Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sixth Project: Architecture

Adam's project this month was on "Architecture." He chose "Mount Rushmore" for his subject. He had a lot of fun researching and learning about Mt. Rushmore. He had even MORE fun sculpting Mt. Rushmore out of clay... he loves everything art! He did such a great job... isn't it cute?

Adam's projects are A LOT of work!

Each project has to :

- be researched and documented on a Bibliography card (with a minimum of two sources from different places... one from internet, one from an interview, one from a book, etc.)

- have 6-10 index cards filled with the presentation information in their own handwriting (they are supposed to be memorized, though they can reference the cards if needed)

- have a visual (no two visuals can be the same per year... for example, he can only do one statue, one poster, etc. per year)

- have a "Project Proposal", turned in several weeks ahead of time, outlining the project

- have a "Project Reflection" with thoughts on how the student completed the project, how the student felt about it, etc.

And then they have to be presented to the class.

Like I said, it's a lot of work.

He always does SUCH a good job on his projects, though!

Lucky for Adam, there is only 1 more to be done this year! The last will be done in-class in groups.

Lucky for me, too.

It's just so much more fun to play outside with them, then it is to be inside doing homework.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tangled Date

Mike and I try to take each of the kids on a "date" each month. Just a little fun one-on-one time with each of them. It's a tradition that I hope continues on for a long time.

Grace and I went on saw Tangled at the dollar theatre today, while Mike stayed home with Josh.

It was such a cute movie! We laughed together, as she sat cuddled on my lap the whole time. She cried a few "happy tears" at the end. Too, too sweet.

Such a fun morning seeing a cute movie with my cute girl!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring at the Park

When we got back to Las Vegas, I was so happy to find out that it rained here, too (figures!), and that this had decreased the pollen levels.

My allergies are SO insanely bad here. My eyes swell shut, I can't breathe, and I stay locked in my house.

I'm not kidding.

My kids don't even KNOW what the sun is for a few weeks in March/early April.

However, with the pollen counts going down, we were able to get outside and spend some fun time with friends at the park.

I LOVE this time of year. It's too bad that flowers and trees usually ruin everything for me. ;)

We had a really fun afternoon playing, swinging, and sliding. We love spending time with good friends! It's good for the kids and good for me. Win-win!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Planting

My brother and sister-in-law, Ethan and Cameo, came up the day before we left for Phoenix for the funeral. They brought the kids some starter seed kits. I love planting things with the kids, and watching their excitement as the plants grow.

We (finally) got around to planting them last night. We are so excited to see some flowers, parsley, and tomato plants growing soon.

Thanks Ethan and Cameo!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Phoenix Trip: Grandma Hansom's Funeral

We went down to Phoenix this past weekend for the funeral of Mike's great-grandma, Grandma Hansom. She was such an amazing lady. When Mike and I were dating, he brought me over to her home one Sunday night and introduced me.

After that, we spent a lot of Sunday evenings at her home. Mike's aunts/uncles, cousins, and siblings would go there, and I LOVED it. I loved that they were all so close as a family, and that they got together like that. And man, they are funny. I seriously laugh so hard when I'm around them. Being around his family pretty much convinced me that Mike must be an okay person, because his family was so great.

I mean, super-great families can't produce psycho serial killers or anything, right?


I was trying to think of a favorite memory of Grandma Hansom. I have several memories of her, and Mike has a lot of really fun memories, but the one that stands out the most (of mine), was several years ago, the day before I had to go to the oncologist. I'm a pretty private person (not that you would know it from this blog), and I don't like anyone knowing my problems or worrying about me... I'm not a big fan of attention, so I generally keep things to myself. Anyway, Mike and I were the last to leave her house that Sunday evening, and she pulled me aside and asked about my appointment, how I was doing, that she was thinking of me, etc. Grandma Hansom had 6 children, 31 grandchildren; 95 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren... not including all of the spouses involved. It amazed me that with all of the people in her family, that she would remember me and my silly problems and be concerned. And, she was so sincere when she asked, that it didn't even bother me that someone knew about it. She was a really special person and we are definitely missing her.

