Saturday, October 3, 2009

Playing with Grandma

After bowling we went grocery shopping to WinCo (BEST store EVER!) and stopped by to visit Grandma Diane. She and Elle sat at the piano together. Grandma played and Elle sang. Grandma complimented Elle on her good singing and Elle said, "I know." Well, at least she doesn't have self esteem issues. LOL!


Daddy wanted to get out of the house and do something to make some memories. I have to agree that it is time and money well spent. Hunter got a coupon for free bowling at a place in Fairfield. We didn't go to that one, but the idea and Hunter's excitement was enough to get us out and into some other stinky rented shoes.

Garrett is absolutely BALL CRAZY!!! I think he was a little frustrated that he couldn't pick any of them up. Poor baby!

Times have gotten so technologically advanced! We were able to make the bumpers pop up when it was the kids turn to bowl. So who won? Elle, of course. Followed by Hunter, then Ethan then Momma and dead last was Daddy. He came off with a few strikes at the end, so I think he was holding back just to make sure one of the kids would win. And I'm sure bowling with Garrett didn't help his score any. What a good Daddy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our Favorite Aunt & Uncle!

Rosie and Jerry were out for Rosie's High School Reunion. I'm not sure which one, probably 25th? ;-)

It was SO nice having family around. The kids especially loved having a grandpa-type person that they could climb on and give kisses.

Elle has never known either one of her Grandpas. She was only 4 months old my my dad died. We went to watch the boys at pre-baseball training camp a while back and there was another family along the fence watching their players. Elle was fascinated with the little girl and her grandpa. She kept looking at him and finally asked me, "What is one of those?" pointing to the grandpa. I told her he was the little girl's grandpa. She looked down and tried to think of something and then said, "Can I have one?" Heartbreaking.

We have two aunts on my Dad's side and two uncles on my Mom's side. Out of everybody these guys are my FAVORITES! It's moments like these that I'm super grateful that Families are Forever!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Egyptian Death Masks

The boys made their very own custom fit Egyptian Death Masks. I used strips of material from Ethan's mummy costume from last year and dipped them into plaster of paris. They were very good and tried to hold still as the plaster set up just enough to get the masks off.

After they were dried for a day or two they painted them to look like their own faces. Ethan made his with one blue eye and one green eye, just like he has. Hunter tried to outline his eyes in black like in his other drawings, but it made the mask look like a raccoon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Pyramids of Egypt & Models of Mercury

We constructed our own pyramids out of sugar cubes as part of our History curriculum this year. We are working on the Ancient world this semester and currently focusing on Egypt. We also tried to make a model of Egypt itself. Making the water was tricky, but we used plaster of paris. We put one of the pyramids in upper Egypt. It wasn't long before the ants discovered the pyramids. Hunter was really excited to have ants as an addition to our model. He said, "Those are the people!"

We came out one morning and the pyramid was completely gone. At first I assumed that Michael threw it away, but when questioned about it he didn't know anything about it. I'm guessing some small animal discovered the yummy treat and made off with it before someone else did.

For science we are working on Astronomy. The boys write down some facts in their notebooks, draw a picture and then we'll have a hands on project. Hunter usually gets done before Ethan so he started working on his salt dough model of Mercury complete with lots and lots of craters (due to the extremely thin atmosphere).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Making paper

Step 1. collect scraps of paper and make slurry in the blender with plenty of water and 2 T of starch.

Step 2. Strain slurry in even sheet using screen stretched over wooden frame.

Step 3. Place felt over the top of the slurry. Gently flip it over on top of an upside down cookie sheet.

Step 4. Using a damp sponge, gently press the paper slurry out of the screened frame.

Step 5. Place a second piece of felt on top of the paper slurry so that it in between the two pieces of felt.

Step 6. Place a second cookie sheet on top of the felt so that the flat part of the two cookie sheets are together. Press out the water. Remove lid, gently flip the felt. Wring out the water from the felt. Replace. Repeat. When most of the water has been pressed out of the slurry it may be hung to dry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in the groove

Open house for Tiny Tots. With more space I'd like to make a nice little play kitchen for Elle. She's so careful about Tiny Tots. At home her play food turn into missiles and end up all over the world.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Hunter's highrise building and three car garage (done with building code restrictions that the height not exceed the pew). Medium of choice: hymnbooks.

Shopping trip to Winco from last night. Elle is modeling the latest fashion: Caution signage. Note the latest trend of wearing shoes on the wrong feet.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ten Year Anniversary

The day before our 10 year anniversary I took the kids again to the Discovery Playground in Berkley. It takes the MOST imagination and so, of course, it is their favorite place to play.

