Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bad Week/Good Week

Bad Week:

1) This guy had to get stitches. Mucho expensive stitches.

2) On Monday our working car broke down. Giving us 2 dead cars. The battery cables, alternator, and oil sensor all had to be replaced. Even though Mike did the labor himself, the parts were still pretty expensive.

On a positive note, he lost 8 pounds riding his bike to/from work, and to/from AutoZone.

The next time the car breaks down, I think that I should get to be the parts-runner.

3) The vacuum died. Vacuums, too, are expensive.

*If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of emptiness in our savings account...

Good Week:

1) One friend was sealed in the temple this week to her cute hubby. I heart newlyweds. I'm most especially happy for these two.

Grace and Adam were most especially happy that there was wedding cake.

2) Another friend had cute triplets. And they are doing so, so well.

3) Mike's cousin had a baby, and he is so stinkin' cute, and doing well as well.

Looking at all of the cute babies almost made me want another one.

Then I remembered that cute babies grow into siblings who tattle on each other for "stealing oxygen."

Apparently there isn't enough to go around.

The week wasn't all bad.

But, we're definitely crossing our fingers for a much less expensive week in our family.

Congrats to all the happy news for our family/friends!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Seventh Project: Oceans

About a month ago, Adam asked to use the computer for homework. He said that his teacher asked them to write down the names of three ocean animals, for their next unit on Oceans.

I really didn't think much of it.

I should have.

Because of those three names, they had to pick one to use as the subject of their April project.

And... if you know Adam, you know he just couldn't choose something simple like a dolphin or a shark.


He chose the "tongue-eating louse."

I've never heard of one of those; I thought it sounded kinda like science-fiction, you know?

They exist.

Fun Fact of the Day on the W* Blog:

The tongue-eating louse is a parasite that lives in the ocean off the Pacific Coast. They use their little claws to dig through the red snapper's gills, and attach themselves to the tongue. They feed off of the blood from the tongue, until the tongue is a small stub. It then attaches itself to the tongue muscle, and acts as the fish's tongue, manipulating the food back, like a tongue would, and eating the food particles that the fish eats.

SO gross.

And yet, SO kinda interesting.

Unfortunately, there is not a book labeled, The Tongue-Eating Louse available in our local library, nor is there a ton of information on it on-line. So, research was a little more difficult this time around.

Also unfortunate (to Adam), our local Petsmart does not have any tongue-eating louse for him to bring in and show his class.

He ended up making a diorama. He used an old box, and mixed 4 different almost-empty bottles of blue paint to paint it, and then used some random items we had around to make it ocean-ish. He drew and glittered the red snapper, which is "swimming" by fishing line, and if you look close in the snapper's mouth, you will see a whitish creature (with a small googly-eye, of course) sitting there.

That's the tongue-eating louse.

That has already eaten the tongue of the snapper.

We were able to go to his project today, and he did wonderful! It was the first time this year that Mike's been able to see him present, and he was blown away at how far he has come. The best part was during the "Question Time," where his class members asked him questions they had about the tongue-eating louse. He answered them all so professionally. Even the answers that he didn't know, he did his best to answer them.

We are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished this year!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Man

... he may not help around the house at all.

... he may not put his dirty clothes in the hamper. Ever.

... he may not come remotely close to being romantic.


When our car broke down on Monday, while he was out with Adam and Grace at the library:

... he made it an adventure for the kids, while waiting an hour for a tow truck (and riding back home in the tow truck)

... he rode 6 miles on his bike to the Ford dealership for new brake cables

... he stayed up until midnight on Monday working on the car

... he got up at 5am on Tuesday working on getting the brake cables in, even though he had to work until 9pm that night and needed more sleep

... he rode his bike to and from work on Tuesday when, after finally getting the car started, the oil light came on

... he woke up Wednesday at 5am to put try and figure out why the oil light was coming on

... he rode his bike to and from work again on Wednesday, and then rode his bike to Autozone Wednesday night after work to get a new oil sensor, and stayed up until 2 am trying to get it on

... he woke up at 5 am this morning and rode 6 miles back to the Ford dealership to get the correct oil sensor, after fighting to get it on for hours and realizing there was a small, slight difference

... he worked until 9 am this morning to change the oil, the oil filter, and get the correct sensor placed on, changing schedules with someone so he could come in later

All so that I didn't have to ride 4 hours everyday on a bus with 3 children, to get Adam to and from school.

I love my man.

Edited to add: He also replaced the alternator, after getting the oil light to go off, the battery light came on, and he figured out the alternator was the problem. He rocks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Walk 2011

After we were all seriously stuffed with yummy dinner, we sat on the floor and read a new book: Easter Walk - A Treasure Hunt for the Real Meaning of Easter. In the book, the kids' go on a walk with their grandpa, where they read six scriptures and find six clues representing Easter.