Anyways, we were able to attend her funeral on Saturday and spend time with family. It was a really nice celebration of her life, and we had fun getting to spend time with everyone.

On Sunday, we went to church with my family, and then went back to my in-laws for dinner. Adam and Grace were in cousin heaven. Josh was pretty grumpy the whole weekend, but he had a lot of fun with his cousins... he and Emmalin were so cute playing together. I have to apologize to my sister-in-law for the photo of Emmalin; I so didn't realize that the picture I snapped of Josh and her playing together, had her picking her nose. ;)

We drove back Monday in the RAIN! I love rain! It's so sad that I moved to a place that rains even less than Phoenix, and that I have to go out-of-town to be able to enjoy it. ;)

We had a WONDERFUL weekend celebrating the life of a wonderful woman.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

'11 St. Patrick's Day Fun!

We made our Leprechaun traps for our Family Home Evening activity Monday night. Last night, we sprung our traps! I forgot to get pictures of the traps, but they were too cute.

Adam and Grace were SO sure that they were going to catch a leprechaun. They woke up today and found that the leprechauns had escaped again! They left some of their gold (rolos, twix, and almond kisses), a fun breakfast (Lucky Charms), and cookies for lunch! They also played a few silly tricks on us! The milk was dyed green, the toilet water was green, and they had stolen a few green items from our house!

It was a pretty crazy day (we were getting ready for guests AND getting ready to leave town), but we managed to have some green fun.

Green lunches: Sprite, green jell-o, green grapes, sandwiches with green bread, celery with green ranch, and a special cookie!

We all wore green (of course!). No pinching here!

For dinner we had green peas, green guiltless alfredo over spinach noodles, and green garlic bread (with our green milk).

We had such a fun day! I love any excuse to turn an ordinary day into something a little more fun!

Monday, March 14, 2011

3 Inches!

Grace really wanted to grow out her hair "long, to my feet." However, it's SO super fine that it gets knotted and tangled easily. So, I told her that she could grow it as long as she let me do it everyday (it's still growing in, and I can NOT stand it in her face). She hates having her hair done, though. So much. It's not like I even wanted to curl it or anything. It just needs to be brushed a few times a day because it's so fine. She could not TAKE the abuse. So, we cut off 3 inches.


She (and I) absolutely love it. Her hair looks so much more thick and healthy now. This picture doesn't really show it well, because it's another "trying to curl with a flat iron" experience gone wrong. BUT, it's really, really cute. We are both so much happier.... it's MUCH easier to take care of now that it's shorter.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Youth Auction

Our ward's annual youth auction last night did not disappoint. We had a yummy lasagna dinner that Josh totally wolfed down (he ate 1 1/2 pieces!), listened to some fun music, laughed at the crazy "silent auction" bidding wars, and scored 4 hours of baby-sitting for $8!

And, to top off a great night, I got a fantastic family picture. Totally Christmas card material here, folks:

Listen up, family of mine.

Next time Mom says "smile," smile.


- do whatever the heck Adam is doing;
- act bored and yawn like Grace is doing;
- give me a sarcastic smile like Mike is doing;
- or fall off your chair, out of the picture.

Like Josh did.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ice Cream Party

We went to a friend's birthday party today. The theme was "Ice Cream Party" and she outdid herself. Seriously. I should have taken pictures of all of the cute ice cream cone decorations, and the beautiful cupcakes and dipped marshmallows.

Adam and Grace loved the ice cream sundae bar. Too, too fun.

Josh was in heaven. He has a major sweet-tooth, and could not believe his luck at going to a party filled with sugar.

And the party favors? Chocolate dipped ice cream cones with goodies inside?

Seriously cute people kill me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thrift Store Crafting

I don't consider myself terribly creative. At best, I am great at copying others creative ideas. And I definitely can not look at crazy-ugly things at a thrift store and turn them into something ultra-hip and cute with a little spray adhesive, paint, and glitter like a lot of creative people can.

However, I was at D.I. a few months ago, and saw 4 wooden blocks with ugly turkeys mod-podged on for 50 cents each. I was so excited, because I see crafts that use wooden blocks all of the time, and I don't have access to a saw to cut them myself.