The day of our anniversary we got a babysitter (who showed up at 6 am) so that I could go to work with Michael for the first half of the day. It was fun to go around and meet the people that he would tell me about. Most people were shocked that coming to work was what I wanted to do. Well, why not?

At lunch time we left for the day and went to a Sushi place in downtown Berkley. OH! FAVORITE STUFF EVER! Then we went to Barnes and Noble and just browsed all the books. I could spend all day in a bookstore...if I didn't have four children to take care of.

That evening we went to the ward Luau.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ears and Bubbles

We were headed somewhere together in the truck with Uncle James and Aunt Kristi. The other kids stayed home with a sitter, but Garrett (spoiled little thing) got to come along with Mom. Kristi was blowing bubbles in the back seat. The look on his face was priceless!

Being the fourth child requires a developed sense of patience. Garrett has learned to self soothe by sucking his thumb and holding his ear. On the way home from this same trip Garrett found my ear just as comforting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

To Sacramento

I signed the boys up for a new home school program for next year. As a part of that process we had to drive up to Sacramento for an in-person interview. Michael didn't want me going by myself in the Land Cruiser so he took the day off so go with us. Afterward we went to the children's museum there. It's very small. So small in fact that Michael was upset that we even bothered to take the stroller out of the truck.

We tried going to Old Sacramento afterward but apparently the Old Sacramento Tannery is not actually in Old Sacramento but in a rather seedy neighborhood out in the middle of nowhere. This we know because the GPS took us on a wild goose chase. So instead after that we opted to go to the outlet stores and got everybody new shoes. Hurray!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Child's Paradise

I've been told about this place in Berkley, Adventure Playground, and I've finally made it there with the kids. At first it sounded rather unbelievable. Children given hammers, nails and saws and they can just build or paint whatever their little hearts desire! Well seems the mind can conceive quite a bit more than little bodies can achieve. The saws never quite got through anything. They did manage to get some nails in though. Before you can go in you have to sign a waiver. Even though the whole place looks like it's about to fall down it is structurally sound with many other boards added that make it look rickety. At about 1:30 I finally had to insist that the children stop working on their project to have some lunch. They would have happily spent the rest of the day there not even caring that they're bellies were grumbling. As we were leaving they asked if we could go back every day. Wow! You guys like it THAT much!?!

They managed to build a foundation, floorboards, one wall and two hat hooks. Not bad, right?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One year old!

For Garrett's birthday we went out to see the newest Harry Potter movie. Not that it was something that HE was asking for, but rather it was a fun family together activity that we could all enjoy. And really Garrett's just happy when he's with Mom. I made his cake the next day which he got to enjoy thoroughly. I've picked some of the best of him hamming it up for the camera. He's really quite photogenic! Either that or he was so excited about getting to smear chocolate all over himself he couldn't help but look cute!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

First Fireworks

Jenna and Garrett were both still buns in the oven last fourth of July. This was their first experience with fireworks. Yea!! We went to the overlook park above First Street with Jeremy and Denee. My mom came along with James and Kristi (who by the way just announced they are moving to Bali Indonesia!) I didn't take many pictures of the babies, just one actually. I got complaints about the flash blinding. Oh well.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Snuggle Bug

What is most amazing about Garrett is that he can sleep through almost anything. Walking around with him, siblings running by screaming... would you believe he can even sleep through diaper changes? It's true! The one thing he cannot tolerate however is a warm, dark, quiet spot in which nobody is touching him. I can lay him down as softly and quietly as possible and the moment physical contact is broken his arms shoot out and he's looking for a snuggle. Spoiled baby. Daddy says he wouldn't have him any other way.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

We didn't have any wrapping paper so I taped some white paper together and let the kids go nuts with the markers. We gave him a foot bath from the Sharper Image. He thought that I had wrapped up the new blender we got the month before so it was a surprise!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Family Pool Pass

I got a summer pass to the pool for the kids. We bought it the first day and after some quick math I determined that I would have to bring them at least 16 times to make the pass pay for itself. We've been going nearly every day with a few exceptions. The pool opens at 1 pm so I told the kids that they needed to finish their lessons before they were allowed to go to the pool. That has been very motivational for everybody! I've bought our History and Language curriculum for next year and we will continue with the math program I had. Elle gets really indignant that her lessons are so short and wants to do more. Hunter loves being able to figure words out in books and gets books from the library and will just pour over them trying to decipher the harder words. So mornings are pretty well laid out with lessons and afternoons are reserved for the pool. The Kids K group comes at about 2:30 and fills the pool up, but we leave at about 3 pm anyway so that I can have enough time to put dinner on at and early hour.