We loved the book, and drove over to the temple so that we could go on our very own Easter walk there.

Clue 1- Mark 15:17 Something Pointed and Sharp (to represent the crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head)

This plant had spikes on it. Adam even demonstrated for us that they are, in fact, painful. Silly boy.

Clue 2- John 19:17-18 Something Made of Wood (to represent the cross)

Wood chips. Because I like to caption the obvious.

Clue 3- Luke 23:46 Something Dead (to represent the Savior's death)

The kids' found a dead grasshopper, that turned out to be not-so-dead a few minutes later upon poking it...

... after completely freaking out, they went with a dead leaf instead

Clue 4- 3 Nephi 8:23 Something Dark (to represent the darkness in the Americas)

The center of the flowers are black

Clue 5- Mark 15:46 Something Hard (to represent the stone closing the tomb)

They chose... a rock.

Clue 6- Matthew 28:5-6 Something Alive (to represent that He lives)

Grace chose flowers...

.. and Adam chose himself. Cheater.

The Las Vegas temple is on a hill, surrounded by green grass. I wouldn't let the little punks roll down the hill like they wanted to; however, once were outside of the temple, the grass still was slanted a little, so I let them roll down that. I figured it wasn't as terrible, being outside of the gates and all. ;)

We all LOVED the Easter walk! I am so excited to do this every year. I think it will mean even more as the kids' grow up, and I loved having a fun activity to do that they loved, that still kept us focused on the reason for Easter.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Fun 2011

So, I thought I had planned everything perfect for Easter: Mike had got the morning off of work on Saturday, so we could do our "Secular Saturday" celebrating then with the Easter baskets and egg hunt, and focus on the Savior on "Spiritual Sunday", with special food, activities, and music.

Being at the ER until 3:30 in the morning, kinda killed those plans.

Next year it WILL happen.

We did our best to combine having fun and keeping it spiritual; I think we did a pretty good job.

All this past week, we've talked about the Savior's last week of life, using the Gospel Art Kit pictures and this from The Friend. It really helped us focus all week, and I'm excited to make it a new tradition.

We all met in the kids' room this morning and talked about the last day, when He was resurrected, and shared our testimonies that He lives. We had family prayer, and then we let them run off to the living room.

They went to their Easter baskets first. They each got bubbles, a bunny (chocolate for Adam and Grace and a stuffed bunny for Josh), a squirt gun, and their swimsuit/swim trunks for this summer.

We then let them go on their egg hunt. Each of them has an assigned color of egg to find, and they find 12 eggs each. Adam's are really crazy-hidden, Josh's were laying out in plain site, and Grace's were somewhere in the middle.

It works.

They had SO much fun! They LOVE playing "hide the object" with each other, and getting to find 12 things each was too much fun!

After they found all of their eggs, we made resurrection rolls for breakfast, and talked about how they are empty to represent the empty tomb, because Jesus was resurrected.

After getting cleaned up, I got the kids' all ready to go in their new-to-us Easter clothes. A few months ago, I was all set to make Grace's dress, when I found a seriously darling dress at D.I. for $4, so I decided to try and match the boys to her dress. I found some remnant material at Joann's that matched the flowers on Grace's dress, and made the boys' ties using this tutorial, and Grace's hairclip using this tutorial for yo-yo flowers. I think that they turned out pretty cute! I think I'm going to try my hand at some more ties this week.

Ignore her wonky-looking hair here

We headed out for church, and had such a wonderful meeting! For sharing time, I had a sister in our ward come in and help me, and she completely went the extra-mile. She acted like Mary Magdalene, and talked about the Savior's life from her perspective as His friend. She made picture rings for each of the kids, using pictures from the last week of His life and resurrection, and brought in linen for them to feel and myrrh for them to smell. It was so amazing! The kids' were all dead-silent during her lesson; she is so talented, and made it perfect!

Afterward we came home and had a ham dinner (using this recipe... seriously the best ham I've ever had), cheesy potatoes, grapes, and bunny rolls. Just use your imagination on the rolls!

These darling napkins deserve their own post. My grandma, Nano, made me a set of holiday napkins for Christmas. Love. Them.

When dinner was over, we read a new book and started a new tradition: an Easter walk. I think I'll make that it's own post. ;)

We had such a wonderful Easter Sunday! It didn't turn out completely as I planned, but I think that it turned out just right!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Yesterday afternoon, as we drove back from Ethel M's, Adam and Grace asked me to tell them about each of their hospital visits. They LOVE hearing about their stitches, hurt arms, and surgeries.

What's wrong with us?


Anyways, after I finished, I said, "And I am SO happy that Josh has never been hurt! Let's keep it that way."

I should have found a piece of wood to knock on right then, but I didn't.