Yah, I could go to Home Depot.

But, seriously, the thought of standing with my 3 punks near a saw as the professionals cut wood for me, gives me the hives.

So, I bought them, happily asked for my 20% off discount (I know you're jealous), and looked through my craft supplies at home.

I scraped off the paper and painted them:

For Valentine's Day, I mod-podged some paper I've had for years and glued flat glass marbles I had in a vase in "X's" and "O's" shapes (I totally stole this idea from some blog).

Then I flipped them around, mod-podged some St. Patrick's Day paper on, and glittered some letters I got on sale at Hobby Lobby, and glued those on top.

I love being a little bit creative and crafty, even if I have to lean on others really creative ideas to do so.


By the way...

Yes, that's a VCR.

I know you're jealous that our family is still rocking the VCR.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Some Spoilin'

My sister had vocal tryouts for the college she is going to in Utah in the fall. My parents tagged along with her, and completely spoiled us...

...with feeding the birds...

... yummy Arizona citrus...

... a new fun game...

... and ice cream from the ice cream man.

The next day I took Josh to the doctor. He had an ear infection that I had hoped would go away on its own, but turned pretty bad. So, we went in while my parents watched Adam and Grace.

Can I say how ridiculously spoiled and grateful I felt?

Taking only one child to the doctor = heaven.

Taking only one child to the pharmacy = heaven with chocolate on top.

While we were gone, Adam and Grace got some more spoiling:

... with a new fancy game...

... play-doh - MIXED!...

... some MORE ice cream from the ice cream man...

... and some homemade chocolate milk.

When I got back (and Josh had a nap), I had a much happier boy. We had fun playing some more of the new game.

And then my dad completely spoiled me again with getting the bikes ready for spring riding.

Josh was insanely happy. Tools and birds make him happy.

We had such a fun weekend with my parents (and sister). We're so happy that we don't live too far apart so we get to see them fairly often!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

We love Dr. Seuss books around here. Green Eggs and Ham was the first real book (beyond the BOB books) that Adam read. I think that they are perfect for beginning readers, and we love their funny stories. We read Dr. Seuss books ALL of the time. Grace is now obsessed with the show The Cat in the Hat, too, so she's always looking for Dr. Seuss stuff to read.

Beyond reading with my kids, Dr. Seuss holds a special place in my heart. When I graduated from college, Mike gave me, Oh, the Places You'll Go! as a gift. It was really sweet. I love that book, and how it's about life's up and downs. At the time, I particularly loved "The Waiting Place" part of the book:

"..for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting."

We had just endured a year in "The Waiting Place". A place where Mike applied for hundreds of jobs and interviewed for almost one hundred with no success. We were always waiting for the phone to ring with happy news. A year later that call came.

Anyways, we wanted to commemorate Dr. Seuss' birthday this year with some FUN!

We had a special "Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast.

We had a special Dr. Seuss-inspired lunch (thanks to a fun idea from How Does She...)

Green Eggs & Ham = green hardboiled egg and a ham sandwich
The Yink who likes to drink pink ink = pink lemonade
... and Blue Goo = blueberry yogurt
One Fish, Two Fish = goldfish crackers
Apple = red and white for the Cat in the Hat's hat

And a love note (and explanation of the goodies) on Dr. Seuss paper. I LOVE special lunches! Adam and Grace really enjoy them, too.

We made it over for a special Dr. Seuss storytime at the library. It's an ages 0 to 5 storytime, so it's perfect for both Grace AND Josh. Josh loved the scarves and the rattles. Grace loved the Dr. Seuss stories and the Cat in the Hat coloring page.

Tonight while I made dinner, Mike read them FIVE Dr. Seuss books. Those books are LONG, and one was the tongue-twister book. He was kinda talked-out after that. ;)

We had such a fun day celebrating one of our favorite authors! I had heard before that Dr. Seuss didn't like children, so I researched it, and yeah, he didn't. BUT, he changed reading for kids and made it fun, so I am grateful for his contribution to children and how he's helped many learn and love to read.

Even if he didn't actually like them very much. ;)