The first three days at the pool one of the lifeguards jumped in to pull on of my kids out. The first day was Hunter. I didn't see what happened, but he got away from the edge and he and Ethan were playing rough and he started to struggle.

The second day Ethan went down the slide and the lifeguard at the top told him to lie down. That made him go super fast and when he got to the bottom he got turned around and started swimming the wrong direction, so they jumped in. He was embarrassed and didn't want to go down the slide again. I insisted that he get over it and do it again. The third day Hunter went down the slide for the fourth time, but this last time the lifeguard at the top told him to take his goggles off. I got a picture of him with him coming down with them in his hand. When he got to the bottom he wasn't swimming as fast as they would have liked because the goggles were in his hand so she blew the whistle and jumped in. BLAH! They are trigger happy is what it is! ....mumble...but better safe than sorry, right?

Hunter and Ethan both became disgusted with the slide and their rules so they don't go down now.

This is after Hunter spent the first couple days practicing so he could pass the swim test. He had to swim from one end of the pool to the other without grabbing the rope. He did it! It wasn't pretty, but he did it. The lifeguard watching him verified that he passed the test but still said he couldn't go. I put my foot down. I told the lifeguard that they needed to make it a timed test or a longer test, but don't set a standard and then once a kid passes THEIR requirements tell them they can't go after all. What's the point of having the goal then? I argued with him and then explained the case to the Senior guard on duty. He agreed to let Hunter go down and when he got to the bottom and over to the side without any problems we were good. It wasn't until they changed the rules again and said no goggles that the boys lost interest.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

End of the Season

We had the end of the season for the Dodgers. It was bittersweet. No more mid-week practices, but no more family Saturdays dedicated to the boys' baseball games. I must say, rooting for my boys was SO much fun! I was the team mom for the Dodgers. I sent out the reminders and e-mails and ran the dugout during the games. There was a time or two when Ethan and Hunter were playing at the same time so Michael and Elle cheered for him. My mom would come to some of the games and Uncle James and Aunt Kristi liked to come too when they were in town. It was a VERY fun family activity!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Elle in curls

Even though Elle has a head full of curls already we put her hair in rollers for a looser curl. She didn't have the patience to let them the world may never know.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


These are some cute pictures I took of Garrett this week. His new highchair is so comfy he often falls asleep. Most of the time he sucks his thumb and holds his ear. This time he looks like he's just kickin' back relaxin'.

This picture is from Hunter's last baseball practice. I like to sit in the car and read. Garrett wanted to get out and work the steering wheel.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tiny Tots Graduation

Elle had her first Graduation Ceremony today. She was not among the graduates, but every child was featured as part of the ceremony. Everyone was wearing a blue hat. The children who were returning wore crowns. The ones moving on to kindergarten wore caps. This was Elle's highlight:

Afterward the ceremony everyone moves out to the back for refreshments and entertainment in the form of Kelly the Clown. As a side note to this we were supposed to drop off the children and then come back in a half hour for the ceremony. I parked in front and rather than loose my primo spot I walked with the boys up to the library during the half hour. I checked out a book that I wanted to put in the car before going in to the Tiny Tots party. Much to my dismay I couldn't find my keys. What!?!? I asked Elle's teachers if I had left them on the table before I left. I called up to the library who looked and couldn't find them. The only other place would have to be in the car itself. I was wearing Garrett in the front pack for the first time in a while, so it's very likely that since my routine was off I would have left them under his seat.

While the children were enjoying Kelly the Clown I called AAA and waited for them out front. Ann and Mindi from church looked after the children all of whom had no idea that anything was wrong. The guy tried using a slim jim, but the Cruiser is so old that it wouldn't go down. Fortunately Elle left her window cracked so he was able to get in a tool and roll it down enough to grab a hold of the lock. Sure enough! My keys were under Garrett's seat. Thank goodness for insurance!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

So Uncle Paul out in Colorado sent Elle this little Juicy Couture outfit. I about had a fit when I saw the price tag! OMG!!! SERIOUSLY!?!? He bought it on sale, but the original price...YIKES! So here are some pictures of her cuteness. I love the one on the bottom (no pun intended...well, OK maybe it was!) Just you wait Uncle Paul. You'll have a little miss before you know it!