Last night, while I was making a grocery list at the table, and Grace was taking her bath, Adam and Josh were playing in their bedroom. Adam says that Josh turned off the lights (seriously doubt that... mostly because he can't reach the light switch) , but somehow Josh tripped and fell on the rocking horse.

And got this little gash as a result:

Man, I did NOT want to take him in to the ER (I can think of better things to do with my time and $1000), so we tried to butterfly-bandage it, and regular bandage it, but it was a no-go. It is slightly over his eyelid, and every time he blinked, it would open wide and bleed some more. He was also walking around kind of funny (I think it's because his eye was so swollen and he couldn't see), but I was a little worried about him.

Mike brought him to the ER, where the doctors debated about what to do. Staples? No good. Glue? No good. They decided on dissolving stitches. He got 2.

He did great, other than when he was screaming about being wrapped up.

He hasn't complained about it at all, and the swelling went down a lot. I think that the worst part is that he is still being insanely daring... climbing, jumping, running, and crashing into things. I want him to just sit still so that nothing happens to open his cut.

And he's just so not down with that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Fun (Spring Break Day #5)

We cleaned up the house this morning, and then went over to Ethel M's this afternoon, for a visit with the Easter bunny!

They don't really believe in the Easter bunny, but I thought it would make a cute picture.

Guess how much Josh loves huge, scary bunnies?

He doesn't.

I handed Josh to the bunny, looked down to grab my camera, and looked up to see Josh screaming and sliding out from the bunny's arms.

So, Adam and Grace got a picture instead.

Josh was pretty traumatized. Luckily, Ethel M's always has free chocolate samples on-hand.

He felt better after a little chocolate was in his system.

Tonight, we dyed our Easter eggs!

We had the brilliant idea to let Josh color his with washable markers, thinking we could avert the dyed-hands mess.

We didn't take into account that Josh eats markers. So, he was a mess anyways.

Adam had fun trying different methods of egg-coloring.

And then he went and had himself a little snack.

Josh was a mess already, so I couldn't help but get a chubby-baby-hand-in-blue-dye picture.

And our finished products:

Such a fun tradition!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Day-Long Playdate (Spring Break Day #4)

We don't really reward for good report cards (I mean, the reward is getting a good grade... right?). However, Adam's 1st semester report card back in January was so rockin'.

Straight A's. Glowing notes on his "excellent behavior," "hard work," and "a joy to have in class" from all 3 teachers. Even his handwriting had improved, so we told him that he could have a special activity with one of us, as his reward, and that it could cost a little more than a typical "date" with Mom or Dad does (we usually keep those to under $2 a date).

Anyways, we had been trying to figure out what to do, when Mike was given some $2.99 tickets to The Feast breakfast buffet, and asked Adam if he wanted to go for his reward.

He SO did. He's been wanting to try a Vegas buffet forever. However, he was a little skeptical.

Our conversation:

Adam: I can have anything I want?
Me: Yup.
Adam: As much as I want?
Me: Uh, yeah...
Adam: I can have a whole plate of bacon?
Me: (Gagging inside) Yup... if that's what you want.

And he did.

He and Mike went early that morning and gorged themselves on breakfast food. Adam was in heaven getting to have as much syrup, cinnamon rolls, and BACON as he wanted. They rolled themselves home, where Adam said that he was never going to eat again.

Now, when we get asked "How are the Vegas buffets?" at least Adam can answer:



This afternoon, I had planned on going to the library, running a few errands and playing at the park for the rest of the day. However, my really good friend, Danielle, called and invited us over for a playdate.

After Josh's nap we headed on over, and before we knew it, we realized it was 5:30.

So, they invited us to stay for dinner (Mike was working late).

I can't believe how crazy-fast the day went! I got to talk and talk, and the kids got to play and play, and there was NO fighting! It was SO nice! We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends!

We left at about 8:15, and picked up Mike from work. All 3 fell asleep in the car, tired from a LONG day of playing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dinosaurs & Kabobs (Spring Break Day #3)

Mike had the day off of work today, so he woke up early and made us whole wheat blender waffles.

He also broke my blender.

I still love him, though.

After cleaning up, and getting rid of the blender (sniff!), we packed a picnic lunch and headed across town to the dinosaur park!

The kids have BEGGED to go back since we went last year! We had a really fun time digging, sliding, eating lunch, and trying to catch turtles.

That night, Mike let me off the hook for dinner and put together kabobs with the kids. They made our usual chicken-pineapple-red onion-bell pepper kabobs, and then added some grapes for fun.

Grilled grapes are no bueno, by the way.

They always have a blast grilling with Mike, though, so it was all good. We played for the rest of the evening outside, while Mike went to Scouts. A really fun day.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm kinda totally hearting spring break.