutes later (I should have seen this coming, I know), we heard him making "Mmmm! Mmmm!" sounds.

Somehow he had gotten the leftover Spaghetti-o's off the top shelf.

And had himself a snack.

We all cracked up.

Except for Adam. Because they were his leftover Spaghetti-o's.

He's managed to dump out a container of toys or two, but this is his first real mess that he's made.

I'm sure that there are many more to come. ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Christmas in July

Our family likes to make plates of treats to bring around to all of our friends at Christmas-time.

Last Christmas we were just a little too busy with our new cute baby, so we never got to do it. The kids LOVE bringing treats to people, and were bummed that it didn't happen.

I got to thinking how fun it would be to do a little Christmas in July treat. It makes sense in a way... everyone always gets so many treats at Christmas, and I know that we don't get to appreciate all of the stuff that we get. So why not spread the Christmas spirit at a different time of year?

We spent last week mixing up dough, cutting out sugar cookies, baking, decorating, and finally delivered them on Monday for FHE.

And as we drove the treats around, and I watched the red frosting melt right off of the candy cane cookies, I realized that maybe there is a real reason for delivering treats in December.


The kid's wore a Santa hat, and we had a BLAST surprising everyone with our treats! We got a lot of laughs and a lot of, "Merry Christmas-es" and it was a really fun night!

And just for my mom (who complained the last time I mentioned cookies I had made on the blog without sharing a recipe... just teasin' ya, Mom), here is my very most favorite sugar cookie recipe. It makes buttery, slightly-sweet perfect soft sugar cookies that are just slightly crispy on the edges. YUM!

Perfectly Soft Sugar Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In an electric or stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.

In 2 batches, place in plastic wrap in a disc shape and chill for at least 2 hours for best results.

Once chilled, flour the surface and roll and cut into desired shapes (I roll to about 1/4"-I like thicker cookies). Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until very lightly golden brown. Remove and let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pioneer Day Celebration

We really wanted to go to St. George for Pioneer Day this year. However, our air conditioning in our car hasn't been working, and a 2-hour drive in the heat to get to a city that is just a few degrees cooler than Las Vegas didn't seem like too much fun.

Mike found a local celebration that one of the stake's here throws, and we went over there for their Pioneer Day Carnival (it was also a fundraiser for the LDS Girl's Camp campground up here)... and had a great time!

There were jump houses, games, funhouses, and pioneer-themed activities and lots of food! And a great fireworks show at the end to boot!

We had so much fun! I can't believe this is the first that we've heard about it! Mike fixed the a/c in our car (he completely and totally rocks), so maybe we'll make it to St. George next year... or maybe we'll just have to crash North Stake's pioneer party again. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Birthday Dress #4

Every year I make Grace a dress for her birthday.

First birthday dress:

Second birthday dress:

Third birthday dress:

She's going to be 4 soon.

Which means that she needs a new birthday dress.

And thanks to my new sewing desk (whatever, Adam, it's mine ;) ), I was able to work on it, and over several days finish it.


I LOVE how it turned out, and so does Grace.

When I showed it to Mike, however, he started laughing.

And asked if she would be making tortillas and frijoles in it.

Because it slightly resembles the beautiful Mexican dresses that my friend wears.

And because he's rude enough to laugh at a dress that I've worked for days on. ;)

Comments from my silly husband aside, I am happy with it! Not happy that my baby girl is going to be 4 soon, though.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Tooth! A Tooth!

After weeks of gnawing on EVERYTHING and drooling like CRAZY and being a serious cranky pants with swollen gums, a tiny tooth finally emerged!

My kids always have the hardest time with the first teeth. Up until they come through. Then they are fine.

I'm so happy to have my happy baby again! And crossing my fingers for NO biting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This girl is so ridiculously cute in a ponytail.

I can't stand it.

We're getting ready to make a trip to Miss Amanda to get her hair chopped again, so I've got to enjoy it in all of it's ponytail glory now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grace's Naughty Fruit Salad

"I made a naughty fruit salad!" is what Grace proudly announced as she left her first cooking class at the community center.

She cracks me up.

It's naughty because, instead of having a fruit salad of just fruit, it has the additions of whipped cream, coconut, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.

Not so healthy, and according it Grace, downright, "naughty."

But, pretty yummy.

She insisted on making it for us for our FHE treat tonight.

We loved it! She did a great job!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Let's Play.... What's in My Washer Today!

Any guesses as to what I found in my washing machine today as I transferred the wet clothes to the dryer?

I mean, besides clothes?




Time's up!

The correct answer:

I found a plastic boat, a bottle of bubbles, and a part to a door lock (I think).

Anyone guess correctly?


Sometimes when I've had a really, really hard day, I allow myself to remember what life was like back in the day.

You know, back in the day when I never had to leave a full grocery cart in the middle of the store because of a tantrum, when I got an average of 7 hours of sleep a night, when I didn't have to wipe ketchup off of ceilings, and when I could listen to the speakers in church meetings.

But then I quickly remember that back in the day I only had clothes in my washing machine.

And how boring and dreadful and awful is that?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Magic Act

We went to another super-fun performance at our library, this time for a magician!

The kids LOVED him... especially when he turned a bird into a bunny, which they later got to meet at the end of the show.
Adam's favorite trick was when he made candy pour out of a bag, even though the bag seemed empty. Grace's fave was when the magician drew a picture on a piece of paper of a pirate and the pirate came to life and sang.

Pretty fun night!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why My Power Bill is Ridiculous

Because when she tells me that she misses "Mommy's most delicious chocolate chip cookies," I comply.

Even when it's noon.

And 107 degrees out.

The look of joy on this cute face is worth it.

To me, anyways.

Mike may feel differently when he sees the electric bill.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Learning Time

Each afternoon, when Josh goes down for a nap, the kids and I have learning time.

We do a half an hour of "learning" and a half an hour of reading.

I had a friend ask me why in the world I did it... that kids need a break.

I agree that kids need a break. However, I think kids love learning. Especially when it's fun. And they need some structured time in the summer, so why not learn during it. Adam and Grace beg me for learning time all day.

I work with Adam and Grace before they enter kindergarten (I don't do preschool outside of the home), and then gather things throughout the year for the summer.

This is the shelf I keep all of our learning stuff on:

On Tuesdays we do math, Wednesdays science, Thursdays language arts, and Fridays social studies.

There are SO many fun resources on the web for stuff to teach your kids... for free! These are my favorite sites:

Super Teacher Worksheets
Kids Learning Station

So all you smart moms and teachers... any other fun resources/sites you like for teaching your kids that I should know about?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coloring the Water

For several days now, Grace has taken her markers and covered her hands completely in color. Luckily I've caught her each time before she touched anything. Each time I've said, "Go wash your hands." And she cheers as she runs for the bathroom.

Today I finally asked her why she was doing it when she knows she can only color on paper.

She told me, "I'm just coloring the water, Mommy."

And then she showed me.

When she washes her hands, the sink fills up with colored bubbles and water.

It does look pretty cool.

I am glad that she keeps it to her hands only. Don't want another one of these incidents:

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Mike was on his way to his before-church meetings, when an ambulance appeared.

He pulled over and stopped.

Unfortunately, the person behind him wasn't paying attention and slammed into the back of our car.

And then the driver in the other car drove around our car and took off.

Not only is the driver a not-so-nice person for being involved in a hit-and-run, he's apparently not the brightest bulb, because he did it in front of an ambulance and a street full of witnesses. And not only that, but a minute later a police officer showed up (on the way to the same accident that the ambulance was gong to), and was able to get the whole story from the witnesses and ambulance driver (who stopped to see if Mike was okay).

Everyone wrote down his licence plate number and the police are pursuing it.

The amazing thing (to me) is that Mike is completely fine, not even sore AND our car is good. A few scratches, but nothing major. The other driver's car, on the other hand, was totaled. All of the witnesses were amazed that their car was driveable, because it looked so bad.

This car is tough! It's already been through some hard times, and it's added another one to the list. I'm so thankful that we were blessed that Mike was protected and wasn't injured and that our car was kept safe, too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adam's Little Brother Keeper

About 3 years ago (September 2007), we got a big package in the mail. Adam immediately claimed it, took it to his room, and furiously worked on it.

The next day, his creation was complete. An invention that he called, "Adam's Little Sister Keeper," designed to keep Grace away from turning off Curious George and away from his toys.

Josh and Adam are very best friends. These boys adore each other. However, Josh's mobility has started to create some problems. Josh has messed up more than one Transformers battle and Hot Wheels race.

We received another box in the mail recently. And again, Adam cut and colored away. Making another "Sibling Keeper." This time he called it "Adam's Little Brother Dog House."

The first time he tried to use it he realized his design flaw: that there was nothing preventing Josh from crawling out of the front door.

And Josh was happy to crawl out after every time Adam drug hm in it.

So, it's back to the drawing board.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Movie on the Green

On Friday and Saturday nights The District at Green Valley (home of the carousel) does a free family outdoor picture show. Complete with free popcorn.

We've always wanted to go, but it's been one of those things we never got around to... so at the beginning of the summer we printed out the list of summer movies, agreed on one, and planned it.

Tonight was the night! We went and saw, Curious George 2.

We had a blast!!!

We got there early (per our friend's suggestions) and threw down a picnic blanket on the grass and had a picnic dinner that the kids and I had packed earlier. I thought it would be miserable in the heat, but there were misters everywhere, so it actually felt nice.

The kids had fun running around, getting popcorn, making friends, getting popcorn, looking at the carousel, and getting popcorn before the movie started.

It's a good thing the popcorn was free.

These kids eat a lot of popcorn.


At 8:00 the movie started.

And as the opening credit started going, Grace decided she had to go to the restroom. Now!

After Mike and Grace stepped over/around/on all of the families sprawled out on their own picnic blankets, and got back from the restroom, we watched the movie together.

Cuddling with my kiddos under the stars in the cool grass and watching a silly movie about our favorite monkey on a big screen beats the movie theatre ANY day!

We definitely want to go again! They do the films April through October, so we will probably make our way down their again one of these weekends.